Latest CFPB Updates 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) is responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. CFPB’s jurisdiction includes credit unions,  banks, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, foreclosure relief services, debt collectors and other financial companies operating in the United States.

NASCUS closely monitors CFPB developments and responds to request for comments on rules impacting the credit union system.

2020 Updates (see archives at bottom for previous years)

(Dec. 30) Bureau issues trial licenses for ‘sandbox’ products

A “dual-feature credit card” and a program allowing employees access to their earned but unpaid wages prior to payday got the green light late last week for limited time under two “compliance assistance sandbox” (CAS) approval orders issued by the CFPB. The dual usage credit card order, according to the bureau, would allow Synchrony Federal Savings Bank of Stamford, Conn., to issue a lower-rate card on secured use to consumers with limited or damaged credit history. After 12 months, according to CFPB, eligible accountholders would be allowed to “graduate” to unsecured use via the card. The second order would allow PayActiv, a San Jose, Calif.-based firm that provides payment services to companies, to make available to its clients “earned wage access” (EWA) products. Under the program, according to the application from PayActiv for the order and made public by CFPB, Payactiv provides an earned wage access (EWA) payment to an employee for the sale of the future receivable in that portion of the employee’s earned wages, referred to as a factored future received wage payment (FFRWP). “Payactiv purchases an employee’s right to the receivable and assumes the risk associated with non-receipt of that receivable,” the application states.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Approval Order to Facilitate the Use of Dual Usage Credit Cards

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues an Approval Order to Facilitate Employee Access to Earned but Unpaid Wages

(Dec. 23) Updates in Reg C, Reg Z thresholds announced (along with FCRA fee)

Banks, credit unions and savings associations with assets of $48 million or less as of Dec. 31 are exempt from collecting data in 2021 under Regulation C (Home Mortgage Disclosure), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said Tuesday in setting the annual asset-size threshold. The bureau said the $1 million upward adjustment in the threshold from last year was based on a 1.3% increase in the average of the CPI-W for the 12-month period ending in November 2020. The bureau also announced its adjustment to Regulation Z thresholds, stating that creditors with assets of less than $2.230 billion (including assets of certain affiliates) as of Dec. 31 are exempt, if other requirements of Regulation Z also are met, from establishing escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgage loans in 2021. Finally, the bureau announced $13 as the maximum amount consumer reporting agencies may charge consumers for making a file disclosure to a consumer under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). All adjustments are effective Jan. 1.

Regulation C notice

Regulation Z notice

FCRA notice

(Dec. 18) ‘Detailed disclosures’ required from debt collectors

Debt collectors must provide, at the outset of collection communications, detailed disclosures about the consumer’s debt and rights in debt collection, along with information to help consumers respond, under a final rule issued Friday. Its new rule, CFPB said, requires debt collectors to take specific steps to disclose the existence of a debt to consumers, orally, in writing, or electronically, before reporting information about the debt to a consumer reporting agency (CRA). The rule also prohibits debt collectors from making threats to sue, or from suing, consumers on time-barred debt. See the final rule here, and the executive summary of the rule here.

(Dec. 15) Smaller institutions are OK with small biz data reporting, study finds

Smaller financial institutions are generally supportive of rules requiring reporting of small business lending data in order to build a better understanding of the lending market, according to feedback released today by the bureau. The agency said its report on input from smaller institutions that are likely to be directly affected by the information collection through a statutorily mandated (and controversial) rule on small business lending data collection found that the businesses (referred to as “small entity representatives” or SERs) not only support the making of a regulation but also want guidance on how to comply. “The SERs requested, and the panel agreed that, among other things, the Bureau should issue implementation and guidance materials specifically to assist small financial institutions in complying with an eventual Section 1071 rule, and to consider providing sample disclosure language,” the CFPB said in a release. The bureau referred to a panel created under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), made up of representatives of CFPB, the advocacy office of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). CFPB said the panel consulted with representatives of small entities likely to be affected directly by the Section 1071 regulation (the SERs).

