WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its first semi-annual report to Congress on Monday, outlining the steps it has taken to get the bureau off the ground in its first six months.
The bureau's most important task since has been hiring more than 750 employees, 230 of whom transferred from other federal agencies, according to the report.
In the next six months, CFPB said it plans to issue final rules requiring a lender to verify a borrower's ability to repay a mortgage loan; propose a rule streamlining disclosures required by the Truth In Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act; propose a slew of rules regarding the mortgage market, including new servicing standards, loan originator compensation rules and restrictions on high cost loans; and propose initial rules defining the scope of its nonbank program.
"This report marks the bureau's beginning," it said. "Over the next six months, the pace of the bureau's efforts to make consumer financial markets work better will intensify."
The bureau spent approximately $123.3 million in fiscal year 2011, including $68.7 million in contract and support services, $48.4 million in salary and benefits and $6.2 million in other expenses, according to the report. The budget included a number of one-time start-up expenses, such as $18.6 million to the Treasury Department for support services, including IT and human resources, and $6.7 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for office space, and support services for complaint processing.
The report also touted the agency's launch of its bank and nonbank supervision programs, as well as its efforts to process consumer complaints about credit cards and mortgages, streamline financial disclosures and draft new regulations.
It has also opened a number of offices, required by statute, to focus on special issues including community affairs, consumer response, fair lending, older Americans, students, members of the military, women and minorities.