BCFP NEWS, UPDATES

(Dec. 6, 2018) ‘No action’ letter highlights Fair Lending report
The first “no-action” letter issued by the BDFP last year is listed as one of the highlights of the agency’s efforts in fair lending enforcement, according to a report dated Tuesday. In its report, the agency said issuing the “no action” letter to a firm using non-traditional data in making credit and pricing decisions was “in furtherance of our interest in exploring methods of achieving fair lending compliance in conjunction with the use of alternative data and the potential benefits of such data in expanding credit access.” READ


(Nov. 29, 2018) Ombudsman's 2018 annual report released
The annual report from the bureau's Ombudsman's Office outlines its work process and summarizes its activities from fiscal year 2018. Among other things, the report describes the offices new inreach (internal engagement) and outreach initiatives as well as an update on its terminology project. READ


(Nov. 16, 2018) Loan Originator Rule guide updated
The bureau updated the Loan Originator Rule guide and the HOEPA Rule guide to reflect amendments made by Section 107 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA, S. 2155) passed into law this past spring. READ

(Nov. 8, 2018) Data detailing mortgage borrowers’ experiences released
The BCFP and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Thursday released a new loan-level dataset that provides insights into borrowers’ experiences in getting residential mortgages. The dataset, designed for public use, was collected through the National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO), a component of the National Mortgage Database (NMDB), the first comprehensive repository of detailed mortgage loan information. The survey was conducted jointly by the two agencies; FHFA oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks. READ


(Oct. 30, 2018) Compliance guide for HMDA small entities updated
The BCFP has updated the Home Mortgage Disclosure Small Entity Compliance Guide to reflect amendments made by Section 104(a) of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA, S. 2155), enacted into law this spring. The updates also reflect changes made in the 2018 interpretive and procedural rule. READ
(Oct. 29, 2018) Bureau reports to Congress on remittance rule; 'findings could inform future policy
'
A report to Congress issued Friday on the effectiveness of the BCFP's remittance rule shows that while money services businesses (MSBs) conduct the lion’s share of consumer remittances – 95.6% of them in 2017 – the average size of remittance transfers through banks and credit unions is typically much larger. It also estimates that about 80% of banks and 75% of credit unions, respectively, fall under the rule’s safe harbor for those providing 100 or fewer remittances annually in the previous and current calendar years, making them exempt from the rule. READ
(Oct. 26, 2018) Payday lending rules will be ‘reconsidered’ in January with new proposal
Proposed rules that will “reconsider” BCFP rules regarding payday lending are expected to be issued in January, the agency said today, noting that it will make final decisions regarding the proposal’s scope closer to its issuance. The agency said it only plans to propose revisiting only the “ability-to-repay provisions” and not the payments provisions. The bureau statement said it was making that distinction “in significant part because the ability-to-repay provisions have much greater consequences for both consumers and industry than the payment provisions.” READ
(Oct. 24, 2018) Guide of filing instructions for 2019 HMDA data published, available
A "Filing Instructions Guide" (FIG) for Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data collected in 2019 is now available, the bureau said today. The FIG is a technical resource to help financial institutions file HMDA data collected in 2019 and reported in 2020. READ
(Oct. 23, 2018) Consumer complaints on rise in first half of 2018

Monthly consumer complaints about financial products and services were up an average of more than 9% in the first six months of 2018, compared to the previous year, according to new data released Tuesday by the federal consumer financial protection agency. READ


(Oct. 17, 2018) Bureau posts fall 2018 rulemaking agenda
Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Federal agencies must publish regulatory agendas twice a year. As an independent regulatory agency, the Bureau has been voluntarily participating in the Unified Agenda , which is led by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). READ

(Sept. 27, 2018) Managing someone else’s money: New protection from ID theft and fraud
If you manage someone else’s money, protecting your loved one from financial exploitation and scams is among your important responsibilities. Starting Sept. 21, 2018, a new federal law lets some financial caregivers request a security freeze, also called a credit freeze, on their loved one’s behalf. Taking this step can help protect them from identity theft and fraud. READ


(Sept. 26, 2018) Latest RFI seeks input on how data is collected, used by consumer bureau
How data it collects is used – and the sources of its data – are the subjects for a “request for information” (RFI) issued Tuesday by the federal consumer financial protection agency; comments will be accepted for 90 days. READ


(Sept. 17, 2018) Bureau updates FCRA model disclosures for credit freeze, fraud alert changes
Model forms for disclosures required of consumer reporting agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are updated in an interim final rule issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as CFPB) that is set to take Sept. 21. READ


(Sept. 12, 2018) BCFP CU advisory council, others, to meet Sept. 27
The BCFP announced today that the newly formed Credit Union Advisory Council, Community Advisory Council and Consumer Advisory Board will meet Thursday, Sept. 27 in Washington, D.C. READ


(Sept. 6, 2018) Highlights look, for first time, at small business lending
Supervisory and examination findings regarding compliance, and noncompliance, with federal consumer financial protection laws are cited in a six-month report that also, for the first time, looks at small-business lending. In its latest Supervisory Highlights released Thursday, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, formerly known as CFPB), provides an overview of activities from December 2017 and May 2018. READ


(Aug. 31, 2018) Rule to implement and clarify new HMDA amendments issued

An interpretive and procedural rule to implement and clarify the requirements of section 104(a) of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA, S.2155 enacted May 24), which amended the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) was issued by the bureau. The agency also released updates to the Filing Instructions Guide (FIG) for HMDA data collected in 2018 to incorporate EGRRCPA as implemented and clarified by the rule it issued. READ


(Aug. 13, 2018) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Updates Regulation P To Implement Legislation Amending Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) today finalized amendments to implement legislation that allows financial institutions that meet certain requirements to be exempt from sending annual privacy notices to their customers.READ



(Aug. 9, 2018) Bureau announces File Format Verification Tool (FFVT)
The availability of the File Format Verification Tool (FFVT) for HMDA data collected in 2018 and submitted in 2019 was unveiled by the bureau as a resource for testing whether the HMDA file meets certain formatting requirements specified in the HMDA Filing Instructions Guide (FIG). In announcing the tool, the agency said the FFVT was developed with no login functions, and does not log identifying information about FFVT users or the files they upload. The FFVT simply allows HMDA filers to test the formatting of their files. Thus, no Federal agency will receive or be able to view the files institutions test using it, the bureau said. READ


(July 5, 2018) Bureau issues statement on reg relief law impact on HMDA exemptions
The agency released a statement in conjunction with other federal financial institution regulators about partial exemptions for some financial institutions from certain Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) requirements resulting from regulatory relief legislation enacted in May. READ


(July 2, 2018) Research shows most who are repaying student loans do so early
An analysis utilizing monthly consumer credit data shows the majority of student loan payoffs occur early and coincide with large payments and balance reductions on other student loans and revolving credit products, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, also known as CFPB) said in releasing a new report produced by its Office of Research (OFR). READ


(June 29, 2018) Agreement includes $335 million in restitution payment by Citibank
One of the nation’s largest banks must pay $335 million in restitution for failing to reevaluate and reduce the annual percentage rates (APRs) for approximately 1.75 million consumer credit card accounts, the federal consumer financial protection agency said today. However, the agreement required no civil money penalty assessed on the megabank. READ


(June 13, 2018) Firm hit with $5 million penalty for improper collection attempts
A civil money penalty of $5 million was assessed against a South Carolina firm and subsidiaries for making improper in-person and telephone collection attempts on consumer installment loans and retail sales installment contracts, the BCFP said. (READ)


(June 8, 2018) Year-end credit card borrowing focus of trends report
End-of-year credit card borrowing and repayment of credit card balances in the new year is the focus of the bureau’s latest quarterly consumer credit trends report, released today. READ


(June 6, 2018) Acting director moves to 'reconstitute' advisory groups
After postponing recent meetings, BCFP Acting Director Mick Mulvaney this week disbanded the bureau’s Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) and two other advisory groups, with the stated intent of reorganizing them into smaller groups, with new members, selected through an application process that began earlier this year; additional details provided in bureau blog posting. READ
(May 31, 2018) Credit, consumer reporting at top of complaints heap

Credit or consumer reporting was the most-complained about financial product or service category in March, the BCFP said this week, with perennial complaint generator “debt collections” coming in second. According to the bureau, 37% of about 30,300 complaints received that month by the agency were about credit or consumer reporting. Debt collection generated 27% of the complaints received by BCFP (about 22,000). The complaints were outlined in the bureau’s Complaint snapshot: Debt collection. READ
(May 10, 2018) ‘Overdraft protection’ rule moved to inactive list

