On Thursday, November 15, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray announced he would be leaving his role at the agency at the end of the month. Director Cordray’s five-year term was set to expire in July 2018, and he is rumored to be running for Governor of Ohio. This early departure will likely result in a slowdown of activity at the CFPB until a new leader is in place.
It is unclear who that leader will be, as the Acting Deputy Director, David Silberman, does not necessarily automatically fill the void. The President could allow Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to take control and appoint an interim director who could serve for an extended period of time until the Senate confirms a new director. There are several individuals rumored to fill the director role including the Vice President’s Chief Economist Mark Calabria, George Mason University law professor Todd Zywicki, outgoing House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Rep. French Hill (R-AK), former Rep. Neugebauer (R-TX), Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Fannie Mae Brian Brooks, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, or outgoing acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Keith Noreika.
At the May NAR Legislative meetings, NAR adopted policy advocating for a five-member commission structure to lead the CFPB, but reports indicate the Administration is unlikely to pursue such a structural change given that Congress must enact legislation to do this and the many hurdles such a proposal will face for passage. When the new director is appointed, the agency could take a new direction in regards to enforcement actions and pending rulemakings.
Updates will be provided as decisions are made regarding this vacancy.