(Dec. 10) Two final rules on QM released

Two final rules related to “qualified mortgages” (QMs) – one installing a limit on lending based a loan’s pricing, and the second creating a “seasoned QM” – were released today by the CFPB. The final rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency said, will “support a smooth and orderly transition away” from the so-called “QM Patch,” which is slated to expire July 1, 2021. The patch covers loans issued by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Federal National Mortgage Association, (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac), most of which are considered QMs. After July 1, those loans will not automatically be given QM status. (See final rules here: General QM final rule, Seasoned QM final rule)

(Nov. 30) Advisory opinions policy finalized, allowing entities to seek clarity on rules

Credit unions, banks, and other entities questioning whether to comply with regulatory requirements can submit a request to the bureau to clear up any uncertainty, the agency said under a new policy that was finalized today. “Regulatory certainty promotes compliance if the law applies and avoids unnecessary compliance costs if the law does not,” CFPB said of its new policy in a release.

(Nov. 18) Appraisal exemption threshold for higher-priced mortgages unchanged for 2021

The threshold for exempting loans from special appraisal requirements applied to higher-priced mortgage loans under the Truth in Lending Act will remain at $27,200 in 2021, unchanged from this year’s threshold, according to an announcement Wednesday by CFPB, the Federal Reserve and the OCC. The agencies said the threshold, effective Jan. 1, is based on the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) as of June 1, 2020. The higher-priced loan rules were added to TILA by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). The act added special appraisal requirements for higher-priced mortgage loans, including a requirement that creditors obtain a written appraisal based on a physical visit to the home’s interior before making a higher-priced mortgage loan.

(Nov. 12) Payment reporting grew for mortgages, fell for credit cards, CFPB report finds

Actual payment “furnishing” (or information on payments sent to consumer credit reporting agencies from financial institutions) grew steadily for mortgage, auto and student loans between 2012 and 2020, according to a report issued today by the bureau, reaching more than 90% of credit accounts. On the other hand, over the same period, the bureau said payment furnishing for credit card and retail revolving loan accounts fell to 40% of accounts. The bureau said the information in its report is used to determine whether consumers are approved for credit and the interest rates and terms consumers receive.

(Nov. 3) Credit union, other bureau advisory groups, to meet Nov. 18

The bureau’s Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), along with the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) and the Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), are scheduled to meet in a combined, public virtual session from 1 to 5:30 p.m. ET Nov. 18, according to bureau notices. The agenda, fully detailed on the agency’s website, includes discussion of:

  • section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which revised the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to call for financial institutions’ collection and reporting of data regarding applications for credit for women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses (the bureau began inviting public feedback on an outline of proposals in September);
  • consumer access to financial records under section 1033 of Dodd-Frank (currently addressed in an advance notice of proposed rulemaking); and
  • mortgage trends and themes specifically related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Oct. 30) Final rule clarifies prohibitions on abuse in collections

A final rule to restate and clarify prohibitions on harassment and abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices by debt collectors when collecting consumer debt was issued today by the bureau. The agency says the final rule focuses on debt collection communications and gives consumers more control over how often and through what means debt collectors can communicate with them regarding their debts.  The rule also clarifies how the protections of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which was passed in 1977, apply to newer communication technologies, such as email and text messages. For more compliance assistance, see the bureau’s Debt Collection compliance aid resource webpage. For even more information, see the executive summary of the October 2020 final rule.

(Oct. 29) Bureau finalizes rule on how it treats confidential info

Confidential treatment of information that the CFPB obtains from persons in connection with the exercise of its authorities under federal consumer financial laws is addressed in a final rule issued by the consumer agency Thursday. The bureau asserted that the final rule improves clarity and transparency by amending disclosure of records and information deregulation.

(Oct. 28) Agencies propose regulation codifying role of supervisory guidance

A proposal outlining and confirming federal financial institution regulators’ use of supervisory guidance for regulated institutions was issued for a 60-day comment period by the bureau and four federal financial regulatory agencies (including NCUA). The proposal would codify a statement, as amended, issued in September 2018 by the agencies that clarified the differences between regulations and supervisory guidance, noting for instance that unlike a law or regulation, supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law and the agencies do not take enforcement actions or issue supervisory criticisms based on non-compliance with supervisory guidance.

(Oct. 22) Bureau begins rulemaking on financial records access

Information from the public on the best way to go about developing a rule on consumer access to financial records is being sought by CFPB in and advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) issued Thursday. The action follows up on a promise made by the agency in July, which followed a symposium on the subject in February. In a release, the bureau said its ANPR on consumer access to financial records is aimed at fulfilling its obligations under a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). CFPB said the ANPR seeks comments and information on costs and benefits of consumer data access, competitive incentives, standard-setting, access scope, consumer control and privacy and data security and accuracy. A 90-day comment period is planned.

