In his first public remarks, Dave Uejio, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday shared a statement he had sent to all the agency’s employees, pledging to take “aggressive action” to ensure companies regulated by the CFPB “follow the law and meet their obligations” to assist consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also promised to reverse policies “of the last administration that weakened enforcement and supervision.”
The statement outlines the CFPB’s priorities while Uejio is acting director, awaiting the confirmation by the Senate of Rohit Chopra to be the CFPB’s next permanent director. Uejio, who has worked at the CFPB since 2011, said the CFPB will be focused on two things while he is running the Bureau:
- Relief for consumers facing hardship due to COVID-19 and the related economic crisis
- Racial equity
Uejio pledged to take “swift action” to help consumers during the pandemic rather than “sweeping up after the fact.” Uejio referenced a number of findings that the CFPB published in its most recent Supervisory Highlights, which assessed the response to the pandemic by companies regulated by the CFPB. Those included a number of issues related to debt collection, such as providing incomplete and inaccurate information about forbearances and collecting and assessing late fees even though loans had been approved for a forbearance, withdrawing money from accounts even though loan payments had been deferred, and mis-reporting information to credit reporting agencies in violation of the CARES Act.
“These are just a few examples that show the types of harms consumers are suffering and the meaningful impact that strong oversight could have on the country’s recovery effort,” Uejio said. “Moving forward, the CFPB will take aggressive action to ensure that regulated companies follow the law and meet their obligations to assist consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The CFPB’s Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending Division has been tasked with expediting enforcement investigations related to COVID-19.