On March 28, 2018, NAR sent a letter thanking Reps. Ross (FL-R), Sinema (AZ-D), Scott (GA-D), and Wagner (MO-R) for introducing H.R. 5266, the "Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2018." This legislation would transition the governance structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from a sole director to a five-person, bipartisan commission.
Due to its critical mission of consumer protection related to financial products and services, the CFPB's authority is too important and vast to be controlled by a single individual. With every new presidential administration, rules, guidance, and other decisions made by a sole director at the CFPB may be unendingly overturned by each new director. This creates enormous regulatory uncertainty for financial services and real estate industries, which ultimately harms consumers, small businesses, and the overall economy.
A bipartisan commission at the CFPB would strengthen the governance of the CFPB, prevent it from becoming a political football, allow for a diverse set of voices regardless of who sits in the White House, and ensure its longevity.
Furthermore, in order to safeguard consumers and continue encouraging responsible lending practices, NAR believes the CFPB should remain independent from the Congressional appropriations process, preserving the existing funding from the Federal Reserve. Such independence shields the agency from political pressures and bureaucratic impediments that may inhibit agency operations and protection of consumer financial interests.
In conclusion, H.R. 5266 will improve accountability, transparency and policy consistency at the CFPB. A more reliable consumer financial advocacy agency would bolster real estate professionals' role as trusted advisors to advance tour nation's pursuit of responsible homeownership.