Proposed regulatory actions on “overdraft services” are among those that have been moved to the “inactive list,” the BCFP notes in its spring 2018 rulemaking agenda, released May 10. “The Bureau’s Acting Director (Mick Mulvaney) has decided to reclassify as ‘inactive’ certain other rulemakings that had been listed in previous editions of our Unified Agenda in the expectation that final decisions on whether and when to proceed with such projects will be made by the Bureau’s next permanent director,” the agenda states in a blog post. “This change in designation is not intended to signal a substantive decision on the merits of the projects.” READ
(May 8, 2018) Total originated home loans declined in 2017, regulator report states

Total originated home loans fell by about 12.4% (or more than 1 million) in 2017 from the previous year, according to mortgage lending transactions data released Monday by federal financial institution regulators. The FFIEC said additionally that the number of institutions reporting home loan originations also declined last year, by about 13%, to 5,852. READ


(May 1, 2018) Bureau's Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) to meet May 17
The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), and several of the recent “requests for information” prompted by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney in his quest for “evidence” that the agency is working toward its mission, will be on the agenda for the May 17 meeting of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). READ


(April 26, 2018) Bureau removes disclosure restriction in 'Know Before You Owe'
An amendment removing a timing restriction on when a creditor may use a closing disclosure in a mortgage loan to communicate closing costs increases has been finalized by the CFPB. In a release Thursday, the agency (now referring to itself as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, BCFP) said the amendment to its “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule addresses when mortgage lenders with a valid justification may pass on increased closing costs to consumers and disclose them on a “Closing Disclosure.” The agency said the update to its rules “is intended to provide greater clarity and certainty to the mortgage industry.” READ
(April 20, 2018) Wells Fargo fined $1 billion, with restitution yet to be determined, for abuses, unsafe practices

A total of $1 billion in fines plus restitution – with restitution yet to be determined – was ordered to be paid by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., over abuses and unsafe practices related to its auto-loan collateral insurance program and mortgage interest-rate lock program, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said Friday. READ


(April 12, 2018) CFPB acting director outlines year ahead in testimony
Revisions to rules on home mortgage disclosures and payday lending, and no rule on overdraft protection programs at credit unions and other financials, are under consideration this year by the CFPB, its acting director told Congress this week. Testifying before both Senate and House committees this week, CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney gave committee members a preview of what is to come in the year ahead – including his tenure in the job. READ


(April 11, 2018) 'Consumer complaints, inquiries' topics of 12th, and last, RFI
“Consumer complaints and inquiries” is the 12th, and last, of the “requests for information” from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), in the quest of the agency’s acting director to uncover evidence of how the agency is doing its job. Comments will be due in 90 days; the first of the RFIs was released 12 weeks ago. READ


(April 4, 2018) 11th ‘RFI’ from consumer agency looks at financial education
Delivery of consumer financial education through online tools and other means makes up the 11th “request for information” (in a series of 12) issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the acting director’s quest for “evidence” that the agency is fulfilling its statutory role. Specifically, the agency is looking for comments (among others) about how it can eliminate or minimize duplication of efforts performed by other entities. The RFI was issued with a 90-day comment period. READ


(April 2, 2018) In semi-annual report, bureau director calls for statutory changes to agency
Calling the agency he oversees “too powerful with precious little oversight,” the acting director of the federal consumer financial protection agency has recommended four changes to the law that created the agency, with the first being to change the agency’s funding mechanism to congressional appropriations. In the semiannual report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Acting Director Mick Mulvaney said the power wielded by the office he holds “could all too easily be used to harm consumers, destroy businesses, or arbitrarily remake American financial markets.” READ
(March 28, 2018) ‘Guidance effectiveness’ is 10th request for info from CFPB

“Guidance and implementation” support is the tenth in the series of “requests for information” (RFI) from the federal consumer financial protection agency, seeking input on effectiveness of the guidance it provides about its regulations and actions. Comments will be due in 90 days. READ


(March 22, 2018) CFPB RFI: Latest (no. 9) looks at ‘inherited rules'
Inherited regulations and rulemaking authorities are topics for the ninth “request for information” issued this week by the CFPB in the agency’s efforts to uncover “evidence” that it is doing the job it was created to do. Under the RFI (the latest in a series of 12 total to be ultimately issued by the bureau), comments and information are sought about whether the agency “should amend the regulations or exercise the rulemaking authorities that it inherited from other federal government agencies,” the agency said in a statement. READ


(March 20, 2018) FAQs help set stage for mortgage servicing rules compliance
Mortgage servicing rules “frequently asked questions” — largely dealing with issues related to bankruptcies – about compliance with revised rules effective April 19 were published by the CFPB. The FAQs concern recent revisions by the agency to its mortgage servicing rules under Regulations X (implementing the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Z (implementing the Truth in Lending Act (TILA)). The revisions to the servicing rules take effect in the middle of next month. READ


(March 14, 2018) Latest bureau RFI looks at adopted rules
Adopted regulations and new rulemaking authorities are the latest topics for a “request for information” (RFI) – the eighth in the series of an expected dozen – issued by the federal consumer protection agency Wednesday. READ


(March 8, 2018) Final rule offers more flexibility for mortgage servicers

Mortgage servicers would receive more latitude in providing period statements to consumers entering or exiting bankruptcy under a final rule issued by the CFPB, and which takes effect April 19. READ


(March 8, 2018) RFI: #7 looks at ‘rulemaking processes’
For the seventh straight week, CFPB issued a “request for information” (RFI) regarding its own processes, inviting public input on the discretionary aspects of the bureau’s rulemaking actions. READ


(March 1, 2018) CFPB issues RFI #6: 'Usefulness' of consumer complaint reports
“Usefulness” of complaint reporting and analysis, and specific suggestions for best practices for doing so, are the subjects of the sixth and latest “request for information” (RFI) Thursday by the CFPB. READ


(Feb. 21, 2018) ‘External engagements’ – including bureau advisory groups, town halls – latest call for ‘evidence’
“External engagements” is the topic for the fifth of an expected 12 “requests for information issued Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), focusing on ways the bureau engages and receives feedback from the public on the agency’s work. READ


(Feb. 14, 2018) ‘Supervisory processes’ issued for 90-day RFI, as bureau signals eight more info requests in pipeline
Issuing its fourth “request for information” in as many weeks for “evidence” of how it is doing its job, the federal consumer protection bureau signaled that up to eight more RFIs will be issued in coming weeks. The CFPB’s latest RFI focuses on supervision processes at the agency. According to the agency’s filings with the Federal Register, it is seeking comments on the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its supervision program, as well as on any recommended changes. READ


(Feb. 12, 2018) Revised 5-year plan fulfills responsibilities, but will 'go no further'
A pledge to commit to fulfill its statutory responsibilities, but to “go no further,” was made by The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Monday in its five-year strategic plan, released after the White House proposed changing the funding scheme for the agency. Earlier Monday, the Trump Administration released its proposed 2019 budget, which calls for the agency to be funded through the congressional appropriation process, giving Congress a say in how much money the agency receives annually. Now, the bureau is funded through proceeds of the Federal Reserve. READ


(Feb. 7, 2018) RFI no. 3, ‘enforcement processes,’ issued by consumer bureau
For the third straight week the federal consumer protection agency Wednesday issued another “request for information” (RFIs) in its drive to expose “evidence” about whether the agency is doing its job – this one on “enforcement processes.” Next week, the agency said, will come the fourth RFI – on supervisory processes. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said this third RFI would focus on the agency’s enforcement processes, in particular to “help assess the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its processes related to the enforcement of federal consumer financial law.” The RFI, as with the previous two, will be issued for a 60-day comment period. READ


(Jan. 31, 2018) Judges rule CFPB independent, structure constitutional
A panel of federal appeals court judges has ruled that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is constitutional, overturning an earlier decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and that the consumer protection bureau is an “independent” agency. The decision could set the stage for an appeal to the Supreme Court. “Because we see no constitutional defect in Congress’s choice to bestow on the CFPB Director protection against removal except for ‘inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office’, we sustain it,” the panel of judges wrote in their decision, referring to the agency’s structure. The 7-3 decision issued by the 10 members of the D.C. Circuit appeals court panel, sitting “en banc” (meaning appeals judges from within the circuit), found that the provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) shielding the Director of the CFPB from removal without cause is “consistent with Article II” of the U.S. Constitution. READ


