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  • Biden names Slaughter acting FTC Chair

    Federal Issues

    On January 21, President Biden designated FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as acting Chair of the agency. According to the FTC’s announcement, Slaughter—who has served as a Commissioner since May 2018—is known for advocating for greater resources for the FTC and promoting equity and inclusion efforts. Slaughter has also championed for aggressive use of FTC’s authorities, and “has also been particularly outspoken about combatting systemic racism, growing threats to competition, and the broad abuse of consumers’ data.”

    FTC Biden

  • Biden freezes regulations

    Federal Issues

    On January 20, the Biden administration issued a memo directing the heads of executive departments and agencies across the federal government to “immediately withdraw” or delay action on any pending regulations not yet published in the Federal Register. The memo, among other things, directs departments and agencies to withdraw any new finalized rules that have not yet been published in the Federal Register in order to seek approval from a department or agency head appointed or designated by President Biden. Departments and agencies are also encouraged to “consider” 60-day postponements for published rules that have not taken effect yet to allow for 30-day public comment periods and to consider petitions for reconsideration. The memo, which does not specify which departments or agencies are covered, allows for exceptions in “emergency situations or other urgent circumstances relating to health, safety, environmental, financial, or national security matters, or otherwise.”

    Federal Issues Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Biden

  • Waters recommends Biden reverse several of Trump's actions

    Federal Issues

    On December 4, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters (D-CA) sent a letter to President-Elect Biden providing a list of regulations and other executive actions taken by the Trump administration that the Biden administration should immediately reverse, as well as recommendations for strengthening other regulations. Among other things, Waters recommended that the Biden administration (i) issue an executive order to prevent evictions by “directing the CDC to extend and improve its public health order so people can remain in their homes until emergency rental assistance is available”; (ii) amend HUD and FHFA policies that impose restrictions and increased costs for certain loans that go into forbearance prior to FHA endorsement or purchase by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to ensure these loans are still eligible for FHA insurance and purchase by Fannie and Freddie; and (iii) fully use Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act lending authorities, many of which will terminate at the end of December (covered by InfoBytes here).

    Waters also urged the Biden administration to take measures to ensure consumer protections, including by, among other things, dismissing Director Kathy Kraninger, enforcing CARES Act protections, and directing the CFPB to (i) issue guidance to financial institutions to ensure affected borrowers are afforded “appropriate forbearance and loan modifications”; (ii) “work to replace the ’Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans’ rule with [one] that protects consumers from predatory lenders”; (iii) restore the Bureau’s Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity’s roles and responsibilities; and (iv) rescind its recently issued final rule amending certain debt collection rules (covered by InfoBytes here), and instead strengthen “consumer protections against abusive debt collection practices.” Other recommendations address diversity and inclusion, financial stability, investor protection, affordable housing, and international development.

    Federal Issues Biden House Financial Services Committee FHA HUD Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Mortgages CARES Act Covid-19 CFPB

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