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Ex-Obama Official Tapped to Lead Consumer Watchdog’s Enforcement (1)

Oct. 21, 2021, 8:04 PMUpdated: Oct. 21, 2021, 9:00 PM

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tapped a former Obama-era Justice Department fair lending official to serve as its new enforcement director, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra will name longtime civil rights attorney Eric Halperin to lead the bureau’s enforcement division, according to former CFPB staffers and industry sources who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.

Halperin worked in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division from 2010 through 2014. He served as the acting deputy assistant attorney general overseeing the civil rights division’s fair housing, fair lending and employment non-discrimination enforcement program.

Halperin is currently the executive director of the Civil Rights Corps, a legal defense nonprofit group. He also previously worked at the Center for Responsible Lending.

Chopra told senators earlier this year that the CFPB would have a more aggressive enforcement unit under his direction, with a focus on fair lending and racial equity. The bureau under the Trump administration pulled back on enforcement.

The CFPB is also expected to bring back Seth Frotman, who served as the CFPB’s student loan ombudsman during the Obama administration, as an advisor to Chopra, according to the sources.

Frotman had been leading the Student Borrower Protection Center, which he helped found in 2018, before announcing his departure on Wednesday.

The CFPB declined to comment. Halperin and Frotman didn’t respond to requests for comment.

(Updates with comment from CFPB in eighth paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story: Evan Weinberger in New York at eweinberger@bloomberglaw.com; Lydia Beyoud at lbeyoud@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at mferullo@bloomberglaw.com; Roger Yu at ryu@bloomberglaw.com

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