Meet Rohit Chopra, the new director of CFPB
The mortgage industry collectively shuddered today when the Senate approved Rohit Chopra as director of the Financial consumer protection office for a five-year term.
Consumer credit experts and mortgage regulatory compliance lawyers wait Chopra, a sidekick of Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, to step up CFPB law enforcement activities. The vote was split 50-48 in favor of Chopra.
Pennsylvania Republican Senator Patrick Toomey said that under Chopra, the CFPB would revert to “rule making through enforcement.” Toomey said Chopra tweeted allegations about the credit unions, which he said were later withdrawn by the CFPB, indicating that Chopra would be willing to “shoot first and ask questions later,” did he declare.
Former CFPB director Kathy Kraninger, now a lobbyist at a cryptocurrency firm, tended to pursue coercive action against small enterprises, and not as often as the old CFPB regime. Observers expect Chopra to lead the CFPB in the spirit of its first director, Richard Cordray, who ran the agency from 2012 to 2017 and recovered $ 12 billion in fines from banks such as Wells fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.
Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, spoke out in favor of Chopra’s appointment.
Gesturing outside the Senate chambers to lobbyists swarming in the lobby, Brown said that “businesses and payday lenders all have high-priced lobbyists and have an outsized voice in this city.”
“The people Chopra will be paid to protect have no lobbyists, nor [political action committee], and definitely not a SuperPAC, ”said Brown.
This will be Chopra’s second stint at the consumer watchdog agency. In 2011, he was appointed CFPB student credit mediator. Chopra was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2018 for his current post at the Federal Trade Commission, where he lobbied for more aggressive remedies against big tech companies, like Facebook, by dissenting opinions.
President Joe Biden appointed Chopra in January. But his March confirmation hearing ended in a tie, which forced the nomination to go to the full Senate, after telling the Senate Banking Committee that the CFPB should look into “looming issues with abstentions.”
“I don’t want to see another foreclosure crisis in this country,” Chopra told the committee. “And we need to do everything we can to make sure the laws are obeyed and owners can navigate their options.”
“In the mortgage market, fair and effective oversight can promote a resilient and competitive financial sector and address systemic inequalities faced by families of color,” Chopra said in her opening statement. “Perhaps more importantly, administering consumer protection laws can help families choose their options to save their homes.”