Ever since the Senate confirmed Director Kathy Kraninger to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau), many have wondered in which direction she would guide the Bureau. A memo emailed by Director Kraninger to Bureau staff last week provides a glimpse of her views.
According to American Banker, Director Kraninger stated:
We must do our work with an open mind and without presumptions of guilt, and to always carefully weigh the costs and benefits to consumers of our enforcement activities and regulatory rulemakings…
On my watch as Director, the CFPB will vigorously enforce the law. I also want the Bureau to respect the rights of all we serve and interact with, to safeguard their personal information, and to be transparent in its operations…
Let’s move forward as a team to make sure the American people are treated fairly, that the financial institutions that serve them are competing on a level playing field, and the marketplace is innovating in ways that enhance both choice and the needs of the consumers.
Right off the bat, Kraninger’s memo indicates that she will lead the Bureau to a balanced medium between the polar opposite philosophies of Former Director Cordray and Former Acting Director Mulvaney.
Particularly of interest to the ARM industry is Director Kraninger’s comment about innovation in the marketplace. While many financial services providers have the ability to evolve with technology, debt collectors have been left behind. Debt collectors are eager to implement technology into their business to meet the expectations and preferences of consumers, but outdated statutes and inconsistent case law governing the debt collection industry prevent them from doing so. For example, email and voicemail -- technologies that are decades old -- are still the wild west in the debt collection sphere.
In November, insideARM published an article outlining the Consumer Relation Consortium’s comprehensive solution to this problem as it relates to communicating with consumers. As Director Kraninger goes forward, especially with debt collection rulemaking, we hope she will continue to keep this in mind.