Director Kraninger Remarks During Financial Stability Oversight Council Meeting
Thank you, Secretary Mnuchin, for calling this meeting of the FSOC. In addition earlier this week, you convened the Financial Literacy and Education Commission. It was also a productive meeting where members highlighted the significant actions being taken to support Americans during this challenging time.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our country, our economy, and our individual lives. At the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we are focused on protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. That entails ensuring consumers have information on their rights, protections, and options as well as ensuring financial institutions are in compliance with federal consumer financial law.
Through robust engagement with financial institutions, consumer advocates, government partners, and the public directly, the Bureau monitors what is happening in the market and takes appropriate action. My first example is through our consumer complaint system which saw record volumes in March and April. As we assist individual consumers with complaints, we also identify broader challenges. In the mortgage space, we heard a common concern early on regarding balloon payments at the end of the CARES Act forbearance period. While the CARES Act did not specify the accommodation to come after forbearance, the intent, reiterated by regulators, is clearly to help consumers through this uncertain time. In coordination with HUD and FHFA, the Bureau has clarified that an immediate lump sum payment will not be required of consumers who cannot afford one.
Further, we have continued to build upon our education tools. Just last week, we partnered with HUD and FHFA to launch consumerfinance.gov/housing to be the one stop shop that consumers can turn to for the latest, most accurate information on housing protections and options during the pandemic.
The Bureau has utilized our three other tools of regulation, supervision, and enforcement to protect consumers. We have issued rules, policy statements, and FAQs to provide financial institutions with clarity and flexibility in complying with laws concerning mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, credit cards, remittances, credit reporting, and other markets. The Bureau has also developed a new, targeted supervisory approach, called Prioritized Assessments, to focus on those markets and institutions that pose the greatest risk of consumer harm as a result of pandemic-related issues.
As the pandemic response continues to evolve, the Bureau stands ready to support consumers and remains committed to its important mission. Thank you.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.