 

(Jan. 31, 2018) ‘Administrative adjudication’ rules are second request for ‘evidence’ by consumer bureau
“Administrative adjudications” are the subject of the second “request for information” (RFI) issued by the CFPB in its own search of “evidence” of whether or not it is accomplishing its mission. The RFI calls for a 60-day comment period. The bureau said Wednesday that it issued the second of what it has called a series of RFIs to “better understand the benefits and impacts of its (the agency’s) use of administrative adjudications, and how its existing process may be improved.” The RFI refers to the agency’s rules regarding the general conduct of administrative adjudication proceedings, which the Dodd-Frank Act instructed the bureau to do. The rules cover the initiation of such proceedings and prehearing rules, hearings, decisions and appeals, and temporary cease-and-desist proceedings. The RFI issued Wednesday said the bureau is seeking information to “improve its administrative adjudication processes, including the Rules, while continuing to achieve the Bureau’s statutory purposes and objectives.” On Jan. 17, CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney announced the agency would issue the series of RFIs to unearth “evidence” that the agency is fulfilling its “proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.” A week later, the agency issued the first of the RFIs (on civil investigative demands (CIDs), for a 60-day comment period. READ


(Jan. 25, 2018) Pre-paid rule delayed by one year
A rule affecting prepaid cards and accounts has been extended by one year (to April, 2019), reflecting comments that those affected “need more time” to put the rule to work – especially card issuers who need to package cards sold in stores, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Jan. 25. In a release, the CFPB said it is also “finalizing updates” to the rule (issued in 2016) to adjust requirements for resolving errors on unregistered accounts, and to “provide greater flexibility for credit cards linked to digital wallets.” READ


(Jan. 25, 2018) Bureau issues first request for ‘evidence’ about functions
Civil investigative demands (CIDs) issued by the federal consumer protection bureau are the subject of the first “request for information” released by the consumer agency, as part of the agency’s “call for evidence” about its “proper and appropriate functions.” In a release Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said the RFI will “provide an opportunity for the public to submit feedback and suggest ways to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities.” Comments will be due in 60 days, according to the draft Federal Register notice attached to the release. READ


(Jan. 18, 2018) Evidence sought on how/if consumer bureau is fulfilling ‘proper, appropriate functions’
A series of “requests for information” to determine if the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is fulfilling its “proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers” will be published in coming days, the acting director of the federal agency said Wednesday. READ


(Jan. 16, 2018) Bureau reconsidering payday rule
The payday loan rule, scheduled to take effect now, may be reconsidered, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said Tuesday. In a statement, the bureau said it intends to engage in a rulemaking process that may lead it to reconsider the rule. Although most provisions of the Payday Rule (officially known as the “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans” rule) do not require compliance until Aug. 19 of next year, the effective date marks codification of the Payday Rule in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The bureau said it may also waive a deadline for registered information systems (RIS) associated with the rule. “However, the Bureau may waive this deadline pursuant to 12 C.F.R. 1041.11(c)(3)(iii),” the bureau’s statement said. “Recognizing that this preliminary application deadline might cause some entities to engage in work in preparing an application to become a RIS, the Bureau will entertain waiver requests from any potential applicant,” it added. READ


(Dec. 28, 2017) Annual report card for plastic shows consumer use ramping up
Credit cards are making a comeback as consumer use is ramping up – and banks focusing on credit cards are taking advantage, seeing a triple return on their investments, according to the annual credit card report issued by the federal consumer agency Wednesday. READ


(Dec. 21, 2017) Prepaid rule changes ahead, effective date to be extended
Changes are coming next month to the final rule on prepaid accounts  – in the meantime, the effective date of the rule will be extended, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said Thursday. In a short statement, the bureau outlined its plans to amend the rule. “The Bureau expects to issue a final rule amending certain aspects of its 2016 rule governing prepaid accounts soon after the new year,” CFPB stated, It noted that as part of the process it expects “based on its review of the comments received, to further extend the effective date of the 2016 rule to allow additional time for implementation of the final rule.” The agency noted that it had proposed changes to the rule in June, the comment period ended in August, and the record is now “closed for public input.” READ


(Dec. 21, 2017) CFPB dials back on HMDA data error penalties
Penalties for errors won’t be assessed for Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data collected in 2018 – and new rulemaking designed to reconsider aspects of 2015 HMDA reporting rules is coming, the CFPB said today. In a public statement, the bureau said it does not intend to require data resubmission unless data errors are material, or assess penalties with respect to errors for data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019. Beyond that, the statement said, the agency intends to open a rulemaking to reconsider the HMDA rules, “such as the institutional and transactional coverage tests and the rule’s discretionary data points.” READ


(Nov. 24, 2017) Cordray taps chief of staff as deputy director
Leandra English was tapped deputy director of the bureau by outgoing Director Richard Cordray, the agency announced in a release; English is now the agency’s chief of staff. READ


(Nov. 22, 2017) Consumers note benefits, drawbacks to overdraft programs in bureau report
Consumer understanding of overdraft programs — including their perceptions of experiences, beliefs about advantages, and drawbacks to alternatives – are explored through “qualitative interviews” about the product issued in a report bureau. READ


(Nov. 22, 2017) $6.5 million in fines assessed to Citibank over student loan servicing
A dual fine totaling $6.5 million, and an order to “end these illegal servicing practices,” was levied on Citybank, N.A. by the bureau over student loan servicing. READ


(Nov. 20, 2017) Identification of language preference on the Uniform Residential Loan Application approved
The Bureau issued an official approval of the final redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA), which will include a question about mortgage applicants’ language preference starting as early as July 2019. READ


(Nov. 20, 2017) Outgoing consumer bureau director urges financial institutions to consider adopting new technology
New technology making it feasible for financial institutions to enable consumers to exert “much greater control” over their credit cards, debit cards, and other payment methods should be considered for speedy adoption by financial institutions so their customers can take advantage of them, the outgoing director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wrote last week to the CEOs of several banks, credit unions, and financial companies. READ


(Nov. 20, 2017) Fine levied against software firm for program that sent wrong information about borrowers
Software errors that led to auto lenders sending incorrect information about more than 1 million borrowers to credit reporting agencies has resulted in a $1.1 million fine and a demand for a plan from the software developer about fixing the errors, according to action reported Monday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. READ


(Nov. 8) Appraisals for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans Exemption Threshold set
An exemption threshold amount for appraisals on mortgages will increase to loans of $26,000 or less (from $25,500 or less), according to a final rule to be published by two federal banking regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and effective Jan. 1. READ


(Nov. 2, 2017) Longer-term, ‘riskier’ auto loans growing substantially, report says
Longer-term, six-year auto loans – which cost more, are used by consumers with lower credit scores to finance larger amounts, and have higher rates of default – accounted for 42% of car loans made in the last year, compared to just 26% in 2009, the CFPB said in a report Wednesday. The growth in the longer-term loans (which CFPB called riskier) came at the expense of five-year loans, which declined over the same period, the agency said. READ


(Nov. 2, 2017) Snapshot: military/non-military families have different financial experiences
In 50-state snapshot, CFPB says complaints show military families and non-military families have different experiences in the financial marketplace, as challenges that servicemembers face are often complicated further by factors related to a military career, and complaint data indicates situations where servicemember families may have different experiences than non-servicemember families. READ


(Oct. 31, 2017) Agency launches new Mortgage Performance Trends tool
Mortgage delinquency rates nationally are at their lowest point since the financial crisis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported Monday, as it announced a new “mortgage performance trends” tool which follows delinquency rates nationwide.


(Oct 27, 2017) State-by-state snapshot of student debt unveiled
Showing how this student loan debt is spread across the country, the CFPB has developed a state-by-state snapshot, which also breaks down the complaints the bureau has handled from student loan borrowers in every state.  READ


(Oct. 19, 2017) Principles aim to protect consumers in authorizing third-party access to financial data

Principles for protecting consumers when authorizing third-parties to access their financial data for financial products and services were unveiled Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), with an aim of fostering development of “innovative financial products and services,” among other things. The nine principles, CFPB said in a statement, relate to data access, data scope and usability, control of the data and informed consent, payment authorizations, data security, transparency on data access rights, data accuracy, accountability for access and use, and disputes and resolutions for unauthorized access. READ (See the press release here.)


