CFPB Hiring Personnel in Anticipation of Enforcement Push

Mar 1, 2021Federal Regulation, News

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced its plans to establish a new enforcement team in preparation of strengthening its oversight of banks, mortgage servicers, and other financial firms. Acting Director Dave Uejio started the effort to recruit attorneys before President Biden’s nominee Rohit Chopra’s confirmation hearing this week.

“We must hold accountable companies that break the law and harm American consumers and small businesses during this time of incredible financial stress,” wrote Uejio in a blog post last month. “To do this, we need the fullest talents and passion of the American public.”

Uejio has installed Cara Petersen as acting head of enforcement, and appointed several senior officials to oversee Trump appointees. Experts predict that the CFPB will return to the more aggressive approach taken by former Director Richard Cordray during the Obama administration, according to an article by American Banker.

Experts were also surprised to find that the CFPB is recruiting from the Hispanic Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, law schools, and government entities and nonprofits.

“They are trying to staff up aggressively and trying to get the word out through nontraditional means, which suggests they have big plans for what they want to do,” stated Lucy Morris, a former CFPB deputy enforcement director.

The increase in hiring comes after three years of attrition under the Trump administration, which began when acting Director Mick Mulvaney instituted a two-year hiring freeze in 2017. “It makes a lot of sense that they want new attorneys and to beef up the overall numbers because they have had attrition of employees over the last few years that haven’t been replaced,” said Courtney Dankworth, a litigation partner at Debevoise & Plimpton.

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