A New Turn for the Consumer Financial Protection Bill

At about noon today, NCRC President and CEO John Taylor announced to attendees of his organization’s annual conference that the bipartisan attempt at crafting a Consumer Protection Financial Agency that would regulate mortgages and credit cards had stalled, and that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, would begin to piece together a bill without GOP input.

The bad news, Taylor said, was that the talks had stalled. The good news, he added, was that Democrats would go it alone. The reason for this was not knock against bipartisanship, but because many on the right have supported that any regulatory agency be housed in an existing arena: be it the Federal Reserve or Treasury, and how much regulatory power it should have. Revised legislation from Dodd will likely stipulate an independent overseer of a CFPA with wide-ranging regulatory powers.

According to The New York Times:

While the two parties have agreed to create some form of a consumer financial protection agency, they have not agreed on where to house it, or, more importantly, how much authority it should have to write and enforce rules curbing abusive, unfair and deceptive practices.

CFPA, as Dodd has proposed it, “could increase regulatory oversight and enforcement of CRA and other critically important consumer laws,” Taylor wrote in a recent article in Shelterforce, and today he led a roomful of housing advocates in an impromptu phone banking session to senators to encourage the formation of a CFPA with independent oversight. Taylor has long supported Dodd’s bill over the companion bill in the House, coming out of the Housing Financial Services Committee, which Taylor contends takes oversight away from the agency and in the hands of “the same regulators who had failed to enforce it for many years,” rendering it toothless.

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