(Oct. 20) ‘GSE patch’ extended until rule amending general QM definition finalized

The government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) patch – giving mortgages guaranteed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae “qualified mortgage” (QM) status – will be extended until a final rule is approved amending the general QM loan definition in Regulation Z, the bureau said today. In a release, CFPB said a final rule amending the QM loan definition would contain a “mandatory compliance date.” The GSE patch was scheduled to expire Jan. 10. However, the bureau also said it is not amending the provision in Regulation Z stating that the GSE Patch will expire if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exit conservatorship. Today’s action came in the form of a final rule from the agency. CFPB said the rule represents the steps being taken by the bureau to “ensure a smooth and orderly transition away from the GSE patch and to maintain access to responsible, affordable mortgage credit upon its expiration.” For more information, click on the link for the Executive summary of the October 2020 amendments.

(Oct. 19) Reference chart looks at HMDA data required to collected, recorded

A reference tool for HMDA data required to be collected and recorded in 2021 and reported in 2022 was published by the bureau Friday (Oct. 16), which is intended to help the mortgage lending industry understand, implement and comply with HMDA and Regulation C, the bureau said. The tool – a chart featuring key aspects of compliance with law, including filing instructions – is intended to be used as a reference tool for data points required to be collected, recorded, and reported under Regulation C, the bureau said.

(Oct. 8) College credit card agreements continue decline

Agreements for credit cards, as well as the number of accounts, declined between the card issuers and universities and colleges in 2019, according to a report issued today by the CFPB. The agency said the 2019 numbers continue a general trend of decline for the agreements, which had become a flashpoint among consumer protection advocates.

(Oct. 7) FAQs outline when fees are allowed under RESPA

A set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on section 8 the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) prohibitions on kickbacks and unearned fee arrangements, as well as provisions defining fees and arrangements that are not prohibited, was released this week by CFPB as a compliance aid. The bureau said the FAQs give an overview of the provisions of RESPA section 8 and respective sections of Regulation X (the CFPB’s rule implementing RESPA). The agency also said the FAQs address the application of certain provisions to common scenarios described in bureau inquiries involving gifts and promotional activities, and marketing services agreements (MSAs). Additionally, Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, “RESPA Compliance and Marketing Services Agreements,” is rescinded, the bureau said, noting that the bulletin “does not provide the regulatory clarity needed on how to comply with RESPA and Regulation X.”

(Oct. 5) New policy outlines consent order relief

Companies, including credit unions and others, can earn an early way out of actions taken against them through consent orders by the bureau under a new policy announced Monday. In a release, CFPB said its new policy on early termination of administrative consent order outlines the process for entities subject to a consent order with the agency and the standards that the bureau intends to use when evaluating applications. “In order for a Consent Order to be terminated early, an entity should demonstrate that it meets certain threshold eligibility criteria, has fully complied with the terms of the Consent Order, and has a satisfactory compliance management system in applicable areas,” the agency stated. “These conditions are designed to minimize the risk of new violations of law by the company and to protect consumers.” NASCUS has developed a summary of the new policy, which is available here (members only).

(Oct. 1) Bureau releases assessment of TRID mortgage loan disclosure rule

Consumers’ have improved their ability to locate key mortgage information, compare terms and costs between initial and final disclosures and compare terms and costs across mortgage offers through TRID real estate transaction disclosure rules, according to a report issued today by CFPB. However, the report found, the TRID rule did result in big implementation costs for companies. “Firms also reported increases to their ongoing costs; however, it is unclear if these increases are due to ongoing trends or if these increases can be attributed to the Rule,” the bureau stated.

(September 16) CFPB Announces Advisory Council Members
Continuing and new members of the CFPB’s Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) were announced this week, with five of the eight slots held by state-chartered credit union representatives (including the chairman), and two among those who are also leaders at NASCUS-member SCUs.

The bureau also named continuing and new members to its Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), and Academic Research Council (ARC). All four of the bureau’s advisory groups are meeting via teleconference next week to discuss regulatory matters and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumers and financial markets.

(September 15) CFPB Releases Outline of Proposals Under Consideration to Implement Small Business Lending Data Collection Requirements
CFPB released its Outline of Proposals Under Consideration and Alternatives Considered for Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act governing small business lending data collection and reporting.  The Bureau will convene a Small Business Advocacy Review panel in October 2020. (The executive summary of the outline can be accessed here.)

