Who Is Rohit Chopra?

Rohit Chopra is the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Nominated by President Joe Biden, Chopra was confirmed by the Senate on Sept. 30, 2021.

In this role, Chopra leads the CFPB to ensure consumers are educated and protected in the use of financial products and services offered in the market.

Key Takeaways

  • Rohit Chopra is the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
  • He served as commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission.
  • He worked with the Department of Education as an advisor and student loan ombudsman.
  • Chopra first joined the CFPB during the Obama Administration when it was established in 2010.

Early Life and Education

Rohit Chopra was born on Jan. 30, 1982, in Plainsfield, New Jersey. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 2004 and obtained an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. Chopra's first position was with McKinsey & Company, where he worked in the financial services, healthcare, and consumer technology sectors.

Role at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established following the 2008 financial crisis. With the passage of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB was built as a unit of the Federal Reserve System charged with protecting families and businesses from illegal practices by financial institutions. It ensures that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.

From 2010 to 2015, Rohit Chopra served as an assistant director and student loan ombudsman at the CFPB. He acted as a special adviser to the secretary of education on student loan servicing issues at the U.S. Department of Education. Chopra led efforts to increase competition in the student loan financing market, develop new tools for students and student loan borrowers to make smarter decisions, and secured refunds for borrowers victimized by unlawful conduct by lenders, debt collectors, and for-profit college chains.

Chopra returned to the CFPB as its director in 2021.

Role at the Federal Trade Commission

Rohit Chopra served as FTC Commissioner?from May 2, 2018, until?Oct. 12, 2021. The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers and competition by preventing deceptive, unfair business practices.

While at the FTC, Chopra successfully strengthened sanctions against repeat offenders, reversed the agency’s reliance on no-fault settlements in fraud cases, and halted abuses of small businesses. He also led efforts to revitalize dormant authorities, such as those to protect the Made in USA label.

Director of the CFPB

Since its inception under President Obama, the CFPB has been a politically polarizing entity. Democrats are known to support the agency’s regulation of the financial industry and Wall Street, while Republicans dispute the bureau’s power over a significant portion of the economy. Chopra, a Democrat, is regarded as a seasoned regulator and Wall Street critic. Selected by President Biden, Chopra is expected to further policies on the Democratic agenda and has demonstrated his intention to effect major change in the world of consumer finance.

In October 2021, the CFPB issued a directive known as Payment Orders, a request for information from six major American technology companies, including Facebook, Google, and Amazon, relating to the payments services that they offer to American consumers. The issuance of the Payments Orders notice signaled the Bureau’s intent to assert itself as a primary regulator of major financial technology companies.

The Payment Orders decree was the first of many assertions made by the CFPB under Rohit Chopra's early leadership. The CFPB has also initiated steps to investigate the banking industry's use and dependence on overdraft and non-sufficient fund fees?for revenue, possible "redlining" and use of discriminatory practices, and "Buy Now Pay Later " (BNPL) plans offered to consumers as convenient layaway plans which also encourage consumer debt.

Rohit Chopra's actions confirm that he will use each of the CFPB’s enforcement, supervision, regulation, and educational tools to pursue an agenda that he believes is in the best interest of the American consumer.?

What Actions Did Rohit Chopra Take to Regulate for-Profit Universities?

As head of the FTC, Chopra enacted fines for 70 for-profit higher education institutions that mislead students about jobs and earnings prospects.

How Will Rohit Chopra Help Alleviate Student Loan Debt?

As director of the CFPB, Chopra is expected to pursue changes to debt collection policies and fees, and issue new monetary penalties to student loan providers as needed.

How Will the CFPB Tackle "Junk Fees?"

Under Chopra, the CFPB is investigating increasing and inflated back-end fees charged to households and families by financial institutions. The initiative promises to be expansive, covering a huge swath of the financial products and institutions under its jurisdiction.

The Bottom Line

Rohit Chopra has served in roles at the FTC, CFPB, and the Department of Education as an advocate for consumers. He has worked to educate and inform consumers against abusive practices, supervise banking institutions, and study data to better understand consumers and the financial markets in which they participate.

Article Sources
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  1. FTC.gov. "Rohit Chopra."

  2. Consumerfinance.gov. "Rohit Chopra."

  3. Politico. "Senate confirms Biden consumer watchdog."

  4. Sidley Austin. "The Chopra Era at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau."

  5. Yahoo. "For Profit College Crackdown Coming."

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