(Oct. 17, 2017) Bureau claims complaints yielded $750M in student loan relief
Complaints by student loan borrowers have driven actions that have produced more than $750 million in relief for student loan borrowers and strengthened the student loan repayment process for millions more, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said in a report released Oct. 16. According to the agency, it received more than 20,000 complaints in 2016 from student loan borrowers. The complaints, CFPB said, led to changes in the repayment process including automatic student loan interest-rate reductions for eligible servicemembers, more protections around federal student loan repayment relief, and the elimination of surprise “auto defaults” from most new private student loan contracts. READ


(Oct. 13, 2017) Updated TRID ‘small entity’ compliance guide published
The CFPB has updated its guide on TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule implementation for small entities. The bureau said the guide incorporates amendments and clarifications set forth in the final rule issued on July 7, 2017. Generally, compliance with the 2017 TILA-RESPA rule is mandatory for applications received on or after Oct. 1, 2018. READ
(Oct. 12, 2017) Summary outlines policy guidance on HMDA loan-level data

A new summary has been published by NASCUS on the CFPB’s proposed policy guidance about loan-level home mortgage disclosure act (HMDA) data that financial institutions must report before the data is disclosed to the public. The summary outlines that that proposed guidance (which is open for comment until Nov. 24) describes the Bureau’s application of a “balancing test” to date and loan-level HMDA data that the consumer bureau proposes to make available to the public beginning in 2019.  (The “balancing test” refers to how the agency will determine whether and how HMDA data should be modified prior to its disclosure to the public to protect applicant/borrower privacy while also fulfilling HMDA’s public disclosure purposes). The summary also makes clear: the proposed policy guidance is not intended to re-open any portion of the 2015 HMDA Final Rule. READ

(Oct. 5, 2017) Final ‘payday lending’ rule requires ‘full payment test’ in determining if borrowers can repay
A final rule requiring payday lenders and others to determine upfront whether consumers can repay their loans was issued Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), covering payday loans, auto title loans, deposit advance products, and longer-term loans with balloon payments. READ


(Oct. 4, 2017) Rule, proposal aim to improve communications with troubled mortgage borrowers
Mortgage servicers would receive 10 more days to tell borrowers facing foreclosure -- who have requested a cease in communication under federal debt collection law -- about their options in preventing the foreclosure, under an interim final rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Wednesday. Simultaneously, the bureau issued a proposed rule providing “more certainty” for mortgage servicers about when to provide periodic statements to consumers about their bankruptcy case. READ
(Sept. 20, 2017) Bureau finalizes changes to Reg B
A modification in Regulation B (ECOA) that CFPB said is aimed at providing additional flexibility for lenders in collecting consumer ethnicity and race information was finalized and published by the bureau. Additionally, the consumer bureau said it is seeking comment on proposed policy guidance it unveiled the same day regarding information gathered about borrowers under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (Regulation C), making that information public, and modifying some data to protect consumers’ privacy. READ
(Sept. 19, 2017) Guide offers summary for compliance with ‘Arbitration Rule’

A guide intended to be an easy-to-use summary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Arbitration Agreements rule -- and to highlight information that may be helpful when implementing the rule – has been published by the bureau. READ

(Sept. 18, 2017) Student lender faces fines, audits for illegal court action
Alleging that student loan borrowers were illegally sued for private student loan debt that the companies which made the loans couldn’t prove was owed or was too old to sue over, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has imposed multi-million-dollar fines and an audit against a lender and its debt collector. READ


(Sept. 14, 2017) ‘No action’ letter seeks info about ‘alternative data’ in lending applications
Calling it a “first,” the CFPB has issued a “no-action” letter to a California company that evaluates loan applications using “alternative data” rather than traditional methods in the agency’s efforts to learn more about how organizations use the information to make credit more accessible. READ


(Sept. 13, 2017) Bureau singles out service providers for ‘illegal practices’ in mid-year 2017 report
Banks, auto lenders, credit card companies, debt collectors, mortgage lenders, and more are singled out for “illegal practices” against consumers in a CFPB report summarizing the bureau’s recoveries in the first half of the year.
According to the bureau, through supervisory actions, it returned $14 million to more than 100,000 consumers from January through June of this year. The agency said it took the actions (and obtained the recoveries) after it found “companies deceiving consumers and violating the law.” READ
(Aug. 24, 2017) CFPB rule temporarily raises home equity reporting threshold

Credit unions and banks making fewer than 500 home equity loans annually would not be required to report those loans under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) through calendar years 2018-19, under a final rule announced by the CFPB Thursday. READ


(Aug. 23, 2017) State-chartered CU reps join CU Advisory Council
Three representatives of state-chartered credit unions are among four new members named to its Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), the CFPB announced Tuesday. The state-credit union members are: Kayce Bell, Chief Development Officer, Alabama Credit Union, Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Jack Fallis, President and CEO, Global Credit Union, Spokane, Wash.; and David Tuyo, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial and Operations Officer, Power Financial Credit Union, Pembroke Pines, Fla. Luis Peralta, Chief Administrative Officer of Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Manhattan Beach, Calif. was also named to the council. In a statement, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said that the bureau’s councils play an important role making sure that the agency is hearing from a wide array of perspectives in the consumer financial marketplace. READ


(Aug. 23, 2017) New FFIEC HMDA Examiner Transaction Testing Guidelines released

New FFIEC Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Examiner Transaction Testing Guidelines (Guidelines) for all financial institutions that report HMDA data were released Aug. 22, and the CFPB has published a “what you need to know” about them. The Guidelines will apply to the examination of HMDA data collected beginning in 2018 and reported beginning in 2019. READ


(Aug. 22, 2017) Overdraft, ‘financial empowerment’ on tap for CU Advisory Council, Sept. 7
“Know Before You Owe” overdraft and “financial empowerment initiatives” will be on the agenda for the next meeting of the CFPB’s Credit Union Advisory Council, set for Sept. 7 in Washington. The 3:30-5:15 p.m. meeting is open to the public, as long as those interested RSVP to cfpb_ cabandcouncilsevents@cfpb.gov by noon, Wednesday, Sept. 6. CFPB also states that members of the public must RSVP by the due date and must include ‘‘CUAC’’ in the subject line of the RSVP. READ


(Aug. 16, 2017) Half of student loan borrowers owe at least $20k, report notes
Nearly half of student loan borrowers leave school owing at least $20,000 – double the share of borrowers a decade ago, the CFPB stated in a report released today. The bureau also stated that it found that more borrowers are taking out student loans later in life, and fewer borrowers are paying down their student debt in five years. Record student debt and associated borrower stress is spurring more employers to offer student loan repayment benefits to their employees, according to a separate CFPB report. READ


(Aug. 4, 2017) CFPB releases overdraft coverage disclosure prototypes
Overdraft disclosure prototypes designed to improve the model form that credit unions and banks already provide to consumers weighing overdraft coverage were released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) overnight. In a release, CFPB said that it is testing four prototypes, each with a one-page design, which the bureau said is aimed at making the costs and risks of opting in to overdraft coverage easier to understand and evaluate. CFPB stated that, according to a study published in conjunction with the prototypes, persons who frequently attempt to overdraw their checking accounts typically pay almost $450 more in fees if they opted in to debit card and ATM overdraft coverage. The study, CFPB stated, found that most of these frequent overdrafters are financially vulnerable, with lower daily balances and lower credit scores than people who do not overdraft as often. (Click here for Director Richard Cordray's comments about the prototypes.) READ


(Aug. 2, 2017) Bank charged $4.6 million for checking account reporting failures
A $4.6 million penalty has been assessed against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. for failures related to information it provides for checking account screening reports, the CFPB reported Aug. 2. According to the bureau, Chase did not have proper processes in place for reporting accurate information, “and kept consumers in the dark about the results of their reporting disputes and key aspects of their checking account application denials.” In addition to the fine, the bank has been ordered to implement policy changes to prevent future violations. READ
(July 20, 2017) Bureau posts spring (or midsummer) rulemaking agenda
Mortgage rules, fair lending for small business, arbitration clauses, payday/auto title/simiar lending products, debit colleciton, overdraft protection, prepaids and more are all on the CFPB's latest "rulemaking agenda" issued today. READ


(July 14, 2017) CFPB proposes raising home equity loan reporting threshold
Credit unions and banks making 500 or fewer home equity loans annually would not be required to report the loans to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under a proposal issued Friday by the agency. READ


(July 10, 2017) CFPB bans arbitration clauses on credit cards, accounts
A ban on mandatory arbitration clauses – such as those covering consumer financial products, including credit cards and bank accounts, and which block consumers from joining in class actions to sue for alleged wrongdoing – was announced Monday by the CFPB. READ


