NY DFS Brings Back Consumer Protection Council

The New York Department of Financial Services yesterday announced it was relaunching its Consumer Protection Advisory Council, and that the group has already held its first meeting.

Along with bringing the group out of mothballs, the DFS also sought to expand Council’s membership, adding 14 new members, bringing the overall size of the group to 25 representatives, most of them from consumer advocacy organizations.

The Who: The members of the Consumer Protection Advisory Council are:

  • Chuck Bell, Consumer Reports 
  • Elizabeth Benjamin, Community Service Society  
  • Rev. Mark E. Blue, Buffalo NAACP* 
  • Mike Calhoun, Center for Responsible Lending* 
  • Joseph Canovas, New York State AFL-CIO* 
  • Alexandria Chun, Student Assembly of the State University of New York*  
  • Carolyn Coffey, Mobilization for Justice 
  • Carolyn Fast, The Century Foundation* 
  • Beth Finkel, New York State Office, AARP 
  • Anthony Gaddy, Upstate New York Black Chamber of Commerce* 
  • Ann L. Goldweber, St. John’s University School of Law* 
  • Jacob (Jay) Inwald, Legal Services NYC 
  • Paul Kantwill, Loyola University Chicago School of Law 
  • Neha M. Karambelkar, Western New York Law Center 
  • Kirsten E. Keefe, Empire Justice Center 
  • Katie M. Keith, Out2Enroll* 
  • Peter Kochenburger, University of Connecticut Law School  
  • Frankie Miranda, Hispanic Federation  
  • Mike Pierce, Student Borrower Protection Center* 
  • Hasani Pratt, Higher Heights for America* 
  • Cy Richardson, National Urban League  
  • Ana Rua, Crown Castle* 
  • Lauren Saunders, National Consumer Law Center* 
  • Yevgeny Shrago, Public Citizen’s Climate Program*  
  • Barika Williams, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development* 

* denotes new members

What They are Saying: “Engagement with all stakeholders is a critical component of the new DFS we are building where policymaking is data driven and collaborative,” said Adrienne A. Harris, the Superintendent of the DFS. “The expanded, more diverse Consumer Protection Advisory Council will aid the Department in making decisions that are transparent and fair, and in surfacing the best solutions for individuals, families, and small businesses, no matter their location, age, gender, sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity.”

Why This Matters: New York has long been been one of the most aggressive states to regulate the debt collection industry. The DFS is currently working on a rule related to debt collection that is seen as its version of Regulation F. The comment period for the rule closed in February and the industry is waiting to see what the final rule will look like. Could this new Consumer Protection Advisory Council have a chance to impact what the final rule will look like? What happens to the rule if it does?

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