Does Mulvaney Know There’s a Difference Between Not Pushing the Envelope and Turning the CFPB into a Dead Letter?

by Jeff Sovern

CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney famously said that the Bureau should not push the envelope. He also said at the same time:

There will absolutely be times when circumstances require us to take dramatic action to protect consumers. At those times, I expect us to be vigorous in our enforcement of the law. But bringing the full weight of the federal government down on the necks of the people we serve should be something that we do only reluctantly, and only when all other attempts at resolution have failed.

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[W]e will be prioritizing. In 2016, almost a third of the complaints into this office related to debt collection. Only 0.9% related to prepaid cards and 2% to payday lending. Data like that should, and will, guide our actions.

So you might think that he would bring the occasional enforcement action, probably against debt collectors.  But he has been in office for nearly four months now, and still hasn't announced any enforcement actions. Not against anyone, much less debt collectors. Apparently there haven't been any times yet when circumstances absolutely require dramatic enforcement action.

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