(July 7, 2017) ‘Know Before You Owe’ rules updated
Updates to the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule from CFPB, with amendments intended to formalize guidance in the rule, were released by the bureau Friday. READ


(June 29, 2017) Report details consumer complaints state by state
State-by-state statistics on consumer complaints about financial services, including volume, the products and services generating the most, company response rates, and a look at complaints from servicemembers and older Americans are summarized in a special report released this week by the CFPB. READ


(June 20, 2017) CFPB Seeks Comment on Proposed Changes to Prepaid Final Rule
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is seeking comment on proposed updates to its prepaid rule.  The prepaid final rule, issued in 2016, required financial institutions to limit consumers’ losses when funds were stolen or card were lost, investigate and resolve errors, give consumers free and easy access to account information, and provide protections if credit is offered.  The proposal would adjust requirements for resolving errors on unregistered accounts and provide greater flexibility for credit cards linked to digital wallets.  READ


(June 7, 2017) Mortgage servicer fined $1.15 million for keeping borrowers 'in the dark'
Mortgage servicer Fay Servicing was fined $1.15 million by the bureau for failing to provide mortgage borrowers with the protections against foreclosure that are required by law, the bureau announced June 7 in a release. The Bureau found that Fay violated the CFPB’s servicing rules by keeping borrowers in the dark about critical information about the process of applying for foreclosure relief. The Bureau also found instances where the servicer illegally launched or moved forward with the foreclosure process while borrowers were actively seeking help to save their homes. Fay Servicing was also ordered to stop its illegal practices, CFPB stated. READ


(May 31, 2017) Complaints from older consumers focus of latest Snapshot
Complaints submitted by older consumers -- who are frequently reporting servicing problems with reverse mortgages, difficulties recovering money after financial scams, confusion around deferred interest credit cards, and charges for unauthorized add-on products -- is the focus of the bureau's May '17 Snapshot. READ


(May 26, 2017) Plan to assess ability to repay/qualified mortgage rule released
A plan to assess the effectiveness of the Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule (ATR/QM rule) has been released, with a 60-day comment period emphasizing requests from the public for sources of data, and generally to provide information that would help with the assessment. In a blog posting, the bureau stated that it is conducting the assessment as an opportunity to “advance our knowledge of the benefits and costs of the key requirements of the ATR/QM rule. The assessment will also provide the public with information on the mortgage lending market, and help us to fulfill our commitment to be an evidence-based and effective agency.” READ


(May 10, 2017) Inquiry will seek to identify financial needs of small business (especially those of women, minorities)
An inquiry has been launched by the bureau – including a request for information -- into ways to gather and use new and existing information to identify the financing needs of small businesses, especially those owned by women and minorities. According the agency, small businesses typically need access to credit to take advantage of growth opportunities, yet public information on this lending market is inconsistent and incomplete. The request for information, the bureau notes, asks for public feedback to help the bureau better understand how to bridge this information gap. READ


(May 5, 2017) Bureau issues plan for asessing RESPA; seeking comment over 60 days
A plan to assess the effectiveness of CFPB’s Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) mortgage servicing rule has been released by the bureau for a 60-days comment period (which commences once the plan is published in the Federal Register). The agency stated in a blog posting that it is seeking comments from consumers, consumer advocates, housing counselors, mortgage loan servicers, industry representatives, and others, to suggest sources of data, offer other recommendations, and generally provide information that would help the bureau understand the rule’s effectiveness or improve the work. “We are committed to well-tailored and effective regulations and have sought to carefully calibrate our efforts to ensure consistency with respect to consumer financial protections across the financial services marketplace,” CFPB stated. READ


(April 27, 2017) Online lenders sued for collecting on debts not owed
Deceiving consumers by collecting debt they were not legally owed is charged against four online lending organizations in a lawsuit filed by the bureau April 27. The lawsuit – which CFPB says seeks to stop the alleged unlawful practices, recoup relief for harmed consumers, and impose a penalty – was brought against Golden Valley Lending, Inc., Silver Cloud Financial, Inc., Mountain Summit Financial, Inc., and Majestic Lake Financial, Inc. In its filing, the agency alleges that the four lenders could not legally collect on the debts because the loans were void under state laws governing interest rate caps or the licensing of lenders. The CFPB alleges that the lenders made deceptive demands and illegally took money from consumer bank accounts for debts that consumers did not legally owe. READ


(April 26, 2017) Servicemember lender fined $1.25M for violating order
An auto lender specializing in loans to servicemembers has been fined $1.25 million by the CFPB for violating a consent order, the bureau announced April 26. According to the agency, the Security National Automotive Acceptance Company (SNAAC) was told by the bureau in 2015 to pay both redress and a civil penalty for illegal debt collection tactics, including making threats to contact servicemembers’ commanding officers about debts and exaggerating the consequences of not paying. “SNAAC violated the 2015 order by failing to provide more than $1 million in refunds and credits, affecting more than 1,000 consumers,” CFPB stated. “Today’s consent order requires SNAAC to make good on the redress it owes to those consumers and pay an additional $1.25 million penalty.” READ


(April 26, 2017) Private, federal student loan borrowers report persistent servicing breakdowns
April CFPB snapshot shows that both private and federal student loan borrowers nationwide report persistent servicing breakdowns that may sideline their path to repayment, including management of their loan debt. READ


(April 26, 2017) Mortgage servicing/origination, student lending, fair lending outlined in Spring 'highlights'
Examination findings in the areas of mortgage servicing, mortgage origination, student loan servicing, and fair lending are outlined in the Spring 2017 issue of Supervisory Highlights, which also includes information about recent public enforcement actions that were a result, at least in part, of bureau supervisory work, as well as information on recently released examination procedures and bureau guidance. READ


(April 20, 2017) Large mortgage loan servicer sued for 'failing borrowers'
Failing borrowers at every stage of the mortgage servicing process is the basis of a lawsuit filed against Ocwen Financial Corp. and subsidiaries, announced today by the CFPB. Ocwen, of West Palm Beach, Fla., according to the bureau, is one of the country’s largest nonbank mortgage loan servicers. "The Bureau alleges that Ocwen’s years of widespread errors, shortcuts, and runarounds cost some borrowers money and others their homes," the bureau said in a statement. "Ocwen allegedly botched basic functions like sending accurate monthly statements, properly crediting payments, and handling taxes and insurance." READ


(April 14, 2017) Report outlines Fair Lending activities in '16 -- and what's ahead
Because of emerging fair lending risks in other areas, CFPB is increasing its focus on redlining, mortgage and student loan servicing, and small business lending, according to its 2016 Fair Lending Report. READ


(April 13, 2017) Proposal amends Reg C (HMDA) with clarifications
A proposal to amend Regulation C (implementing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)) to provide certain clarifications that would help companies comply with their data reporting requirements was released by the bureau. READ


(April 5, 2017) Report gives overview of 290,000+ complaints received
An overview of the more than 290,000 consumer complaints received by the CFPB in 2016 (a 7% increase over the number of complaints handled in the previous year) is provided in the bureau’s Consumer Response Annual Report, published today. Debt collection, credit reporting and mortgages were the top three most-complained-about consumer financial products and services, the bureau reported, collectively representing about two-thirds (67%) of complaints submitted in 2016. READ


(April 5, 2017) Highlights looks at consumer reporting
Examination findings in the area of consumer reporting, including findings from examinations at consumer reporting companies and at companies that furnish information to consumer reporting companies, is the focus of Supervisory Highlights, scheduled for publication by the bureau April 6, the 14th edition of the publication, according to DFPB. READ


(March 28, 2017) Disputed credit card charges highlighted in monthly snapshot
Consumer complaints about credit cards, particularly problems they face when they attempt to dispute charges on their cards, are highlighted in this month’s monthly complaint snapshot from the CFPB. According to the bureau, it has fielded 116,200 credit card complaints since it opened its doors in July 2011 (about 10% of all complaints across all products). READ

(March 28, 2017) Proposal seeks more flexibility in mortgage lending info collection
-- Providing additional flexibility to some mortgage lenders concerning the collection of consumer demographic information is the aim of a proposed amendment to Regulation B (Equal Credit Opportunity Act/ECOA) issued by the CFPB last week. READ


(March 27, 2017) Experian orderd to pay $3 million, 'truthfully represent' how scores used
Credit reporting company Experian was fined $3 million for deceiving consumers about the use of credit scores it sold to consumers, the CFPB announced. According to the bureau, Experian claimed the scores it marketed and provided to consumers were used by lenders to make credit decisions, when In fact, the agency asserted, lenders did not use Experian’s scores to make those decisions. Experian was ordered to truthfully represent how its credit scores are used and pay a civil penalty of $3 million.


