Earlier this month CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger addressed the National Association of Attorneys General Capital Forum. Her remarks provided an overview of the CFPB's performance over the past year and insight into the Bureau's upcoming areas of focus. Kraninger's remarks focused on three key issues: 1) supervision and enforcement, 2) partnership with state governments and other federal agencies, and 3) updates on CFPB rulemaking activities, including the Payday Rule and proposed Debt Collection Rule.
Kraninger reaffirmed the CFPB's commitment to fulfilling its consumer protection mission. She highlighted the CFPB's use of supervision and enforcement as a means to prevent consumer harm. She stated that in 2019, the CFPB announced 22 enforcement actions and settled 22 judgments, generating a total of more than $777 million in consumer relief. Although Director Kraninger stressed that supervision and enforcement are not mechanisms for generating rules, she emphasized that the CFPB will not tolerate illegal conduct. Instead, she stressed that under her leadership the CFPB will continue to generate rules through a transparent and inclusive process that includes financial industry stakeholders.
Director Kraninger acknowledged the importance of partnerships in the CFPB's enforcement success. Her remarks addressed the CFPB's partnerships with state governments and other federal agencies. Notably, the CFPB partnered with the Federal Trade Commission and state governments in claims involving illegal debt collections, deceptive marketing of student loan debt relief products, and illegal administration of high-interest credit to veterans. In her comments, Director Kraninger also publicized the American Consumer Financial Innovation Network (ACFIN), a partnership with state regulators that promotes innovation in consumer financial products and services. The CFPB hopes to address regulatory certainty and enhance coordination through these partnerships.
Finally, Director Kraninger addressed small-dollar loan regulation and debt collection. She again stressed the importance of state partnerships in proposing regulations, specifically in areas where states maintain considerable experience. Director Kraninger noted that the CFPB is currently reviewing comments on its proposal to reconsider the mandatory underwriting provisions to the 2017 rule. Director Kraninger expressed her concerns that the rule would make "credit less readily available to consumers." However, she "maintain[s] an open mind about the final rulemaking and the Bureau's efforts related to payday lending." Director Kraninger also spoke about CFPB's 2019 Debt Collection Rule proposal. The CFPB is currently reviewing comments to the proposed rulemaking. Moving toward 2020, the CFPB plans to issue a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on time-barred consumer debt disclosures. The CFPB anticipates that reconciling these disclosures will provide clarity for consumers and reduce uncertainty for debt collectors.