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MRAA keeps its eye on CFPD

Tuesday, August 7, 2012   (0 Comments)
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What follows is a summary of a recent article published by the Senate Republican Policy Committee on its concerns over the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As a reminder, MRAA worked with a maritime lawyer in New York City and the National Automobile Dealers Association to secure an exemption for boat dealers in the originating language that was signed into law by the President. However, MRAA continues to follow this issue very closely because a small group of associations and lawyers are communicating with the Bureau protesting the boat dealer exemption.

The Republican Policy Committee says the CFPB is exercising unprecedented investigative and rulemaking authority and unlike other federal agencies, the CFPB is free to meddle with whole sectors of the nation’s economy without accountability. The mission statement of the CFPB says the CFPB is to "make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans by promoting transparency and consumer choice and preventing abusive and deceptive financial practices.”

The CFPD is not subject to Congressional appropriations receiving more than $400 million each year directly from the Federal Reserve without taxpayer approval or adequate oversight by Congress. The agency is free to impose its will on job creators and consumers virtually unimpeded.

During a recent Congressional hearing, CFPB Director Richard Cordray implied he would use his enforcement authority to define "abusive” standard rather than setting it through public comments made during the rulemaking process. This action will deny small businesses their right to weigh in on an ambiguous standard that affects their businesses, employees, and consumers. To help the CFPB along, it is increasing its staffing from the current 176 employees to 1,359 in 2013.

This is why MRAA worked hard to get the boat dealer exemption in the law. The original legislative intent was to apply only to financing institutions and not oversee businesses in the business of selling product/merchandise. MRAA will continue to watch closely the growth of the CFPB.