Friday, August 15, 2014

Meet the New Boss - CFPB Mortgage Chief has only Limited Direct Mortgage Experience

Meet Patricia McClung, the new
mortgage chief at the CFPB.
According to an article first appearing in Politico, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has appointed Patricia McClung as the new mortgage enforcement chief.  What do we know about her industry experience?

According to her LinkedIn profile, she has 14 months experience as a Senior Policy Adviser at HUD "working in the Single Family FHA front office and partnering with the entire SF organization to work on transforming the business to meet the needs of this challenging housing market and prepare FHA for the needs of the evolving housing market of the future."...

Before that she was a VP of Marketing in charge of marketing the NAR's AVM model.

Before that she worked at Freddie Mac as a VP Product Development/Marketing for 23 years until 2011 and boasts "expertise in leading large scale business/technology projects, product marketing, training and education."  She was involved in customer management at FHLMC and was at the forefront of announcing Freddie's decision to stop buying subprime loans after the housing crisis was well under way. She was also involved in FHLMC technology initiatives such the Uniform Mortgage Data Program (UMDP).

She has been lauded as a workplace diversity champion, according to an article in Diversity Best Practices.  One must applaud her work in advancing women in housing finance.

According to Fairfax County land records, her husband purchased the land their home is on in 1995, so likely has been through the home mortgage process a few times herself. But beyond this, it's hard to see how much direct mortgage industry experience Ms. McClung has.  She seems to have a positive and upbeat personality, and experience with managing issues tangentially related to the industry, and from a very high level, but nothing in the way of an understanding of the intricacies of the business at the consumer level.

My concern is that much of the enforcement and rule-making that has been levied on the industry has come from people, albeit well-meaning, with only peripheral knowledge of the business - what you can garner from first time home buyer websites, federal reserve publications, and real estate articles. Given the punitive and heavy handed approach of the agency with it's "fine first, ask questions later approach", shouldn't we have had some input into our own regulator?