In advance of his confirmation hearing tomorrow, the Senate Banking Committee has released the prepared statement of Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s nominee for CFPB Director.
The brief statement highlights several areas on which Mr. Chopra is likely to focus his attention as CFPB Director. He raises concern about the financial difficulties faced by consumers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the housing market, and observes that “[e]xperts expect distress across a number of consumer credit markets, including an avalanche of loan defaults and auto repossessions.”
Mr. Chopra raises racial equity concerns twice in his statement. He indicates that there is a need for “fair and effective oversight” in the mortgage market, to “promote a resilient and competitive financial sector, and address the systematic inequities faced by families of color.” He also observes that individuals living in communities of color are particularly at risk of losing their homes due to financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.
Other areas highlighted by Mr. Chopra are credit reporting and debt collection. He indicates that consumers “continue to discover serious errors on their credit reports or feel forced to make payments to debt collectors on bills they already paid or never owed to begin with, including for medical treatment related to Covid-19.” He characterizes these issues as “longstanding, pervasive problems.”
Surprisingly, despite his focus on student loans during his previous tenure at the CFPB, Mr. Chopra did not mention student lending in his statement.