On November 2, 2017, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) Director Richard Cordray delivered remarks at a meeting of the Consumer Advisory Board in Tampa, Florida. Director Cordray’s remarks touched on the following issues:
- Reverse Mortgages: Noting that Florida is home to millions of senior Americans, Director Cordray discussed reverse mortgages, a financial product specifically for seniors. Citing a report issued by the Bureau in August on reverse mortgages, Director Cordray argued that the costs of using a reverse mortgage to delay Social Security retirement benefits from age 62 until full retirement age “usually exceed the extra benefits.” Director Cordray indicated the CFPB would be further addressing the issue.
- Financial Well-Being: Director Cordray discussed the Bureau’s efforts in studying consumer financial well-being. Specifically, he discussed a recent CFPB report on financial well-being. Among other things, that report found that more than 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling to make ends meet in a typical month.
- Americans with Limited English Proficiency: Director Cordray discussed the potential financial difficulties faced by those Americans with limited English proficiency, specifically Spanish-speaking Americans, who he noted often have “thinner credit files and less use of banks and credit unions.” Director Cordray further lauded the Bureau’s efforts to reach out to those Americans.
- Payday Loans: Director Cordray offered a defense of the CFPB’s recently released Payday Lending Rule. Director Cordray argued that the rule was necessary to address “a market where far too often lenders have succeeded by setting up borrowers to fail.”
Such remarks are notable, as they indicate potential Bureau priorities. In this case, Director Cordray made clear that seniors, non-English speakers, and economically vulnerable consumers will continue to be focal points of Bureau activities.