Confirmed the worst fears of the mortgage

Without naming names, the two most common complaints (referred to as “worst fears” in my headline) I heard from the mortgage industry about the CFPB were as follows:

1. The CFPB targets lenders for enforcement action based on opaque internal decisioning

The CFPB targets those who harm the most consumers first, right? Well, we don’t know and their enforcement patterns don’t tell us much. My publication and others go to great lengths to set up a crystal ball to see inside the CFPB. We once even managed to get CFPB representatives to do a webinar, who then at the last moment declared they would not take questions from participants.

2. Monetary penalties seemed determined by revenue, not equalitarian application of said enforcement action

In other words, lawyers told me that clients hand over, and sign, sensitive documents in an effort to show eagerness to comply with CFPB provisions. Those documents, they feared, are then used against them; penalties felt levied at the highest level a company could pay, without putting the target out of business. The CFPB wanted to be viewed as a protector, yes, but not a bankrupter.

In a new piece in the National Review, Ronald Rubin discusses at length said internal processes. He