(September 4) Supervisory Highlights, Issue No. 22 (Summer 2020)
In the recent edition of Supervisory Highlights, we report examination findings in the areas of consumer reporting, debt collection, deposits, fair lending, mortgage servicing and payday lending. The report does not impose any new or different legal requirements, and all violations described in the report are based only on those specific facts and circumstances noted during those examinations.

(September 1) CFPB’s first tech sprint on October 5-9, 2020: Help improve consumer adverse action notices
The first Tech Sprint will kick off October 5-9, 2020, with teams focused on developing a range of innovative approaches to electronically-delivered adverse action notices. The sprints will be held virtually and generate actionable ideas and help inform future disclosure policy options in a range of markets. The application period closes Friday, September 11, 2020.

(August 31) CFPB Credit Union Advisory Council Meeting September 15
The Credit Union Advisory Council will meet Tuesday, September 15, 2020, from approximately 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. eastern daylight time. This meeting will be held via conference call and is open to the general public. Members of the public will receive the agenda and dial-in information when they RSVP.

(August 31) CFPB Report Examines Early Impact of Pandemic on Consumer Credit
The CFPB issued a report today examining the early effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer credit. The report found that consumers have not experienced significant increases in delinquency or other negative credit outcomes as reported in credit record data following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

(August 27)  New CFPB Guide for Intermediaries to Assist Non-Filers to Access their Economic Impact Payments
The CFPB released a guide to assist intermediaries in serving individuals to access their Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). The guide, Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations , provides step-by-step instructions for frontline staff on how to perform a number of tasks.

(August 27) CFPB Issues Analysis of HMDA Data Points
The CFPB ssued a new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) analysis of the 2019 HMDA Data. This data article is the second in a series and follows the first article  published in June of this year. The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) is a data collection, reporting, and disclosure statute that was enacted in 1975.

(August 25)  CFPB Issues CARD Act Rules RFI
The CFPB issued a request for information (RFI) as part of it’s work in assessing the impact of the rules that implement the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act Rules). The Bureau is required under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act to review certain rules within 10 years of their publication and consider the rules’ effect on small businesses.

(August 21) CFPB Issues 2021 HMDA Filing Instructions Guide and Supplemental Guide for Quarterly Filers
The CFPB announced that the Filing Instructions Guide (FIG) for Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data collected in 2021 is now available. The 2021 FIG is a technical resource to help financial institutions file HMDA data collected in 2021 and reported in 2022. The Bureau also released a Supplemental Guide for Quarterly Filers for 2021, which includes 2021 calendar year deadlines.

(August 19) CFPB Extends Comment Period on Request for Information on Ways to Prevent Credit Discrimination and Build a More Inclusive Financial System
The CFPB announced that it will provide an additional 60 days for public comment on its Request for Information on how best to create a regulatory environment that expands access to credit and ensures that all consumers and communities are protected from discrimination in all aspects of a credit transaction.

(August 18) CFPB Proposes New Category of Qualified Mortgages to Encourage Innovation and Access to Affordable Mortgage Credit
The CFPB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to create a new category of seasoned qualified mortgages (Seasoned QMs) in order to encourage innovation and help ensure access to responsible, affordable in the mortgage credit market. The Bureau also released a summary of the proposed rule which can be accessed here.

(August 11) CFPB Releases Small Dollar Lending FAQs
Today, the Bureau issued several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Small Dollar Lending Rule.  You can access the FAQs here. The Bureau previously issued several resources, including a Small Entity Compliance Guide, to help institutions comply with the Small Dollar Lending Rule.  You can access those resources here.

(July 31) Expanding access to credit to underserved communities
The CFPB reminded both for-profit and not-for-profit creditors of the availability under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B of the Special Purpose Credit Program (SPCP) to meet the credit needs of underserved communities. ECOA and Regulation B prohibit discrimination on a prohibited basis in any aspect of a credit transaction. The SPCP of the ECOA provisions and Regulation B, however, provide targeted means by which creditors can meet special social needs and benefit economically disadvantaged groups.

(July 30) CFPB issues HMDA FAQs – Multiple Data Points
The CFPB released two HMDA FAQs in response to questions it has received. The FAQs cover reporting requirements for certain data points, and specifically discuss reporting when the information is not the dispositive factor in a credit decision.

(July 28) CFPB Requests Information On Ways To Prevent Credit Discrimination And Build A More Inclusive Financial System
The CFPB issued a request for information (RFI) to seek public input on how best to create a regulatory environment that expands access to credit and ensures that all consumers and communities are protected from discrimination in all aspects of a credit transaction.

