So. President-elect Trump. Not many thought they would hear those words. But what does it mean for lenders?
The reality is that without a filibuster-proof majority, a repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act and dissolution of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unlikely. Indeed, any changes to the CFPB will need some level of bipartisan support. Even the appropriations tricks that cut off funding will not work based on the CFPB's construction (President Obama thought of that already). Hence, the end of the CFPB and Dodd-Frank is not imminent.
What could change, however, are some of the CFPB's most aggressive policies. Regulation by enforcement, ex-post-facto enforcement, and the ever-increasing expansion of what "unfair and deceptive" means, are things that could change under new CFPB leadership appointed by President Trump. In addition, investigation and enforcement decisions could potentially be treated with a more business-friendly attitude.
However, lenders should not believe that the CFPB head will be a patsy, or that the current career government staff will simply lay down their arms. While what many lenders see as the most "abusive" aspects of the CFPB could soon be in the past, do not expect things to return to the "good old days." The CFPB is here to stay (along with the other regulatory bodies Trump cannot so easily control). Thus, while relief may be in sight, it will not take the form of anything predating the CFPB's creation or President Obama's election.
Ari Karen is a partner at Offit Kurman and CEO of Strategic Compliance Partners.