CFPB to Mortgage Servicers: The Shell Game Is Over

Charlene Crowell, Special to The Informer | 3/5/2014, 3 p.m.
In a Feb. 19 speech before the nation's largest association representing real estate finance, Steven Antonakes, Deputy Director of the ...
Charlene Crowell

Antonakes explained, “It’s not just about collecting payments. It’s about recognizing that you must treat Americans who are struggling to pay their mortgages fairly before exercising your right to foreclose. We have raised the bar in favor of American consumers and we are ready, willing and able to vigorously enforce that bar.”

Even with Dodd-Frank Reform enacted, many of the forces that opposed Wall Street Reform and Senate confirmation of a CFPB Director continue their assault on the Bureau. For example, the Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act of 2013 (HR 3193) would actually do the opposite of what its name implies: compromise the CFPB. The legislation would specifically:

Replace CFPB’s single accountable director with a commission with members chosen by party leaders – a well-known recipe for gridlock; Remove the Bureau’s financial independence in favor of Congressional appropriations; and Weaken CFPB’s authority by authorizing an outside council to overturn consumer protection rules.

If these changes sound familiar, you’re right. All of them have been attempted before and all have failed. For some naysayers, active opposition to CFPB remains a goal. HR 3193 passed the House on Feb. 27 on a 232-182 vote and now advances to the Senate.

In the meantime, CFPB will continue to adhere to its statutory duties.

As Deputy Director Antonakes stated, “These profound changes will be good for all Americans, including industry. But please understand, business as usual has ended in mortgage servicing. Groundhog Day is over.”

Charlene Crowell is a communications manager with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.