October 21, 2018

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Democratic Senators oppose Mulvaney freeze on payments from CFPB civil penalty fund/English reported to urge continued enforcement activity

At a press conference on November 27, Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s designee for CFPB Acting Director, is reported to have announced that he has placed a 30-day freeze on all regulatory action, CFPB hiring, and payments from the civil penalty fund.  However, it has been reported that last Thursday, November 30, Leandra English, who has filed a lawsuit challenging Mr. Mulvaney’s right to serve as Acting Director, sent an email to CFPB staff in which she urged them to continue working on pending enforcement actions and indicated that December reports were still due.

On Friday, December 1, Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown sent a letter to Mr. Mulvaney and Leandra English asserting that Ms. English has the legal right to serve as Acting Director and raising concerns about Mr. Mulvaney’s freeze on payments from the civil penalty fund.  They comment that while Mr. Mulvaney reportedly has stated that there would be exceptions to the freeze, “the vague ‘exceptions’ promised by Mr. Mulvaney smack of capriciousness.”

In addition to urging Ms. English and Mr. Mulvaney to continue administering the fund, they ask a series of questions to which answers are requested by December 5.  The questions concern the details of the freeze, its impact, and the nature of any exceptions. 

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About this Author

Kaplinksy, partner, New York, finance

Alan S. Kaplinsky is Co-Practice Leader of the firm's Consumer Financial Services Group, which has more than 115 lawyers. Mr. Kaplinsky devotes his practice exclusively to counseling financial institutions on bank regulatory and transactional matters, particularly consumer financial services law, and defending financial institutions that have been sued by consumers in individual and class action lawsuits and by government enforcement agencies. Visit Mr. Kaplinsky's profile in Wikipedia.