As the COVID-19 crisis wanes, so will emergency protections adopted in spring 2020 with the intention of keeping U.S. residents in their houses and apartments during the pandemic. California intends to exercise its new muscles on behalf of residents easing back into the normal flow of housing financial responsibilities, making the most of new authorities it has with the enactment on Jan. 1 of the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL).
The law expands the staff of the rechristened Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (previously known as the Department of Business Oversight) by about 90 more staffers and the budget by 15%, to fuel the department’s expanded vision. The wider scope of the department’s authority coincided with the wilting of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Trump administration.
Now, under the Biden administration, the CFPB is reinvigorated. This means that housing financial services companies and adjacent industries, such as the credit report sector, face strengthened regulators at both the state and federal levels.
California will make the most it, said DFPI Commissioner Manual Alvarez.
“Coming out of the recovery, our focus in California is to ensure that vulnerable populations are as protected as they can be and that we can do what we can to educate the public about rights and resources, especially in respect to housing and mortgage assistance. That’s priority one,” Alvarez said. “We have to be sure Californians come out of the economic recovery as best as possible.”