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Politics & Money

Industry prays for clarity but expects no mercy from Chopra

Affordable housing advocates hope that enforcement, which dwindled under the Trump administration, will return to previous heights

Rohit Chopra

Affordable housing and consumer advocates hailed Rohit Chopra’s confirmation as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director, but industry stakeholders hope the watchdog agency will not catch them off guard.

The mortgage industry widely expects the CFPB to increase enforcement under Chopra. It remains to be seen how aggressive that enforcement will be, but industry stakeholders hope the CFPB will understand how much has changed since the subprime lending crisis and post-recession reforms.

“Today’s mortgage market is the safest it has been in decades,” said Bob Broeksmit, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Broeksmit said the MBA hopes to work with Chopra to sustain that progress, and “provide clarity and consistency in the guidance given to lenders.”

Rather than issuing clear, predictable guidance, the mortgage industry fears the CFPB will pursue headline-grabbing, high-profile enforcement actions. Some, including ranking Senate Banking Committee member, Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, have said the CFPB engages in regulation by enforcement.

Ahead of the Senate’s nomination vote, which split along party lines, Toomey said that Chopra’s nomination would return the agency to “the lawless, overreaching, highly politicized agency it was during the Obama administration.”

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