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Consumer Financial Protection Agency

Sweeping financial overhaul programs are making their way through Congress as we speak. A portion of that large legislation includes a measure to create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) -- a Federal entity that will write and enforce new regulations covering financial products such as credit cards and mortgages (among others). Advocates of the new agency feels that consumers were left largely unguarded and improperly protected from potentially damaging choices by existing rules.

Several Democratic lawmakers feel strongly that the Federal Reserve -- who currently is responsible for regulating and monitoring consumer protection -- failed in their efforts and need to have this authority removed from their purvey.

According to a legislative summary of a recent draft proposed by Senator Chris Dodd, the "CFPA plan focuses on companies that 'pose the greatest risk to consumers -- mortgage bankers, brokers, finance companies and the largest institutions.'" (National Mortgage News, 11/10/09).

It's important to note that these financial-reform efforts are still under debate on Capitol Hill, and while each house of Congress has cast preliminary votes on the CFPA and its desired functions, there is a definite possibility that the scope of the CFPA will change as the debate continues.

Want to weigh in on this new agency? Take our survey.

--Tim Manni