It’s a thankless job, but it’s one that Ohad Samet has sought for years. And he finally got it.
Samet was one of six new additions to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board. Samet will serve a three-year term on the board, which, according to the CFPB, is “charged with identifying and assessing the impact of emerging products, practices, or services on consumers and other market participants.”
To be eligible to be selected for the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), individuals must submit an application, provide references, and be interviewed by the agency. It’s almost exactly like getting a job. Everything except the getting paid part.
There are 28 members on the Consumer Advisory Board. Most recently, Joann Needleman, a former president of NARCA, the Creditor’s Bar Association and the leader of the Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance Practice Group at Clark Hill, was a member of the CAB. Her term just expired. While he said he did not directly talk to Needleman about the CAB, Samet did say he had discussions with Max Levchin, the founder of Affirm and one of the original founders of PayPal. Levchin is also an investor in TrueAccord.
Samet joins other newcomers:
- Randi Adelstein, Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, MasterCard International Inc.
- Patricia L. Arvielo, President and Co-Founder, New American Funding
- Julie Kalkowski, Executive Director, Financial Hope Collaborative, Creighton University
- Brent A. Neiser, Senior Director, National Endowment for Financial Education
- Ohad Samet, CEO, One True Holding Company
- Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh
“I believe we are going to have a substantive discussion about regulation,” Samet said in an exclusive interview with AccountsRecovery.net. “I feel like we’ll be able to provide a lot of face-to-face feedback and that is the best way to provide that.”
Samet is the only member of the CAB who is directly tied to the ARM industry, but he demurred when asked if he considered himself to be the voice of the industry on the committee.
“People need to engage with the CFPB,” Samet said.
Samet did say he would make it a priority to be more visible and attend more industry events so he can raise his level of awareness of the issues and concerns that members of the industry are experiencing.
Samet’s first CAB meeting will come this November in Tampa, Fla. He will also likely be placed on subcommittees within the CAB.
He is looking forward to interacting with the consumer advocates who are on the CAB, saying that the committee is “neutral” ground. Samet has been a huge advocate of using technology to improve the collection experience, for both collection agencies as well as consumers. His view is that his appointment to the CAB is an endorsement that the CFPB also thinks technology will have a role in shaping the financial services industry going forward.
“I want to talk about how maybe there is a different way” other than what has been done in the past, referring to a reliance on letters and phone calls, Samet said. “Change is coming. We need to embrace it.”