The Associated Press reported on Monday morning that the official, Seth Frotman, resigned from his position at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protest policies pushed by its acting head, Mick Mulvaney (who also serves as the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget). “You have used the bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America,” Frotman wrote in the letter.
Frotman, who joined the CFPB in 2011 and has overseen student loans since 2016, criticized “sweeping changes” at the CFPB, which include the “undercutting enforcement of the law,” “undermining the Bureau’s independence,” and “shielding bad actors from scrutiny.” “American families need an independent Consumer Bureau to look out for them when lenders push products they know cannot be repaid, when banks and debt collectors conspire to abuse the courts and force families out of their homes, and when student loan companies are allowed to drive millions of Americans to financial ruin with impunity,” he added. “Sadly, the damage you have done to the Bureau betrays these families and sacrifices the financial futures of millions of Americans in communities across the country.”
As the AP notes, the CFPB has stepped down much of its enforcement work under Mulvaney, and accordingly moved the student loan office from consumer enforcement to consumer education. The move was in line with the policy priorities of the Trump administration: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, for example, proposed a rule in July that would slash debt relief for students whose colleges had closed, or had defrauded the student body.