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CFPB Employee at Center of Racial Controversy to Leave Job

Phil Hall
May 15, 2019
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that it has taken measures to make it easier for consumers with urgent financial needs to obtain access to mortgage credit more quickly in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic

A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) employee who became the center of attention over blog postings that many considered to be racially insensitive is leaving the agency.
 
Eric Blankenstein, CFPB’s Policy Director of Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending, who became the center of controversy after news emerged that he authored anonymous blog posts in 2004, is leaving the agency on May 31. The agency did not make a public announcement of Blankenstein’s departure, which was discovered via an internal e-mail obtained by Bloomberg Law.
 
Blankenstein was put into his CFPB that position by former Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. When it was revealed he was the author of anonymous blog posts in 2004 that questioned the veracity of some hate crime reporting, Mulvaney refused to fire him despite calls from labor and progressive groups for his ouster. After Kathy Kraninger was sworn in as the CFPB’s director in December, she declined to comment on Blankenstein’s job status. Blankenstein issued his own statement to his CFPB colleagues in October in which he expressed regret for the blog posting, which included a consideration on the racist resonance connected to the n-word.
 
“When CFPB Director Kraninger appeared before the House Committee on Financial Services in March, I asked her about the past racist writings of the individual entrusted to oversee the Consumer Bureau’s fair lending work, and I am pleased to see that he will soon be departing from a job he was clearly unqualified for," said Rep. Maxine Waters. "I continue to call on Director Kraninger to put consumers first by restoring the enforcement and supervisory authority of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity as mandated by Dodd-Frank and ensuring those who work at the Consumer Bureau are committed to protecting racial, ethnic, and other minorities from discrimination by unscrupulous lenders.”

 
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