(March 22, 2017) ‘Assessment’ of remittance rule opens comment period
Comments are being sought by CFPB on the effectiveness of its rule on remittances, as required by law, including a request for suggestions of sources of data and to generally provide information that “would help with the assessment,” the agency recently announced. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, CFPB is required to review rules within five years after taking effect (known as “assessments”). A report on assessment of the remittance rule , the agency said, will be issued in the fall of 2018, and will (as required by law) address the rule’s effectiveness in “meeting the purposes and objectives of Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act and the specific goals of the remittance rule, using available evidence and data.” READ


(March 15, 2017) Bureau assesses largest penalty to date for HMDA violations
Nationstar Mortgage LLC of Coppell, Texas, has been ordered to pay a $1.75 million civil penalty for violating the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) -- the largest ever assessed by the agency for violations of the disclosure law -- by alledgedly failing to report accurate data consistently about mortgage transactions for 2012 through 2014, the CFPB announced today. READ


(March 15, 2017) Comments due April 5 on extended prepaid rule effective date
Comments on a delayed effective date (to April 1, 2018) for a CFPB rule on prepaid accounts are due April 5, a three-week (21 days) comment period that began with the publication today of the notice in the Federal Register.. The bureau is proposing the delayed effective date because, it states, “some industry participants believe they will have difficulty complying with certain provisions of the Prepaid Accounts Final Rule.” The bureau states that it wants to assess whether any additional adjustments to the rule are appropriate. The six-month extension, the bureau stated, would help assist industry participants in addressing certain “packaging-related” logistics for prepaids sold at retail locations.

LINK:

Notice of request for public comment/extension of prepaid rule effective date


(March 13, 2017) Credit Union Advisory Council to meet
The bureau's Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) has scheduled a meeting for March 30 at 3:15 p.m. in Washington, to discuss alternative data and consumer access to financial records. READ


(March 10, 2017) Information on consumer credit card market sought
As part of requirements under the CARD Act (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009), the bureau is conducting a review of the of the consumer credit card market, "within the limits of its existing resources available for reporting purposes," and is seeking infomration from the public about a number of aspects of the consumer credit card market. READ


(March 10, 2017) Delay proposed for prepaid effective date
The CFPB is proposing a delay of the effective date for its rule on prepaid accounts for six months to facilitate compliance by “industry participants.” Comments will be taken on the proposal for three weeks (21 days) after the notice is published in the Federal Register. READ


(March 3, 2017) Report details credit reporting industry problems, corrections
A report detailing the problems in the credit reporting industry that the bureau has uncovered and corrected through its oversight work was released Thursday, outlining actions taken to address ongoing problems such as fixing data accuracy at credit reporting companies, repairing the broken dispute process, and cleaning up information being reported. READ


(Feb. 16, 2017) Bureau seeks info on using ‘alternative data’ for credit worthiness
“Alternative data” to determine credit-worthiness of consumers who lack enough credit history to obtain a credit score is the subject of a “request for information” issued this week by the CFPB. Comments are due May 19. READ


(Feb. 8, 2017) Mortgage problems continue to be reported by consumers
Consumers continue to report experiencing problems with mortgage servicers, as noted in the February issue of the Bureau's monthly snapshot, noting that consumer report running into issues when making payments on their mortgages or when trying to overcome obstacles to keep themselves in their homes. This month’s report also highlights trends seen in complaints coming from Tennessee. READ 


(Feb. 2, 2017) 'Small entity compliance guide' on prepaids released
The bureau recently released its “Small Entity Compliance Guide” on prepaid products, which the bureau says is aimed at providing “ an easy-to-use summary of the Prepaid Rule and to highlight information that may be helpful implementing the Prepaid Rule,” which takes effect in October. READ

(Jan. 30, 2017) Suit alleges illegal fees sought from debt relief law firms, attorneys
Law firms and individual attorneys offering debt relief services were sued today by the CFPB for collaborating to allegedly charge “illegal fees” to consumers seeking debt relief, the consumer agency announced today. READ


(Jan. 23, 2017) Bureau fines mortgage servicers for ‘giving runaround’ to consumers
“Giving the runaround” to homeowners seeking options to save their homes is cited as the impetus behind a $28.8 million order by the CFPB to two mortgage servicing subsidiaries of one of the nation’s largest financial companies. READ


(Jan. 20, 2017) Action taken bank for 'tricking' consumers into overdraft services
CFPB filed suit against TCF National Bank, a Minnesota-based bank with operations in seven states asserting that the bank tricked consumers into costly overdraft services, alleging that TCF designed its application process to obscure the fees and “make overdraft seem mandatory for new customers to open an account,” among other things. READ


(Jan. 18, 2017) Compliance bulletin focuses on ‘production incentives
“Production incentives” are the topic of a compliance bulletin published today by the CFPB, which highlights examples where incentives “contributed to substantial consumer harm” and which describes compliance management steps CFPB-supervised entities should take to “mitigage risks posed by incentives.” The compliance bulletin is the latest in a series of items (including reports and studies) issued by the consumer bureau focusing on the incentives. The bureau defines “production incentives” as programs that tie outcomes to certain benchmarks, both required and optional. The incentives may be applied to employees, service providers or both, according to CFPB. READ


(Jan. 12, 2017) CFPB survey: ‘troubling problems’ in debt collection industry
More than one in four consumers contacted by debt collectors feel threatened – and three in four of consumers report that debt collectors do not honor their request that collectors leave them alone, according to a new report from the CFPB, released early today. READ


(Jan. 4, 2017) Credit rating agencies fined, ordered to ‘truthfully’ represent value
Declaring that two credit rating agencies “lured consumers into costly recurring payments for credit-related products with false promises,” the CFPB Tuesday ordered Equifax, Inc., and TransUnion to pay fines and restitution totaling $23.1 million and to “truthfully represent” the value of the credit scores they provide, and the cost for obtaining the scores and other services. READ


(Jan. 3, 2017) Nominations for CFPB’s CU Council open Jan. 16
Nominations for appointment to the CFPB’s Credit Union Council (CUAC) will open in about two weeks (Jan. 16), with an application due by an interested candidate on or before March 1 to be considered for a slot on the council, READ


(Jan. 3, 2017) Debt collection complaints outlined in Snapshot

Attempts to collect on a debt that has already been paid is the source of the most common complaint about collections, according to the CFPB’s latest monthly complaint snapshot released Dec. 27. According to the agency, it has handled approximately 285,800 debt collection complaints since July 21, 2011, making that topic the most-complained-about product, representing 27% of total complaints. CFPB reported that consumers  reported being contacted by collectors for debts that were no longer owed and not being provided documentation to verify the debt, even after some of the consumers submitted requests for verification of the purported debts. READ


(Dec. 19, 2016) Bureau outlines focus for Fair Lending in New Year
Redlining, mortgage and student loan servicing, and small business lending are among the key areas where CFPB will focus in 2017, according to a recent posting by the bureau. READ


(Dec. 15, 2016) Report details bank marketing deals with colleges
Costly fees and risky features that can be attached to certain college-sponsored accounts are detailed in a new report from the CFPB, based on analysis of roughly 500 marketing deals between these schools and large banks. READ


(Dec. 5, 2016) Status of debt collection, arbitration, overdraft updated
Dec. 5, 2016 -- A report on findings of a consumer survey related to a proposed rule regulating debt collection – and other actions – are outlined in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Fall 2016 rulemaking agenda, published Friday by the agency. READ


(Nov. 28, 2016) Bulletin looks at detecting, preventing consumer harm via incentives
Compliance management steps to mitigate risks posed by incentives that supervised entities (including credit unions and banks) should take are outlined in a new compliance bulletin from the CFPB, which also compiles guidance given previously by the bureau in other contexts. Titled “Detecting and Preventing Consumer Harm from Production Incentives,” the bulletin was issued Nov. 28. READ


(Nov. 10, 2016) Complaint snapshot outlines VA home loan refinancing issues
In its third semi-annual Servicemember Complaint Snapshot, the bureau notes that it has received more than 12,500 mortgage complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and their families since 2013, and reviews and analyzes about 1,800 of those complaints related to mortgage refinancing in the snapshot. READ


