On Thursday, March 21, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it is seeking applications for its advisory committees, including the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB). According to the announcement, the CFPB is looking for experts from both sides of the aisle, including consumer advocates, experts in consumer financial products or services (such as debt collection and credit reporting), as well as academics with economic and public policy backgrounds.
Applications, which can be found here, are due by May 5, 2019.
Earlier this month, Director Kathy Kraninger received backlash from Congress regarding her predecessor’s decision to disband all of the CFPB’s advisory boards. This occurred during both the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee hearings where Director Kraninger testified as part of the CFPB’s annual report to Congress. Former Acting Director Mick Mulvaney disbanded the advisory boards in June 2018, citing that they were too large and too costly. However, Mulvaney re-established the advisory boards, including the CAB, in September 2018, which was not mentioned at all during the congressional hearings.
To date, only two ARM industry representatives have been selected to the CAB: Joann Needleman, former NARCA (now known as National Creditors Bar Association, or NCBA) president and currently a partner with Clark Hill, served a three-year term which ended in August 2017; Ohad Samet, the CEO of debt collection firm True Accord, began a three-year term in September 2017 that was cut short by Mulvaney’s decision to disband the advisory boards. The CAB re-established in September 2018 as a much smaller group did not contain any ARM industry representatives.
With the current application’s specific reference to seeking industry experts in debt collection, the industry may see representation on the CAB yet again.