(July 24) CFPB Announces Plan to Issue ANPR on Consumer-Authorized Access to Financial Data
CFPB announced that it plans to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) later this year on consumer-authorized access to financial records. The announcement follows a symposium the Bureau held earlier this year on the topic, which included experts from consumer groups, fintechs, trade associations, financial institutions and data aggregators. The Bureau is releasing a summary report of the symposium proceedings.

(July 22) CFPB Symposium: Cost-Benefit Analysis in Consumer Financial Protection Regulation
The CFPB will hold a virtual symposium on the use of cost benefit analysis in consumer financial protection regulation. The symposium is intended to seek perspectives on the use of cost-benefit analysis in consumer financial protection regulations. The event will feature remarks by Bureau Director Kathleen L. Kraninger and will consist of two panels of experts.

(July 10) CFPB Releases Report on Debt Settlements and Credit Counseling
The CFPB released a report examining recent trends in debt settlement and credit counseling. The report documents changes over time in how consumers have used these debt relief options for unsecured debt and shows debt settlements rose dramatically during the Great Recession to a peak of $11.4 billion.

(July 7) CFPB Director Kraninger Announces Deputy Director; Additions to Executive Team
CFPB Director Kraninger announced several additions to the Bureau’s executive team, including Deputy Director (Thomas Pahl), Deputy Associate Director for the Consumer Education and External Affairs Division (Delicia Reynolds Hand), Assistant Director for the Office of Consumer Education (Desmond Brown), and Assistant Director for the Office of Stakeholder Management (Matt Cameron).

(July 7) CFPB Issues Final Rule on Small Dollar Lending.
The CFPB issued a final rule concerning small dollar lending in order to maintain consumer access to credit and competition in the marketplace. The final rule rescinds the mandatory underwriting provisions of the 2017 rule after re-evaluating the legal and evidentiary bases for these provisions and finding them to be insufficient. The final rule does not rescind or alter the payments provisions of the 2017 rule.

(July 7) CFPB Ratifies Prior Regulatory Actions
The CFPB ratified most regulatory actions the Bureau took from January 4, 2012 through June 30, 2020. The ratification of previous regulatory actions provides the financial marketplace with certainty that the rules are valid in light of the Supreme Court decision in Seila Law.

(July 6) CFPB Announces Consumer Financial Protection Week, Virtual Events Nationwide
CFPB announced the launch of Consumer Financial Protection Week, which will take place from July 14, 2020, through July 17, 2020. Consumer Financial Protection Week will focus on how the Bureau is protecting consumers in the financial marketplace, the issues consumers are confronting, as well as informing consumers of how they can communicate to the Bureau any issues that they may have with a financial services provider.

(July 2) CFPB Issues Proposed Rule on Escrow Exemptions for Certain High-Priced Mortgage Loans
CFPB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend Regulation Z to provide a new exemption available to certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for certain higher-priced mortgage loans (HPMLs).

(June 30) CFPB Releases Spring 2020 Rulemaking Agenda
CFPB published its Spring 2020 Agenda as part of the Spring 2020 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions , which is coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. The agenda lists the regulatory matters that we expect to focus on between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.

(June 29) CFPB Announces Tech Sprints To Empower Consumers, Reduce Regulatory Burden
The CFPB announced its first-ever Tech Sprints to reduce regulatory burden and improve consumer understanding of financial services. The Bureau’s Tech Sprints program will bring together regulators, technologists, software providers, consumer groups, and financial institutions to develop technological solutions to shared compliance challenges. The first Tech Sprint will kick off in October with another in March 2021.

(June 25) FFIEC Announces Availability of 2019 Data on Mortgage Lending
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) today announced the availability of data on 2019 mortgage lending transactions at 5,508 U.S. financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

(June 23) CFPB Provides Guidance During COVID-19 Pandemic – Mortgage Servicing
The Bureau issued an interim final rule (IFR) to make it clear that mortgage servicers will not violate Regulation X by offering certain loss mitigation options during the COVID-19 pandemic based on their evaluation of an incomplete loss mitigation application.

(June 23) CFPB Issues Interim Final Rule On Loss Mitigation Options For Homeowners Recovering From Pandemic-Related Financial Hardships
The CFPB issued an interim final rule (IFR) that will make it easier for consumers to transition out of financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and easier for mortgage servicers to assist those consumers.

