Speak up for less paperwork

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

The F&I Department floats on a sea of paper that seems to get deeper all the time. Can anybody do anything about it? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week unveiled a new Web site aimed at getting public feedback on how to streamline regulations: consumerfinance.gov/regcomments.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in an e-mail on Feb. 16 that the CFPB inherited regulations from seven federal agencies. The bureau wants public input on how to update, modify or even eliminate existing regulations.

"Our aim is to see where we can reduce the burdens imposed by existing regulations without reducing actual value to consumers," Cordray said.

Cordray didn't mention this complication, but some of those "legacy" agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, still retain a lot of power to regulate auto lending. The two agencies announced earlier that they would work to avoid redundancy.

Less paperwork would be welcome. But it's hard to see how adding another regulator will result in less paperwork, instead of more.