(Oct. 31, 2016) Student loan servicer violations prompts updated procedures for exams
Student loan servicer violations, such as failing to enroll qualified borrowers in affordable federal loan repayment plans, has prompted the CFPB to issue updated procedures for student loan servicing exams,. the agency announced today in its Supervisory Highlights. The report also outlines violations found in auto loan origination and servicing, debt collection, and mortgage origination. It additionally provides information on compliance with CFPB rules and regulations, new exam policies, and best practices for better communication with non-English-speaking consumers. READ


(Oct. 25, 2016) Pre-paid complaints focus on unauthorized transfers, registration, problem resolution
Consumers continue to experience issues trying to manage their accounts and access funds through pre-paid products, according to the CFPB’s latest monthly snapshot highlighting consumer complaints about prepaid products. According to the Bureau, as of Oct. 1, it had handled approximately 6,000 prepaid product complaints, focusing on unauthorized transactions, registering prepaid cards and resolving problems. The most complained-about prepaid companies, the Bureau stated, included American Express, PayPal Holdings, Inc., and NetSpend Corporation. READ


(Oct. 5, 2016) Agency finalizes 'prepaid accounts' rule
A new rule providing federal consumer protections for prepaid account users was announced by the CFPB this week, which agency Director Richard Cordray said “closes loopholes and protects prepaid consumers when they swipe their card, shop online, or scan their smartphone.” In a conference call, Cordray said that the new rule (issued Wednesday) has three key new requirements that financial institutions must meet in order to be in compliance. They are (1) they must limit consumer losses when funds are stolen or cards are lost; (2) they must investigate and resolve errors that occur; and (3) they must give consumers free and easy access to their account information. Cordray also said that the bureau has finalized new “Know Before You Owe” disclosures for prepaid accounts that give consumers the clear information they need, up front, about the fees they can be charged and other key details. READ


(Sept. 28, 2016) 1 million complaints over five years about money transfers

More than 1 million complaints have been handled by the CFPB about money transferssince 2011, the bureau stated in its September monthly complaint snapshot -- in particular prompted by consumer attempts to resolve problems with disputed transactions. READ


(Sept. 14, 2016) Summary outlines proposed mortgage disclosures
A summary of proposed CFPB amendments to federal mortgage disclosure requirements required under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) has been published by NASCUS. READ


(Aug. 31, 2016) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Monthly Complaints Snapshot Spotlights Bank Account and Service Complaints
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a monthly complaint snapshot highlighting consumer complaints about bank accounts and services. The report shows that consumers continue to experience problems managing their accounts. This month’s report also highlights trends seen in complaints coming from Ohio. As of Aug. 1, 2016, the Bureau has handled approximately 954,400 total complaints across all products. 


(Aug. 24, 2016) Wells Fargo named, fined for illegal student loan servicing practices
Action against Wells Fargo Bank for illegal private student loan servicing practices that increased costs and unfairly penalized certain student loan borrowers has been taken by the bureau, it stated today, after identifying breakdowns throughout Wells Fargo’s servicing process including failing to provide important payment information to consumers, charging consumers illegal fees, and failing to update inaccurate credit report information. The CFPB’s order requires Wells Fargo to improve its consumer billing and student loan payment processing practices. The company must also provide $410,000 in relief to borrowers and pay a $3.6 million civil penalty to the CFPB.


(Aug. 24, 2016) Website aims to help mortgage settlement professionals
A webpage specifically for settlement professionals has been set up by the bureau, which it describes as "designed to be an aid in navigating through the changes that are part of the 'Know Before You Owe' mortgage initiative." "One of the most important results of the Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative is the need for closer collaboration between settlement agents and creditors for both to effectively comply with regulatory disclosure requirements," the Bureau states in the introduction to the website. "Learn what has and has not changed about settlement agent responsibilities, creditor responsibilities, consumer privacy, and electronic delivery."

LINK:
Know Before You Owe: The settlement professional’s guide


(Aug. 19, 2016) Bureau’s ‘Credit Union Advisory Council’ sets Sept. 1 meeting
Youth financial capability and debt collection are topics on the agenda of the Credit Union Advisory Council of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the council’s public meeting Sept. 1 in Washington at the bureau’s headquarters. According to the bureau, individuals who wish to attend the Council meeting must RSVP to: cfpb_cabandcouncilsevents@cfpb.gov by noon, Wednesday, Aug. 31, (no later), and must include “CUAC” in the subject line of the RSVP.

LINK:
CU Advisory Council meeting/notice from CFPB


(Aug. 11, 2016 ) GAO study on CFPB's small business review panel issued
In a report, the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) analyzed and reviewed CFPB’s rulemaking processes and documents and conducted semi-structured interviews with 57 of the 69 participants on four panels who agreed to be interviewed. The scope was limited to the four Small Business Review (SBREFA) panels that had associated final rules as of April 2016. READ


(Aug. 2, 2016) Consumer protections in foreclosure outlined
As the Government Foreclosure Relief Program is set to expire, CFPB has outlined consumer protection principles to guide mortgage servicers, investors, government housing agencies, and policymakers as they develop new foreclosure relief solutions.The action came as the Department of Treasury’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) -- a foreclosure relief program put in place in response to the financial crisis -- nears its expiration date. The CFPB’s proposed principles are meant to inform the discussion of potential options to help prevent avoidable foreclosures. READ


(July 29, 2016) Proposals to overhaul debt collection market outlined
Proposals under consideration that would overhaul the debt collection market by capping collector contact attempts and by helping to ensure that companies collect the correct debt have been outlined by the bureau. Under the proposals being considered, debt collectors would be required to have more and better information about the debt before they collect. As they are collecting, companies would be required to limit communications, clearly disclose debt details, and make it easier to dispute the debt. READ


(July 29, 2016) 'Know before you owe' updates proposed
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today proposed updates to its Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule. The proposed amendments are intended to formalize guidance in the rule, and provide greater clarity and certainty. The changes proposed today would augment implementation of the Know Before You Owe rule, which took effect last year, and help facilitate compliance within the mortgage industry. READ


(July 18, 2016) 12th edition of 'Supervisory Highlights' issued
Examination findings in the areas of auto originations, debt collection, mortgage origination, small-dollar lending, and fair lending are included -- plus, another instalment of a recent public enforcement action that was a result of bureau enforcement work, and information on CFPB coordination with state and federal regulators on supervisory matter. READ


(June 29, 2016) Loan management, problems breed complaints, CFPB says
Consumers continue to complain about issues managing their loans and problems they encounter when they are unable to pay off the loans, according to the latest Consumer Complaint Snapshot published by the CFPB this week. READ


(June 28, 2016) Adjustments to TILA dollar amount thresholds set (updated with effective dates)
UPDATED: The bureau announces its annual adjustments to the dollar amounts of various thresholds under the Truth in Lending Act regulations that will apply to certain consumer credit transactions in 2017. Effective dates are Jan. 1, 2017, except for the amendment to Sec. 1026.52(b)(1)(ii)(B) which is effective on June 27, 2016.The adjustments are based on the percentage change in Consumer Price Index. The notice addresses the thresholds related to the minimum interest charge and safe harbor penalty fees under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act), the total loan amount and points and fees dollar trigger for high-cost mortgages under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), and the maximum points and fees for qualified mortgages under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. READ

(June 23, 2016) Comments sought on adjustments to CMP levels
Public comments are being sought on an interim final rule to adjust the civil monetary penalties within the Bureau's jurisdiction for inflation. READ


(June 23, 2016) In response to mortgage servicer violations, CFPB updates exam manual
Some mortgage servicers continue to use failed technology that has already harmed consumers and putting their companies in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new servicing rules, a new report from the bureau states – leading the agency to release an updated mortgage servicing exam manual. READ


(June 20, 2016) Bureau issues final rule amending Reg Z
Action amends the regulatory text and official interpretations for Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). According to the agency, it is required to calculate annually the dollar amounts for several provisions in Regulation Z. The final rule revises, as applicable, the dollar amounts for provisions implementing amendments to TILA under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). READ


(June 8, 2016) eRegulations updated with Regulations X, C, and more
The bureau has updated its eRegulations platform, which now includes Regulations C, X, and DD -- and has refitted its Regulation Z content on the platform to include all the amendments made to the regulation through March 2016.  READ 


(June 2, 2016) CFPB payday loan proposal includes carve out for PAL loans
Payday and other “small dollar” loan products would be subject to new regulations unveiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Thursday – and which contain a specific “carve out” for small dollar loans that meet the parameters of NCUA’s payday alternative loan (PALs) program. READ


