“Dormant: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Law Enforcement Program in Decline”

That’s the title of a new report from Chris Peterson at the Consumer Federation of America. According to the executive summary:

This study analyzes whether the CFPB, under the Trump Administration, is delivering on its statutory law enforcement objectives and stated commitments to take aggressive action in the area of consumer law enforcement, particularly where complaint volume is the largest. To accomplish this, this study identifies and classifies every public enforcement action since the inception of the CFPB through the first three months of Director Kathleen Kraninger’s term in office.

Overall, this study finds that under the leadership of Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, and more recently, Director Kathy Kraninger, enforcement activity at the CFPB has declined to levels that are either nonexistent or significantly below that of the prior Administration, even in the areas where consumer complaint activity is the highest. The Bureau has announced only two cases each under authorities specifically given to the Bureau to address issues with credit reporting and mortgage lending, one case related to debt collection, and no cases related to student lending. Troublingly, the Bureau has also failed to announce or resolve a single antidiscrimination case.

Further, in addition to a decline in the overall volume of enforcement actions, this study shows significantly less monetary relief going to consumers. The CFPB returned about $43 million in restitution to consumers for each week of the Bureau’s first Director’s term in office. In the relatively few cases resolved since, this amount has plummeted to about $6.4 million per week under Acting Director Mulvaney and most recently dropped again to about $925,000 per week under Director Kraninger. The Bureau has not announced a single dollar of monetary relief in any of the high-volume complaint areas of credit reporting, debt collection, or student lending.

Overall, enforcement activity and relief to the consumer has declined since the appointment of Mick Mulvaney in 2017. And, despite being touted as one of Director Kraninger’s initial priorities for her term of leadership, law enforcement activity continues to remain significantly below earlier levels since her confirmation.

The full report is available here.

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