Congress Pushes to Create CFPB Watchdog

While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been busy flexing its muscles against reverse mortgage lenders lately, two congressmen say it’s time for the agency to have some more oversight. 

Reps. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) recently re-introduced the bipartisan Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection-Inspector General Act of 2015 — legislation that creates the position of an independent inspector general at the CFPB.

Currently, the CFPB has very little congressional oversight, the congressmen say, as it does not have its own independent inspector general but shares one with the Federal Reserve. 

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“Government accountability is important now, more than ever,” Stivers said in a written statement. “This legislation will allow for increased oversight of an agency that has been given broad authority. It is important that we take the necessary steps to ensure the CFPB is accountable to the American people.”

The legislation amends the Inspector General Act of 1978 to establish an independent inspector general for the CFPB. The position would be appointed by the president and then confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate.

“The CFPB is an important agency that works to ensure that you, the consumer, are protected from things like predatory payday lenders, shoddy mortgage bankers and defective products,” Walz said in a statement. “Their work is important, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need oversight. I fully support their cause … and believe the appointment of an independent inspector general will only increase their ability to fulfill their important mission.” 

Written by Emily Study

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  • What good will an OIG be at the CFPB if it still has no oversight from Congress? This is exactly how Senator Mann (most call her Warren, the last name of a former husband) wanted it and made the CFPB to function. Just look at how the CFPB reports complaints; it just lists them by category without indicating anything about their disposition. Yes, reverse mortgage mortgages are confusing to many but so are basic trust documents.

    The CFPB needs oversight by Congress more than an OIG appointed by a President, although that is needed as well. But then professor Mann through her fellow conspirators Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, created a bureau which accounts to no one other than through a rather weak one under the Federal Reserve.

    As acquaintances of Senator Mann have stated on several occasions, Senator Mann is no friend of our industry and has a general bias against even HECMs. So far Senator Mann has refused to take any open position on reverse mortgages but hold your horses when she does. She has the potential to make Senator McCaskill look like a long time supporter of our industry.

  • Great article, this plays right in hand with my comment on the top story in this publication.

    As I said in the other comment, the CFPB has done a lot of good for the consumer but it has also done a lot of harm. A lot of the harm comes from very little congressional oversight. The CFPB is as close to being autonomous as it can be.

    I can’t remember a committee or a ruling entity in our Federal Government ever having the power and autonomy the CFPB has. I feel the move congress is trying to push for is long over due!

    John A. Smaldone

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