Only ARM Industry Rep on CFPB’s CAB Shares Perspective on Canceled Meetings


The lone member of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s Consumer Advisory Board who has ties to the ARM industry is willing to give acting director Mick Mulvaney the benefit of the doubt after he has canceled a CAB meeting that was supposed to be held today.

A number of the members of the CAB have joined together to voice their displeasure at how Mulvaney is not interacting with the board compared with former director Richard Cordray. A group of 15 members wrote the CFPB a letter last month expressing their concerns.

The undersigned members of the CAB are extremely concerned that that our collective input is not valued.

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Advisory Board is supposed to meet twice per year. In a blog post that was published earlier this year, the CFPB noted that 10 seats on the Consumer Advisory Board will become open later this year. Those on the Board now said they believe Mulvaney is waiting until he can appoint his own replacements before holding any meetings.

Ohad Samet, the Chief Executive of TrueAccord, is the only member of the 25-person Consumer Advisory Board with direct ties to the ARM industry. When reached by to share his perspective, here is what he wrote back:

Who knows the real reason Mulvaney canceled the meeting. We do know he is extremely busy running two governmental offices and with his time at the CFPB coming to an end he may be focused on higher priorities. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and either ask him why they were canceled or see if we can still meet the requirements under Dodd-Frank. The CFPB is committed to two Advisory Board meetings a year and we have seven more months. One of TrueAccord’s operating principles is “Assume Best Intentions” and I plan to do so here. I absolutely agree the meetings and calls are productive and am always happy to participate when they occur.

Of the 25 members on the Consumer Advisory Board, a number of them are consumer advocates or from consumer protection groups. They are they ones who are standing up and calling out Mulvaney for the decision to cancel the meeting. In their letter, the authors lay out some of the topics that have been discussed at CAB meetings because of Mulvaney’s “lack of familiarity” with what has been achieved. One of the topics is debt collection. Here is what was said:

Debt Collection: The members of the CAB have discussed problems with debt collection from all perspectives in an effort to advise the CFPB how best to develop regulations to govern the industry. In our group meetings, the consumer advocates were able to come face-to-face, colleague-to-colleague with individuals who collect debts and their counsel. These open and frank discussions have opened the eyes of each of the participants, no matter the “side” as to the problems and potential solutions that should or should not be addressed through the rule-making process.


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