D.C. Circuit Grants PHH Request to Respond to Solicitor General’s Brief

Over the objections of the CFPB, the D.C. Circuit today granted the request of PHH Corp. to file a supplemental brief responding to arguments in support of en banc review that were raised for the first time in a brief filed by the U.S. Solicitor General on the December 22, 2016.  PHH’s supplemental brief is due on or before January 27, 2017.  For additional background, please see our summaries of the panel decision, the CFPB’s petition for rehearing, and the D.C. Circuit’s order directing PHH to respond and the Solicitor General to provide views.


CFPB Announces Leadership Changes

On January 6, the CFPB announced several leadership changes. Specifically, Leandra English is returning to the CFPB to serve as the Chief of Staff; Jerry Horton will serve as the CFPB’s Chief Information Officer; Paul Kantwill will serve as the Bureau’s Assistant Director for Servicemember Affairs; John McNamara will serve as Assistant Director of Consumer Lending, Reporting, and Collections Markets; and Elizabeth (Eli) Reilly will serve as the CFPB’s Chief Financial Officer.

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Rep. Wilson Introduces Bill to Delay Fiduciary Rule

On January 6, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) introduced the Protecting American Families’ Retirement Advice Act, a bill that would delay by two years the effective date of the Department of Labor’s “fiduciary rule.” As discussed previously on InfoBytes, the fiduciary rule—which is presently set to take effect in April 2017—expands the definition of “investment advisor” to include a “wider array of advice relationships,” thereby imparting new standards on financial advisors and brokers handling retirement accounts. In a statement, Rep. Wilson described the Fiduciary Rule as “one of the most costly, burdensome regulations to come from the Obama Administration.” Wilson’s proposed legislation seeks to delay the rule’s implementation in order to “giv[e] Congress and President-elect Donald Trump adequate time to re-evaluate.”


Trump Announces CFPB Transition Team

On January 5, 2016, the Trump Transition team announced the names of the four individuals assigned to lead the President-elect’s CFPB “Landing Team.” Generally, each landing team is tasked with collect information on each agency—ranging from the agency’s budget and policies to the status of various rulemakings and the current administration’s priorities—all with the overarching purpose of facilitating an orderly transfer of power at the federal financial regulators. The CFPB Landing Team includes:

  • Paul Atkins, former GOP Commissioner for the SEC and current CEO of Patomak Global Partners LLC, which provides consulting services concerning financial services industry matters, regulatory compliance, risk and crisis management, public affairs, independent reviews, litigation support, and strategy.
  • Kyle Hauptman, Senior Development Manager and occasional writer about financial & political issues for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), member of the SEC’s Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies, and former chief economic adviser on the issues of Financial Markets, Housing to the Romney For President (RFP) campaign.
  • Consuala “CJ” Jordan, a public relations executive and Republican political consultant who is currently CEO of The Jordan Management Group, LLC, a full service Government Relations and Public Affairs Firm, specializing in strategic business development.
  • Julie B. Lindsay, Managing Director and General Counsel of Capital Markets and Corporate Reporting at Citigroup Inc., and former Counsel to Commissioner Glassman at the SEC.

GAO Issues Report on TARP Housing Programs

On January 11, the GAO announced the release of its report providing an update on the status and condition of Treasury’s TARP-funded housing programs as of October 31, 2016. According to the report, Treasury had disbursed nearly 60 percent or $22.6 billion of the $37.51 billion assigned to TARP for the purpose of helping struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. The report also notes that the GAO’s latest review yielded no new recommendations and that only five of the 29 recommendations GAO has previously made related to the TARP-funded housing programs remain open or not fully implemented. The report states that the GAO will continue to monitor and assess the status of these recommendations.