(June 23) CFPB Issues Interpretive Rule on Method for Determining Underserved Areas
The CFPB issued an interpretive rule to provide guidance to creditors and other persons involved in the mortgage origination process about the way in which the Bureau determines which counties qualify as “underserved” for a given calendar year.

(June 22) CFPB Takes Steps to Address GSE Patch
The CFPB issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) to address the impending expiration of the Government-Sponsored Enterprises Patch (GSE Patch).  The GSE Patch is scheduled to expire in January 2021 or when the GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) exit conservatorship, whichever comes first.

(June 18) CFPB Launches Pilot Advisory Opinion Program to Provide Regulated Entities Clear Guidance and Improve Compliance
The CFPB  launched a pilot advisory opinion (AO) program to publicly address regulatory uncertainty in the Bureau’s existing regulations. The pilot AO program will allow entities seeking to comply with regulatory requirements to submit a request where uncertainty exists. The Bureau will then select topics based on the program’s priorities and make the responses available to the public.

(June 17)  CFPB issues guidance on COVID-19 consumer reporting
Today, the CFPB issued guidance on consumer reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The frequently asked questions (FAQs) address companies’ responsibilities under the CARES Act and the FCRA when they furnish information to consumer reporting agencies about consumers impacted by the crisis.

(June 9) CFPB Issues TRID Factsheet and FAQs
The CFPB has published guidance related to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule, including:

(1)  A Factsheet on how to disclose title insurance on the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure, including when a negative owner’s title insurance cost disclosure is appropriate.
(2)  Updated TRID FAQs to include guidance on the total of payments disclosure, using the optional signature line on the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure, and the requirement to include seller information on the consumer’s disclosures if providing separate Closing Disclosures.

(June 4) CFPB Takes Steps to Facilitate LIBOR Transition
CFPB took steps to facilitate the transition away from LIBOR for consumers and regulated entities. The Bureau released an updated Consumer Handbook on Adjustable Rate Mortgages (CHARM) to help consumers better understand adjustable rate mortgage loan products. The Bureau also released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concerning the anticipated discontinuation of LIBOR, including proposing examples of replacement indices that meet Regulation Z standards. Additionally, the Bureau is issuing guidance (FAQs) on other important LIBOR transition topics that do not require amendments to Regulation Z.

(June 2) CFPB Releases Remittance FAQs
The CFPB has issued FAQs explaining whether failure to deliver remittance transfer funds to the designated recipient by the disclosed date of availability due to certain government-mandated closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is an error under the Remittance Rule.

(May 27) CFPB updates the HMDA Small Entity Compliance Guide
CFPB has published updates to the HMDA Small Entity Compliance Guide to reflect changes made to Regulation C by the 2020 HMDA Thresholds Rule. You can access the updated HMDA Small Entity Compliance Guide here.

(May 21) CFPB Issues Consumer Complaint Bulletin
CFPB issued a report analyzing the complaints received during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bulletin shows that mortgage and credit card complaints top the list of complaints the Bureau has received that mention coronavirus or related terms.

(May 13) CFPB Outlines Responsibilities of Financial Firms During Pandemic
CFPB released a statement and FAQs outlining the responsibility of certain financial firms during the pandemic. In the statement, the Bureau outlines the billing error responsibilities of credit card issuers and other open-end non-home secured creditors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(May 11) CFPB Issues Final Remittance Transfer Rule
The CFPB issued a final rule amending the Remittance Transfer Rule. The Remittance Rule imposes requirements on entities that send international money transfers, or remittance transfers, on behalf of consumers.  Among its requirements, the Rule mandates that remittance transfer providers generally must disclose the exact exchange rate, the amount of certain fees, and the amount expected to be delivered to the recipient. Both the final rule and executive summary are available.

(May 8) Enforcement work continues with a commitment to protecting consumers
The CFPB issued a notice noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the Bureau’s ability or resolve to use its enforcement tool to police the consumer financial marketplace. The message states that the CFPB enforcement team is working remotely and committed to enforcing consumer financial protection laws in all markets under the organization’s jurisdiction.

(May 6) CFPB Issues Clarifications to Support Small Business Applying for PPP Loans
CFPB issued clarifying FAQs to support small businesses who have applied for a loan from their financial institution under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Creditors are generally required under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B to notify applicants within 30 days of receiving a “completed application” of the creditor’s approval, counteroffer, denial or other adverse notice regarding the application.