(June 1, 2016) Consumer board discusses payday loans, auto lending June 9
The bureau's Consumer Advisory Board meets in Little Rock, Ark, June 9 to meet with Director Richard Cordray and discuss an auto lending education initiative, trends and themes, and payday lending. READ


(May 31, 2016) Bureau schedules field hearing June 2 on small-dollar lending
Small-dollar lending -- including payday loans -- is the subject of a CFPB field hearing June 2 in Kansas City, Mo., featuring remarks and testimony by Director Richard Cordray, as well as testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public. READ


(May 25, 2016) Credit reporting focus of monthly complaint snapshot
Consumers continue to complain about incorrect information on their credit reports as well as difficulty having errors resolved, according to the bureau's latest Monthly Complaint Report which highlightss credit reporting complaints. The CFPB states that, since it began accepting credit reporting complaints in October 2012, approximately 143,700 credit reporting complaints have been fielded. READ



(May 19, 2016) Bureau posts spring rule-making agenda
Arbitration, payday lending, prepaid accounts, mortgage servicing and more are on the bureau's semiannual update of its rulemaking agenda, including rulemaking actions in pre-rule, proposed rule, final rule, long-term, and completed stages. READ



(May 18, 2016) One-in-five single-payment borrowers have car/truck repossessed
One-in-five borrowers who take out a single-payment auto title loan have their car or truck seized by their lender for failing to repay their debt, according to a study released by the bureau. Additionally, the study found, more than four-in-five of these loans are renewed the day they are due because borrowers cannot afford to repay them with a single payment. READ


(May 16, 2016) Findings from recent exams highlighted
May 16, 2016 -- In its Winter edition of Supervisory Highlights, the bureau shares findings from recent examinations in the areas of student loan servicing, remittances, mortgage origination, debt collection, and consumer reporting. READ



(May 16, 2016) Agency releases Fair Lending Report for 2015
May 16, 2016 -- Seventy-four page report details agency actions in enforcing Fair Lending Act, which the bureau calls "shining a light on unfair and discriminatory practices in the financial system." READ



(May 5, 2016) CFPB Proposes Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration Clauses that Deny Groups of Consumers their Day in Court

May 5, 2016
-- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a proposal that would prohibit mandatory arbitration clauses that prevent consumers from engaging in class action suits.  Dodd-Frank required the CFPB to study the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer financial markets.  The CFPB’s study, released in March 2015, found that few consumers brought class action suits against financial service providers and the Bureau expressed concerns that mandatory arbitration clauses are being used to prohibit consumers from participating in class action suits.

The Bureau is seeking comment on a proposal to prohibit companies from putting mandatory arbitration clauses in new contracts that prevent class action lawsuits.  Under the proposal, companies would still be able to include arbitration clauses in their contracts.  However, for contracts subject to the proposal, the arbitration clauses would have to make clear that such clauses cannot be used to prohibit consumers from participating in a class action suit. The proposal provides specific language companies must use for their arbitration clauses.  Finally, the proposal would also require companies with arbitration clauses to submit claims, awards and certain related materials that are filed in arbitration cases. 

The proposed rules would apply to most consumer financial products and services overseen by the CFPB, including those related to the core consumer financial markets that involve lending money, storing money and moving or exchanging money. READ



(May 4, 2016) CFPB/Federal Reserve webinar on TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures: Post-effective date questions/guidance

May 4, 2016 – On Tuesday, April 12 at 2 p.m. EDT, the Federal Reserve hosted a webinar on the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule.  A link to a recording of this webinar is now available on the Bureau’s website. The session, presented by the Bureau, addressed specific questions that various stakeholders have raised to the Bureau related to the implementation of the rule’s requirements. You can access the link to the webinar recording at: www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/implementation-guidance/tila-respa-disclosure-rule/. READ



(April 29, 2016) Summary looks at call for comments for mortgage servicing rule
s
April 29, 2016 – A new summary from NASCUS outlines the CFPB’s proposal to reopen the comment period to on a particular aspect of its proposed amendments to certain mortgage servicing provisions under Regulation X and Regulation Z. READ



(April 28, 2016) 'Payback Playbook' outlines path to avoiding student debt distress

April 28, 2016 -- CFPB unveiled the student loan "Payback Playbook", a set of prototype disclosures outlining a path to affordable payments for borrowers trying to avoid student debt distress, which the agency says "provides borrowers with personalized information about their repayment options from loan servicers so they can secure a monthly payment they can afford." READ



(April 27, 2016) Bureau reopens comments to mortgage servicing rules under RESPA
April 27, 2016 -- CFPB has reopened the comment period for its proposed amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Servicing Rules Under RESPA (Reg X) and TILA (Reg Z).  The new comment closing date is May 26, 2016.  The Bureau is seeking comment specifically on the report summarizing consumer testing of sample periodic statement forms for consumers in bankruptcy. (Click here for report summarizing consumer testing.)



(APRIL 26, 2016) Summary outlines Interim Final Rule on ops in rural areas under Reg Z

April 26, 2016 -- A summary has been posted of the bureau's interim final rule amendeding certain provisions of Regulation Z in accordance with the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act or the “HELP Act," which Act broadens the class of creditors that may be eligible under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) for provisions that relieve burden for small, rural mortgage creditors. READ



(APRIL 20, 2016) May 5 field hearing to focus on arbitration
April 20, 2016 -- A field hearing on arbitration will be held in Albuquerque May 5, featuring remarks from CFPB Director Richard Cordray as well as testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public. Additionally, the event will be live-streamed via the 'Net. READ


(APRIL 20, 2016) Report: half of online payday borrowers rack up an average of $185 in penalties
April 20, 2016 -- Attempts by online lenders to debit payments from a consumer’s checking account add a steep, hidden cost to online payday loan, with half of online borrowers racking up an average of $185 in bank penalties because at least one debit attempt overdrafts or fails, a CFPB report found.. READ

(APRIL 11, 2016) Time-out on posting credit card agreements ends (per CFPB)
April 11, 2016 -- Credit card issuers must submit their currently offered card agreements to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be posted on the bureau’s website, the agency recently reminded in a notice – marking the end of a one-year suspension of the requirement. READ



(MARCH 29, 2016) 'Non-debt' collection biggest complaint, CFPB notes

March 29, 2016 -- Attempts to collect on a debt a consumer has reported was not owed is the most common complaint related to debt collection, the CFPB reported today in its latest monthly consumer complaint snapshot. READ



(Feb. 10, 2016) Typo corrected in TILA-RESPA supplementary notice

The CFPB published a notice in the Federal Register today to correct a typo regarding tolerances for property taxes and certain other property-related costs that was found in the “Supplementary Information” to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule.

More information in the Federal Register



(JAN. 8, 2016) CFPB Seeks Feedback on HMDA (Regulation C) Mortgage Lending Information Resubmission Guidelines

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a “Request for Information Regarding Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Resubmission Guidelines.” The CFPB seeks to determine whether changes to its HMDA Resubmission Guidelines may be appropriate in light of recent amendments to Regulation C, which implements HMDA.  The Bureau issued the HMDA final rule in October 2015.  The final rule increased the number of data points certain financial institutions are required to report to regulators.  For example, institutions are now required to report information such as property value, term of loan and duration of teaser or introductory interest rates. The Bureau is seeking detailed responses to twelve questions, as well as feedback on how commenters’ suggested changes to the Resubmission Guidelines will impact HMDA compliance costs and how changes to the Resubmission Guidelines may affect the reliability or usefulness of the HMDA data.  Comments to the CFPB’s Request for Information are due within 60 days of publication of the document in the Federal Register.

The notice can be accessed here


 

(JAN. 7, 2016) CFPB Issues Annual Appropriations Report to House and Senate Committees on Appropriations

In accordance with Section 1017(e)(4) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its annual report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations.  Dodd-Frank requires the CFPB’s Director to prepare and submit an annual report that discloses the CFPB’s financial operating plans and forecasts, financial condition, results of operations and sources and application of the CFPB’s funding. The report also highlights regulation and guidance issued by the Bureau during the last fiscal year; as well as the Bureau’s supervisory and enforcement activities.  For example, the report details supervisory and examination findings that were reflected in the Fall 2014/Summer 2015 editions of the CFPB’s “Supervisory Highlights.”  See page 91.  The report also compiles a detailed list of 59 public enforcement actions taken by the CFPB from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015.  See page 97.

The report can be accessed here