CFPB officials did not respond to requests by email and phone requesting comment.
Mulvaney also signed off as "acting director" and invited staff to pop by his fourth-floor office to "grab a donut".
Now, a power struggle seems to be underway with the backing of the White House fighting for the "deconstruction of the administrative state". But English has asked a judge to issue a temporary restraining order to block Mulvaney from taking over the bureau.
Along with a 30-day hiring freeze, Mulvaney said he has put an immediate 30-day hold "on any new rules, regulations and guidance". He's calling it an example of "bureaucracy gone wrong".
Despite President Trump's dislike for the agency, neither he nor its new leader can simply shutter the CFPB.
Mulvaney, the current White House budget director and a former Republican congressman from SC, has called the agency a "joke" and an example of bureaucracy run amok.
Time to make the doughnuts..
Mulvaney says he wants to "identify how the Bureau can transition to be more effective in its mission, while becoming more accountable to the taxpayer". Currently, the agency effectively has two acting directors.
One straightforward solution to the issue of who runs the CFPB is for Trump to nominate his own permanent director. A few hours later, Trump named the director of the Office of Management and Budget (and critic of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) Mulvaney boss.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says "there should be no question" that Mulvaney is in charge of the agency. "It is unfortunate that Mr. Cordray made a decision to put his political ambition above the interests of consumers with this stunt". It also claims the Obama administration acted similarly when filling a vacancy on the National Labor Relations Board.
The consumer protection bureau has two people jockeying for control. Under Mulvaney or another Trump-appointed official, CFPB's "enforcement agenda will dramatically diminish", Isaac Boltansky, senior policy at Compass Point Research and Trading, wrote in a report on Monday.
The extraordinary battle over who will lead the federal government's top consumer financial watchdog began Friday after former director Cordray announced his resignation eight months ahead of schedule.
"It's very clear that the financial sector is the primary victor from a weakened CFPB and that consumers are the losers", said Patricia McCoy, a Boston College law professor and a former CFPB official. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the White House's thinking.
Former OMB Director Richard Cordray, who was appointed by President Obama, unexpectedly resigned from his post last week.
"The administration is aware of the suit filed this evening by Deputy Director English".
The White House cites the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.
Leandra English was elevated to interim director of the bureau by its outgoing director.
Under the explicit text of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act, which created the CFPB, Deputy Director Leandra English became CFPB's "acting Director" at midnight on November 24, when Director Richard Cordray resigned his post and thereby became "unavailable" within the meaning of the law's specific provision for that contingency that the Deputy Director will "serve as acting Director in the absence or unavailability of the Director".