Kraninger’s Vision for the CFPB
In her first public speech as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Kathy Kranigner outlined her vision for the federal agency, announcing that the CFPB would focus on preventing consumer harm and reducing regulatory burden under her tenure.
Kraninger focused on the importance of protecting consumers and expressed concern that 40 percent of Americans are unable to cover a $400 emergency expense. Kraninger assured that the CFPB would bring together consumer groups and industry leaders together to try to “move the needle on the number of Americans in this country who can cover a financial shock, like a $400 emergency.”
At the same time, Kranigner was vocal about the need for the CFPB to assess the cost of regulations during the rulemaking process. “I take seriously our responsibility under the law to reduce unwarranted regulatory burden and to consider the impact of rulemaking on regulated entities and consumers,” said Kraninger. “The CFPB must acknowledge that the costs imposed on regulated entities absolutely affect access to, and the availability of, credit to consumers.”
Kranigner urged people to not judge the CFPB based on their “outputs,” including the number of complaints or lawsuits, and the amount of money recovered from the industry. She suggested that if the CFPB were doing its job correctly, then the number of complaints, lawsuits, and enforcement actions should decline over time. This would be a more proper measure of the CFPB’s success, said Kraninger.
In addition, Kraninger provided some context around CFPB’s highly anticipated proposed rule on debt collection. In an effort to update the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the CFPB would propose some changes “to better enable the use of modern communications technology in collections activity.”
“The proposed rules also would protect consumers with clear, bright-line limits on the number of calls they may receive from debt collectors on a weekly basis,” said Kraninger. “We will propose to provide clarity on how collectors may communicate via newer technology such as email or text messages. We will propose that collectors provide consumers with more and better information at the outset of collection to help them identify debts and understand their options, including their rights in disputing debts or paying them.”