The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) signaled Thursday that it may seek to delay implementation of the agency’s recently completed qualified mortgage and debt collection rules. Although the qualified mortgage rule is set to become effective on March 1, 2021 (and the debt collection rule on November 20, 2021), delaying either could lead to a reopening of those rulemakings once President Joe Biden’s permanent appointee is in place.

In a blog post, Acting Director Dave Uejio said he’s asking staff to “explore options for preserving the status quo with respect to QM and debt collection rules.” Those rules from last year revised the agency’s qualified mortgage requirements and finalized changes to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Both sets of rules were issued by former CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger, a Trump appointee. Kraninger resigned in January when President Biden took office.

Uejio, who was formerly the CFPB’s chief strategy officer, framed his directive to staff as part of a broader rulemaking and research agenda geared toward advancing dual priorities of COVID-19 relief and affecting racial equity.

Uejio also signaled possible future action when he stated that he “will be assessing regulatory actions taken by the previous leadership and adjusting as necessary and appropriate those not in line with our consumer protection mission and mandate.” However, Uejio ultimately remains a temporary figurehead who wants to maintain “maximum policy flexibility” for Rohit Chopra, Biden’s nominee to lead the CFPB as its permanent director, pending his confirmation.

Troutman Pepper will continue to monitor these regulatory developments.