As expected, a Jan. 28 House Financial Services Committee hearing starring Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray covered a lot of ground, including the impact of the agency's qualified mortgage (QM) rule on credit availability and its ongoing tug-of-war with auto dealers over the "disparate impact" of pricing policies on minorities.
The regulator faced GOP criticism that approached the hostile level throughout, but the session turned especially ugly when Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-N.M.) declared that Cordray was deliberately trying to hold back lower-income Americans by setting loan parameters that would largely exclude manufactured housing. Cordray bristled at what he said were "some of the most offensive comments that I have heard from this committee." Noting that some of his family and friends have lived or currently live in manufactured homes, he said, "I do recognize that in parts of America, this is the premiere alternative for putting a roof over people's head and giving them a chance."
Cordray added that the CFPB is monitoring the impact of QM on manufactured housing, saying "to the extent that there's any modification or change that needs to be made in that to make sure that this market can work, we're all ears and we will continue to be all ears -- both to the members of this committee and also to those in the industry and consumers who are affected by the rule."