Oct. 13: A Busy Week at the CFPB


CFPB and Justice Department Issue Joint Statement Cautioning that Financial Institutions May Not Use Immigration Status to Illegally Discriminate Against Credit Applicants

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Justice Department today issued a joint statement that reminds financial institutions that all credit applicants are protected from discrimination on the basis of their national origin, race, and other characteristics covered by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, regardless of their immigration status. The CFPB and Justice Department are issuing this statement because consumers have reported being rejected for credit cards as well as for auto, student, personal, and equipment loans because of their immigration status, even when they have strong credit histories and ties to the United States and are otherwise qualified to receive the loans. Read more


CFPB and FTC Take Actions Against TransUnion for Illegal Rental Background Check and Credit Reporting Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took action against a rental screening subsidiary of the TransUnion conglomerate for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The TransUnion company failed to take steps to ensure the rental background checks that landlords use to decide who gets housing were accurate. The company also withheld, from renters, the names of third parties that were providing the inaccurate information. The CFPB and FTC requested a federal court to order the TransUnion company to pay $15 million for its lawbreaking behavior and to make significant improvements to how it reports evictions. Read more

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an advisory opinion regarding a provision enacted by Congress which generally prohibits large banks and credit unions from imposing unreasonable obstacles on customers, such as charging excessive fees, for basic information about their own accounts. Under a 2010 federal law, large banks and credit unions must provide complete and accurate account information when requested by accountholders. As many large banks shift away from a relationship banking model that prioritizes high levels of customer service, today’s advisory opinion clarifies that people are entitled to get the basic information they need without having to pay junk fees. Read more


CFPB Exams Return $140 Million to Consumers Hit by Illegal Junk Fees in Banking, Auto Loans, and Remittances

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a special edition of its Supervisory Highlights focused on the agency’s efforts to protect consumers from illegal junk fees. The junk fees discussed in the report – including fees for fake paper statements and worthless add-on products for auto loans – can strain the financial stability of even the most financially savvy families. As a result of the CFPB’s supervisory work, the companies in today’s report are refunding $140 million to consumers, $120 million of which is for surprise overdraft fees and double-dipping on non-sufficient funds fees. A separate report today finds that most financial institutions have eliminated non-sufficient funds fees, saving consumers an estimated $2 billion every year. Read more
Related Data Spotlight: Vast majority of NSF fees have been eliminated, saving consumers nearly $2 billion annually
Some financial institutions are behind the trend, continuing to charge these fees
CFPB recently analyzed the non-sufficient fund (NSF) fee practices of a number of banks and credit unions.1 NSF fees are charges that some financial institutions impose when they decline to make a payment from a consumer’s account, like a check or electronic authorization, after determining the account lacks sufficient funds. NSF fees are distinct from overdraft fees, which financial institutions charge when they pay, rather than decline, a payment when the account lacks sufficient funds. Read more


CFPB Sues Repeat Offender Freedom Mortgage Corporation for Providing False Information to Federal Regulators

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit in federal court today, alleging that Freedom Mortgage Corporation submitted legally-required mortgage loan data that was riddled with errors. The CFPB alleges that Freedom’s practices violate both the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and a 2019 consent order. In a recent separate matter, in August 2023 the CFPB fined Freedom $1.75 million for paying illegal kickbacks for mortgage loan referrals. Read more