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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Ueijo says CFPB focus is on the economically vulnerable; urges attention to consumer complaints

Federal Issues CFPB Consumer Finance Consumer Complaints CFPB Succession Covid-19

Federal Issues

On February 10, CFPB acting Director Dave Uejio published a blog post sharing his “broad vision” for the Division of Consumer Education and External Affairs (CEEA). This guidance, Uejio emphasized, will help to immediately advance the Bureau’s policy priorities and protect economically vulnerable consumers, which includes making sure consumers who submit complaints to the Bureau “get the response and the relief they deserve.” Observing that some companies have not met their obligations to respond to consumer complaints, Uejio reiterated that “[i]t is the Bureau’s expectation that companies provide substantive responses that address the issues consumers describe in their complaints.” He also noted that because consumer advocates have identified disparities in certain companies’ responses to Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, he asked Consumer Response to provide an analysis identifying companies with poor track records on these issues. To achieve his goal of assisting economically vulnerable consumers, Uejio asked CEEA to take the following steps:

  • Target resources to ensure struggling homeowners in delinquency or at risk of foreclosure and renters at risk of eviction know their rights.
  • Increase coordination efforts with other agencies to provide assistance and information to at-risk homeowners and renters.
  • Collaborate with coalitions of stakeholders, including consumer advocates, civil rights groups, grassroots, community-based organizations, and individual consumers to ensure homeowners receive information and assistance in languages and terminology they understand.
  • Help ensure homeowners and renters can access HUD-approved housing counseling organizations so they can manage financial hardships due to Covid-19.
  • Take the lead on updating the Bureau’s website so it is more user friendly and focused on consumers rights, and expand the Bureau’s social media presence so consumers can be heard from directly.
  • Aggressively rebuild and repair the Bureau’s relationships with external stakeholders who support economically vulnerable consumers, including consumer, civil rights, racial justice, and tribal and Indigenous rights groups.

Since being named acting Director, Uejio has also published blog posts conveying his visions for the Division of Research, Markets, and Regulations and the Office of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending (covered by InfoBytes here and here).

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