September 22, 2020

Volume X, Number 266

September 21, 2020

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Mulvaney reorganizes CFPB Office of Fair Lending

In an email to CFPB staff, Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s designee as CFPB Acting Director, has indicated that he plans to make changes to the CFPB’s organizational structure to best enable the CFPB to fulfill its statutorily-mandated activities in a way that avoids redundancy and makes the best use of the CFPB’s resources.

The email describes two initial changes to be made by Mr. Mulvaney.  The first change is to relocate the Office of Consumer Response from the Operations Division to the Community Education and Engagement Division.

The second change is to transfer the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity (OFLEO) from the Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending Division (SEFL) to the Director’s Office, where it will become part of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Fairness (OEOF).  In his email, Mr. Mulvaney stated that OFLEO “will continue to focus on advocacy, coordination, and education, while its current supervision and enforcement functions will remain in SEFL.”

The OEOF oversees equal employment, diversity, and inclusion at the CFPB, and has no enforcement role.  As a result, once it is part of the OEOF, it appears the OFLEO would no longer have any involvement in fair lending supervision or enforcement.  While it appears fair lending supervision and enforcement would remain in the SEFL, those activities would be performed by SEFL staffers whose responsibilities are not limited to fair lending.

Mr. Mulvaney’s reorganization plan has quickly provoked criticism from consumer advocacy groups who believe it will undermine the CFPB’s fair lending initiatives.

Copyright © by Ballard Spahr LLPNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 33

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About this Author

Christoper Willis, Partner, Ballard Spahr law firm, Consumer Financial Services Litigation attorney
Partner

Christopher J. Willis is Practice Leader of the firm's Consumer Financial Services Litigation Group. He devotes his practice to assisting financial services institutions facing government investigations and examinations, counseling them on fair lending risk and compliance assessments, and defending them in individual and class action lawsuits brought by consumers and enforcement actions brought by government agencies.

Mr. Willis also chairs the firm's Fair Lending Task Force. His clients span the financial services industry and include banks and...

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