MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- "Is it fair for you to get to us through the lenders?"
That was the question Detroit-area dealer Bill Perkins put to Patrice Ficklin, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's assistant director for fair lending and equal opportunity, during a Q&A session at the annual conference of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers here.
The July 8 exchange came as a CFPB official addressed dealers directly in public for the first time. The agency, which by law has oversight over lenders but not dealers, has sent officials to lender conferences -- but not to dealer gatherings.
If Ficklin -- joined by Steven Rosenbaum, chief of the housing and civil enforcement section of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division -- thought the reaction from the mostly minority audience would be warm and fuzzy, that wasn't the case.
But Ficklin stood her ground, even when Perkins pointed out the added workload of proving to his lenders that his two Chevrolet stores are in compliance with the agency's regulations.