'We Don't Know Which CFPB Rules to Follow:' Credit Union CEO
A New York credit union president says she doesn’t know which CFPB rules to follow, adding that the battle over the agency’s leadership has caused regulatory chaos at her institution.
As a result, Linda Levy, CEO of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, said her credit union “does not know if, or for how much longer, existing CFPB rules will remain in effect, or if planned-for CFPB rules will in fact be going into effect as expected.”
Levy on Tuesday asked a federal judge to consider who the rightful acting head of the agency should be on an expedited schedule, contending that CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English is the proper interim director.
When agency Director Richard Cordray resigned, he appointed English as deputy director. Cordray and English argue that under Dodd-Frank, English is the proper acting director since the law states that the deputy serves as director when the director is absent or unavailable.
However, the Trump Administration argues that under the Federal Vacancies Act, Trump has the power to appoint an interim director. And President Trump designated Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as the interim agency head.
Levy has sued over the issue, as has English.
“Mr. Mulvaney has no more right to lead the agency than Santa Claus,” Levy’s attorneys, Ilan M. Maazel and Debra L. Greenberger, argue in documents filed in the case on Tuesday.
Levy contends that Mulvaney is dedicated to dismantling the CFPB.
She said most of the members of her credit union are low-income people who are vulnerable to the predatory lending practices and other misconduct that the CFPB polices.
She said the uncertainty makes it difficult for its credit union to determine its compliance practices.
For instance, she said that credit union officials are unclear about whether to prepare to comply with new CFPB Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rules. Those rules are scheduled to go into effect on January 1.
However, the rules are controversial, and they may be among those that Mulvaney seeks to roll back.
Mulvaney has limited ability to roll back rules on his own, but could render them meaningless by simply refusing to act to enforce them.
She said that her credit union offers financial counseling to its members and assists them in filing complaints with the CFPB using the agency’s consumer complaint portal. She said that Mulvaney may restrict public access to that portal.