Thursday, September 30, 2021

Biden's Pick To Head CFPB Finally Gets Senate Nod

President Biden Nominated, Rohit Chopra, to serve as the Nation's Top Consumer Financial Watchdog, Eight months ago. On Thursday, he finally got past Republican Opposition and was Approved, as the New Head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Rohit Chopra, a former Member of the Federal Trade Commission, is to Step-Up the CFPB's Enforcement Activities and Focus on Student Loans. Although Chopra, a former CFPB Assistant Director and Member of the Federal Trade Commission, is profoundly Qualified for the Director's Job, But Republican Senators didn't make it easy for him.

In a Preliminary Vote, All 50 Republican Senators Voted against Chopra, and all 50 Democrats and independents Voted for him. Vice President Kamala Harris, broke the Tie with a Vote in Chopra's favor. In the Final Confirmation Tally, Chopra prevailed 50 to 48. Rand Paul (R-KY) and John Cornyn (R-TX) didn't Vote.

This is a Big Deal for Consumers, because for the last Four years, we've essentially been without the Consumer Protection Agency that Congress mandated in 2010.

Under Trump, the CFPB Abandoned its Watchdog Role, choosing instead to focus on "educating" people to be better money managers. Which is to say, the Focus was No longer on Protecting us from Abusive Behavior by Banks, Payday Lenders, and other Financial Firms.

"During the Trump Administration, the CFPB performed little oversight over the industry it regulated," said Remington Gregg, an Attorney with the Advocacy Group Public Citizen. "Under Rohit Chopra, there's a new sheriff in town. We are confident that protecting consumers from predatory lenders and corporate cheats will be his main priority."

Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League, said Chopra is "ideally suited to head this critically important consumer protection agency."

Chopra is expected, during his Five-year term, to step up the CFPB's Enforcement Actions, and to Focus in particular on Private
Student Lenders and Loan Servicers. He previously served as the Agency’s Student Loan Ombudsman.

Mike Litt, a Spokesman for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, noted that Chopra stressed during his Confirmation Hearing, that he would ensure Consumers are Protected as the Economy Recovers from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

"He also talked about long-standing problems consumers have had in the marketplace before the pandemic, such as errors on credit reports and debt collection harassment," Litt said. "We agree with those priorities."

Carl Tobias, a Law Professor at the University of Richmond, said "the CFPB that was essentially moribund in the Trump years," and Chopra probably will now get the Agency back on track. "Examples of issues on which he might focus are payday lending and inflated overdraft fees on checking accounts," Tobias predicted.

However it plays out, Consumers can be comforted that Someone once again takes their Financial Welfare seriously.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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