For CFPB, Parsing Which Rules Stay, And Which May Go
January 29, 2013
Although Richard Cordray's 2012 appointment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could be invalidated on a procedural technicality, legal experts say some of his approvals of recent mortgage regulations may still be upheld. There are questions over whether nonbank rules, such as those applying to payday lenders and credit reporting agencies, will remain in place. Without a permanent director, the agency would lack the authority to create or enforce the rules. A recent court ruling invalidating some of President Obama's other recess appointments has led to questions about whether Cordray's appointment will stick, and whether many rules written by the CFPB in the last year would still be valid. Recent mortgage rules might not be overturned; they essentially ban lenders from making the riskiest loans. Even if the Supreme Court voided the existing qualified mortgage rule, the Treasury secretary could assert the authority to issue a new rule under the Dodd-Frank Act. If Cordray is determined to be just the acting director for the CFPB, then the watchdog would not have authority over certain areas that include prohibiting unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts; prescribing rules and model disclosure forms; and supervising non-depository institutions.
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