President Trump Designates OMB Director Mick Mulvaney as Acting Director of CFPB Amid Controversy

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On November 27, 2017, the White House released a statement supporting the legality of President Donald J. Trump’s designation of Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as the Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) just days after the CFPB announced that Leandra English had been officially named Deputy Director of the agency.

The CFPB’s General Counsel supported the White House’s legal position after questions were raised as to whether the President had the authority under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) to designate Mulvaney as the Acting Director of the CFPB over English, who previously had served as the agency’s chief of staff, following the resignation of former Director Richard Cordray on November 24, 2017.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel also supported the White House’s legal position: “You have asked whether the President may designate an Acting Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“CFPB”) upon the resignation of the Director. This opinion confirms the oral advice that we gave you before the Director’s resignation took effect at the end of November 24, 2017.”

The White House – which is aware of a lawsuit filed by English against Trump and Mulvaney to block Mulvaney’s appointment – stated: “Now that the CFPB’s own General Counsel – who was hired under Richard Cordray – has notified the Bureau’s leadership that she agrees with the Administration’s and DOJ’s reading of the law, there should be no question that Director Mulvaney is the Acting Director.”

The White House also stated that President Trump “looks forward to seeing Director Mulvaney take a common sense approach to leading the CFPB’s dedicated staff, an approach that will empower consumers to make their own financial decisions and facilitate investment in our communities. Director Mulvaney will serve as Acting Director until a permanent director is nominated and confirmed.”

President Trump had originally designated Mulvaney as CFPB Acting Director on November 24, 2017, the same day the CFPB named English Deputy Director after the resignation of former Director Cordray. On November 29, 2017, CNN reported that a federal judge hearing the case over who rightfully can lead the CFPB denied a request to block President Trump from installing Mulvaney as Acting Director.

Created in the wake of the great financial crisis in the fall of 2008, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. The Act authorized the creation of the CFPB, which has the authority to take action against institutions or individuals engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices, or violating federal consumer financial laws.

In August 2017, ESR News reported that the CFPB ordered JP Morgan Chase Bank to pay a $4.6 million penalty for failing to comply with obligations outlined in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) related to the accuracy of information about consumer behavior provided for checking account screening reports.  Along with the penalty, the CFPB also required Chase to implement policy changes.

In September 2016, ESR News reported that the CFPB fined Wells Fargo Bank $100 million – the largest penalty the CFPB ever imposed – “for the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts.” Under the Consent Order, Wells Fargo will also pay $35 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and $50 million to the City and County of Los Angeles.

ESR News also reported that in October of 2015 the CFPB ordered two of the nation’s largest employment screening background check firms to correct their practices, provide $10.5 million in relief to harmed consumers, and pay a $2.5 million civil penalty for allegedly failing “to take basic steps to provide accurate background screening reports to employers about job.”

Beginning on January 1, 2013, the CFPB also took over the responsibility from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of maintaining two important forms for job applicants and employers mandated by the FCRA to use for employment background checks: “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” and “NOTICE TO USERS OF CONSUMER REPORTS: OBLIGATIONS OF USERS UNDER THE FCRA.”

More Information about the CFPB from ESR

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm – is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and undergoes yearly SOC 2® data audits to ensure the accuracy of the information included in background checks as required by the CFPB. For more ESR News blogs about the CFPB, visit www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/cfpb/.

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