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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Bipartisan CFPB Reform Legislation Introduced with ALTA Input

April 8, 2014

On April 3, U.S. Reps. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) and Denny Heck (D-Wash.) introduced bipartisan legislation to create a small business advisory panel at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

ALTA worked with Pittenger and Heck to develop the bill. Nearly two thirds of ALTA’s membership is considered a small business. Attendees at ALTA’s 2014 Federal Conference will ask members of Congress to support the bill, according to Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. Click here to register for the Federal Conference.

“Feedback from the small business community is critical when new regulations are introduced by the CFPB,” Korsmo said. “When small businesses attempt to comply with regulations, open lines of communication from advisory panels ensure that businesses don’t have to shoot in the dark as they invest in systems and processes to protect consumers. We are grateful to Representatives Pittenger and Heck for their hard work and support of this important legislation. We ask the leadership of the House of Representatives and the House Financial Services Committee to consider this legislation as soon as possible. ALTA and our members look forward to meeting with many legislators in the coming weeks to ask that they cosponsor this legislation.”

When considering rulemaking, the advisory board would provide feedback to the CFPB on the impact new regulations would have on small businesses and non-depository institutions. The board would consist of 12 members representing small business financial service providers including title professionals, closing agents, escrow officers, mortgage bankers, real estate agents and appraisers. Each member would be appointed by the CFPB director. The board would be required to meet twice a year and can be convened at the discretion of the CFPB director.

“As a former small business owner, I understand the frustration of watching Washington bureaucrats make rules that needlessly and negatively impacted my business,” Pittenger said. “This common sense, bipartisan legislation will give small business owners a seat at the table.”

If passed, the small business advisory board would join others at the bureau for community banks, consumers and credit unions The advisory boards were included in the original legislation in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. For more information on the current CFPB advisory groups, click here.

“ALTA strongly supports the small business provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act, including Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panels that are convened when a proposed regulation is expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities," Korsmo said. "However, these panels are a one-shot event that comes late in the regulatory process. A more effective process would be to have the Bureau consult with small businesses throughout the entire regulatory process.”

If you have any questions, email Justin Ailes, ALTA's vice president of government and regulatory affairs, or call 202-261-2937.

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