The Associated Press reports that although the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created as part of the financial regulations overhaul under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, will not have rule making authority until July 21, 2011, the agency is already establishing its priorities.
President Obama has not named a permanent head of the CFPB, but a well-regarded consumer advocate and Harvard Law professor, Elizabeth Warren, was charged in September with the responsibility to oversee the creation of the Agency. Warren reports that one of the first goals of the agency will be to make the true cost of financial products easier to understand. This goal is a major concern for consumer advocates that see everyday the misunderstanding that consumers encounter after entering into financial product contracts due to not understanding the pages upon pages of fine print.
The agency will have offices dedicated to improving financial literacy, and protecting military service members and senior citizens from predatory products. The CFPB is charged with oversight on financial products and services, including: credit cards, credit counseling, credit reporting bureaus, debt collectors, deposit accounts, mortgages, payday loans, prepaid cards (except those issued by the government for benefits), and wire transfers. Several areas are exempt from CFPB governance, including, accountants, auto dealers, lawyers, real estate brokers, retailers and Tax preparers.