Today, the CFPB goes live with a nominated, but far from confirmed, director. President Obama named Richard Cordray as his choice to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last Sunday evening. Although we provided some brief insights on the former Ohio attorney general in our January and March CFPB posts, we are fairly certain that more detailed information on the nominee's positions will be forthcoming. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made that much clear when he delivered this message to the president from the Senate floor the next day:
I would remind him that Senate Republicans still aren't interested in approving anyone to the position until the president agrees to make this massive new government bureaucracy more accountable and transparent to the American people.
The concern? It’s not so much how the CFPB has handled revising mortgage disclosure forms, which the financial services industry says it backs. It is what happens next. As stated by Jaret Seiberg, a policy analyst at MF Global's Washington Research Group:
There's no foregone conclusion. The agency doesn't have to fulfill the nightmares that the banks have, but until we start to see concrete actions, those nightmares are still going to keep bankers up at night.
For the hospitality industry, the “nightmares” could involve a whole host of rules, including (but in no way limited to) the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Rule Concerning Cooling-Off Period for Sales Made at Homes or at Certain Other Locations, and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
Take, for example, the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act. On July 14, Peggy Twohig hosted a teleconference discussing the transition issues related to the CFPB’s assumption of enforcement responsibility for that law. As part of the transition, Ms. Twohig said the CFPB will take a "fresh look" at the ILSFDA with an eye toward modernizing processes. At the end of the call, Ms. Twohig was asked how the "fresh look" would apply to the Guidelines for Exemptions Available Under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act. The answer - the Guidelines will go dormant.