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Politics & MoneyMortgage

CFPB Deputy Director Steven Antonakes steps down

Resigns in internal employee memo

The deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Steven Antonakes, announced in an internal memo to employees that he is stepping down, the CFPB confirmed in an email to HousingWire.

Antonakes is also the associate director for supervision, enforcement, and fair lending at the CFPB. 

Here is the memo Antonakes sent to CFPB staff.

Dear Colleagues,

Having commuted from Boston for nearly five years, I have logged hundreds of thousands of miles and missed entirely too many class plays, teacher conference meetings, and little league games.  Accordingly, I have decided to return home to Massachusetts and pursue opportunities that will ensure that I am home for dinner with my wife and family and can assist my five children with their homework.

I want to express my gratitude and reinforce just how proud I am of all of you. I began this journey in November 2010 and was excited by the idea of building a new institution charged with and equipped to appropriately oversee our nation’s consumer financial markets. Despite having arrived with a deep background in this field, I have learned so much from you.

I will be forever grateful for Director Cordray’s leadership and the opportunities that he has provided me. Looking back, more so than any particular accomplishment – and there have been many, I will remember most fondly the friendships and the time we spent working together toward our shared goals. My time at the Bureau has been the apex of my 25 years in government and bank regulation. I have been blessed to do worthwhile and interesting work alongside, smart, tenacious, and dedicated public servants.

It is in many ways a bittersweet decision. However, I am confident that this team will continue to do great work for American consumers. I wish you all the best. Thank you.

Steve

The CFPB named Steve Antonakes as deputy director back in September 2013, and since then, he has made a name in the industry for his sometimes shocking speeches.

During the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 2014 National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo, Antonakes raised eyebrows in a room full of mortgage servicers in the opening session by saying, "Nearly eight years have passed and I remain deeply disappointed by the lack of progress the mortgage servicing industry has made.”

Antonakes' statement received a response from David Stevens, MBA president and CEO, saying, “But this audience is the people who are doing the work. These are not CEOs of large companies; these are heads of servicing operations. They are compliance and quality control individuals coming here to make sure they are staying compliant.” 

Antonakes also sparked a lot of rumors back in March 2015 after suggesting that the CFPB could delay the Integrated Disclosure deadline in a speech to the Consumer Bankers Association.

The CFPB later put out a statement saying, “We have no plans to delay the deadline on the new mortgage disclosure forms. The industry should be prepared to begin using the new forms for loans with an initial application submitted on or after Aug. 1.” (Note: The CFPB did end up delaying TRID)

In response to the news of Antonakes' resignation, CFPB Director Richard Cordray sent the following email:

Steve has been an enormous asset to the Bureau, and a great friend and colleague to me since our time together in SEFL in the early days of the Bureau. His contributions to this agency have been extensive in his dual roles as Deputy Director and SEFL Associate Director, and I know many of you share my appreciation for all his work.

 I have great respect for Steve’s decision to move closer to his family given my own situation with a weekly interstate commute. It is not easy to juggle work at the Bureau with family far away during the week, and Steve has done so incredibly well.

 We will provide additional information in the coming weeks about Acting responsibilities for both the Deputy Director and SEFL Associate Director roles.  For now please join me in thanking Steve for his exceptional service to the Bureau and to American consumers.

 Sincerely,

 Rich

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