House Republicans Ask CFPB For Answers on Auto
This week, eleven Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee sent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra a letter regarding the director’s recent blog posts on vehicle finance.
The signatories wrote, “We write you concerning your recent public statements regarding automobile loans and repossessions which paint broad characterizations of the auto lending industry based on extremely limited evidence and characterize legally operating entities as nefarious.”
The letter specifically noted that the Bureau’s equating of repossessing a vehicle with theft is a “gross mischaracterization.” Furthermore, the letter called out that the CFPB’s examples of evidence or unlawful repossessions occurred well before the pandemic and the increase in automobile prices.
“Annually there are over 2.2 million car repossessions in the United States. Considering the millions of repossessions taking place every year, the small sample put forward by the CFPB seems hardly representative on the entire industry, and it certainly does not support the CFPB’s claim that ‘High car prices increase risk of improper repossession by lenders, servicers, and investors,’” the signatories continued.
The letter asks the Director Chopra to respond to several questions, including: “With respect to the enforcement actions cited in the Bulletin – does the CFPB have any evidence that the illegal practices cited in these enforcement actions are widespread across the auto lending industry?”
Finally, the letter concluded, “…this … is the latest in a recent trend from your office making disparaging and derogatory statements about legally operating businesses. As the preeminent regulator of consumer financial products, making unfounded and intentionally damaging statements is well beneath the position you hold.”
AFSA is encouraged by Congress’ support of an industry that has been working hard for its customers during a challenging time, and we look forward to the CFPB director’s response.
March 11th, 2022 by Dan Bucherer