The CFPB has announced the appointment of Robert G. Cameron to serve as the Bureau's Private Education Loan Ombudsman. Cameron replaces Seth Frotman, who previously served as CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman and resigned in August 2018.
Cameron joins the CFPB from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), a student loan servicer, where he oversaw litigation, compliance, and risk mitigation efforts as deputy chief counsel. The Bureau's press release notes that Cameron has also served in Pennsylvania's Treasury Department and in the Governor's Office of General Counsel, and is a Colonel and Staff Judge Advocate for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
The Dodd-Frank Act created the role of the Private Education Loan Ombudsman in 2010. The ombudsman oversees the handling and review of, and attempts to resolve, complaints from student loan borrowers. The ombudsman also helps develop Bureau policies by analyzing complaint data and making recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury, the CFPB Director, the Secretary of Education, and Congress.
The CFPB's use of the formal statutory title of "Private Education Loan Ombudsman" in place of the informal title of "Student Loan Ombudsman" previously used by the Bureau further highlights the uncertainties regarding the CFPB's oversight of federal student loan servicers. According to statements made by Director Kraninger, Cameron's first task may be assisting in negotiating a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Education Department (the existing MOU having been terminated effective October 1, 2017), which could shape the future (if any) of CFPB supervision of federal student loan servicers.