Top Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee clashed with Elizabeth Warren, who is leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) creation, over her role in the mortgage servicer settlement.
The committee's chairman, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the head of the consumer credit subcommittee, asked Warren in a letter Wednesday to clarify her role after the document Perspectives on Settlement Alternatives in Mortgage Servicing that she sent to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller was leaked to the media. In the document, she argues the largest servicers have saved more than $20 billion by cutting corners in proper servicing and as a result should be fined the same amount.
Warren has said she is limited to an advisory role, but Bachus and Capito wrote that the document proves that Warren's involvement goes further. "It is plain that the CFPB has done more than provide 'advice' on the proposed servicing settlement," the lawmakers wrote. "Accordingly, we respectfully request that you carefully review the attached transcript of your testimony at the March 16 hearing and advise the subcommittee by April 1 if there are any aspects of that testimony relating to the CFPB's role in the mortgage servicer settlement negotiations that you wish to clarify or correct."
Warren's office shot back quickly.
"As Elizabeth Warren testified to Congress earlier this month, the consumer bureau provided advice to various officials involved in the mortgage servicing law enforcement matter," Jen Howard, a spokesman for the CFPB, said in an email. "She is aware that not everyone agrees with that advice or how to address the serious deficiencies at some of the nation's largest mortgage servicing firms."