CFPB's Chopra Appoints Ex-Obama Civil Rights Officer as Enforcement Chief

Eric Halperin, a longtime consumer advocate, fair lending trial attorney and civil rights activist in the Obama administration's Justice Department, has been named enforcement chief for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, sources said.

Halperin is the first major employee of CFPB director Rohit Chopra, who has started filling top management positions since taking over the agency on October 12th. Chopra has several senior posts to fill, including General Counsel and Assistant Director of Oversight, Enforcement and Fair Lending.

The news was first published by Bloomberg Law.

Halperin was CEO of the Civil Rights Corps, a Washington nonprofit that focuses on injustice in the U.S. legal system. Prior to that, he was a Senior Advisor at the Open Society Foundations, a sponsorship network founded by hedge fund billionaire George Soros. He served twice in the Justice Department for almost 10 years. From 2010 to 2014, he was the deputy assistant attorney general and special advisor on fair lending in the Obama administration.

Before that, Halperin was Director of Litigation at the Center for Responsible Lending for six years. He also taught civil rights law and politics at Stanford University for a year. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1998, Halperin spent five years as a trial attorney in the Justice Department's civil rights division.

Halperin succeeds Cara Petersen, who served as the CFPB's deputy enforcement director for more than two years.

In addition, Seth Frotman will act as an advisor to Chopra, reported Bloomberg Law. Frotman was the executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center and a former student loan ombudsman for the CFPB.

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