Kraninger Makes First TV Appearance, Talks About Proposed Debt Collection Rule

In her first televised interview since becoming Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Kathy Kraninger mentioned the agency’s proposed debt collection rule and talked about its upcoming symposium on attempting to define what constitutes an abusive practice under Dodd-Frank.

Participating on “Bloomberg Markets: What’d You Miss?” yesterday, Kraninger took questions about the CFPB’s mission, was asked to comment about criticisms from Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.], whether she thinks the CFPB should be run by a commission instead of a single leader, and how the agency is protecting veterans.

Speaking about the mission Congress imparted on the CFPB, Kraninger referenced that the agency is attempting to update the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which has largely been untouched since it was enacted in 1977.

“We are really engaged in the process to solicit comments and to get evidence and data to make sure we make the best possible decision,” Kraninger said during the interview. “And we’re engaged in additional research on disclosures that will be aimed at helping consumers.”

Kraninger also referenced a symposia series the CFPB is holding on different topics. The first one, scheduled for June 25, will seek input from different stakeholders about how to define “abusive” in regulating unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices under the Dodd-Frank law.

“We’re starting a conversation” on what defines abusive,” Kraninger said. “It’s a really challenging issue that the CFPB was given in Dodd-Frank to move out on, including thinking what abusiveness means beyond the statutory definition so we’ve launched a symposia series. We’re going to bring in experts from all sides of the issue to help us think about it.”

When question about whether she has weakened the CFPB under her directorship, Kraninger pivoted the conversation to pointing out her emphasis is on enforcing the laws that Congress empowered the CFPB to protect.

We all care about protecting consumers,” Kraninger said. “We just have different ways to do it. And I am focused on the four tools we have, starting with education first and foremost with the consumer and empowering the consumer to make the best choices for themselves. They’re in the best position to make those decisions and we have to make sure they are getting the information they need to make those decisions.”

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