House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) are asking Elizabeth Warren, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), if she wants to clarify or correct her recent testimony regarding the CFPB’s role in the ongoing mortgage servicing settlement negotiations. Reports indicate that the CFPB’s role in these negotiations has been more extensive than Warren suggested during her testimony before the Subcommittee earlier this month.
In a letter to Professor Warren, Reps. Bachus and Capito write:
“It is plain that the CFPB has done more than provide ‘advice’ on the proposed servicing settlement. Accordingly, we respectfully request that you carefully review the attached transcript of your testimony at the March 16 hearing and advise the Subcommittee by April 1 if there are any aspects of that testimony relating to the CFPB’s role in the mortgage servicer settlement negotiations that you wish to clarify or correct.”
Reps. Bachus and Capito suggest in their letter that Warren, in her role as head of the CFPB, overstepped the Bureau's boundaries by providing advice to state attorneys general in their negotiations with the nation's mortgage servicers.
"New information has come to light indicating that the CFPB has actually been deeply involved in the negotiations," said Reps. Bachus and Capito in the letter. "This information comes from a document bearing the CFPB's name and entitled 'Perspectives on Settlement Alternatives in Mortgage Servicing.' The CFPB Settlement Presentation is dated Feb. 14, 2011, and marked 'CONFIDENTIAL FOR AG MILLER,' presumably reference to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is coordinating the negotiations for the State Attorneys General."