(April 30) CFPB Releases ECOA Factsheets
CFPB released two factsheets on the ECOA valuations rule in response to frequently asked questions it has received. The factsheets provide information on transaction coverage under the Rule, and delivery method and timing requirements for appraisals and other written valuations.

(April 27) CFPB Adds Enhancements to Consumer Complaint Database
CFPB announced the addition of a geospatial view to the Consumer Complaint Database. With this addition, consumers will now be able to view complaints by state with a U.S. map visualization. Consumers have been able to view complaints by using date, company name, key words, and other filters.

(April 24) CFPB Outlines Mortgage Loan Transfer Process to Prevent Consumer Harm
The CFPB outlined practices to provide mortgage servicers clarity, facilitate compliance, and prevent harm to consumers during the transfer of residential mortgages. The Bureau provides examples of practices that servicers may consider as contributing to compliance.

(April 21) CFPB Releases Video for Non-Filers on Economic Impact Payments
CFPB has released a video outlining the steps that non-filers need to take in order to receive their economic impact payments authorized by the CARES Act. Additionally, the Bureau published a blog with FAQs for consumers with details on the economic impact payments.

(April 20) CFPB Advisory Committees to Meet on May 1, 2020
The CFPB announced today that the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), and the Academic Research Council (ARC) will meet jointly on May 1st from 2:00 to 4:15 pm ET via conference call. The call will be open to the public.

(April 16) CFPB Issues Final Rule Raising Loan-Volume Coverage Thresholds
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued a final rule raising the loan-volume coverage thresholds for financial institutions reporting data under the Home Mortgage Reporting Act (HMDA). The final rule, amending Regulation C, increases the permanent threshold for collecting and reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans from 25 to 100 loans effective July 1, 2020.

(April 14) Federal Banking Agencies to Defer Appraisals and Evaluations for Real Estate Transactions Affected by COVID-19
The federal banking agencies today issued an interim final rule to temporarily defer real estate-related appraisals and evaluations under the agencies’ interagency appraisal regulations. The CFPB, Fed, FDIC, and the OCC are providing this temporary relief to allow regulated institutions to extend financing to creditworthy households and businesses quickly in the wake of the national emergency declared in connection with COVID-19.

(April 13) CFPB Paves Way for Consumers to Receive Economic Impact Payments Quicker
The CFPB took steps to make it easier for consumers to receive pandemic-relief payments, including the economic impact payments authorized in the CARES Act, through prepaid accounts. Federal, State, and local governments are considering a variety of approaches to providing consumers relief from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(April 10) CFPB Guide to COVID-19 Stimulus Relief
CFPB summarized the most common questions about the economic impact payments, including how much individuals are eligible to receive and when individuals can expect to receive it.

(April 10) CFPB Guidance on Remittance Transfers During COVID-19 Pandemic
The CFPB issued a policy statement that will enable insured institutions to continue to focus on the immediate needs of their customers by taking a flexible approach to the Bureau’s supervision and enforcement of remittance transfers, in order to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the remittances market,

(April 7, 2020) Agencies Issue Revised Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications by Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus
The federal financial institution regulatory agencies (the agencies), in consultation with state financial regulators, issued a revised interagency statement encouraging financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers affected by COVID-19 and providing additional information regarding loan modifications. The revised statement also provides the agencies’ views on consumer protection considerations.

(April 3, 2020) CFPB Releases Video on How Mortgage Forbearance Works Under CARES Act
CFPB has released a video on how struggling homeowners can obtain mortgage forbearance if their finances are impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau has also issued additional information for consumers on mortgage and student loan payment relief and how to avoid scams.

(April 1, 2020) CFPB Issues Credit Reporting Guidance During COVID-19 Pandemic
The CFPB released a policy statement outlining the responsibility of credit reporting companies and furnishers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In response to the pandemic, many lenders are being flexible when it comes to consumers’ making payments.  The Bureau’s statement underscores that consumers benefit if lenders report accurate information about these arrangements to credit bureaus so that the credit reports of consumers are accurate.

(March 27, 2020) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Request for Information to Assist Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Protection Law
The Bureau issued today a request for information (RFI) to assist the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law (Taskforce) with recommendations on harmonizing, modernizing, and updating the federal consumer financial laws. The Taskforce seeks input from the public at this time to help identify areas of consumer protection on which it should focus its research and analysis during the balance of its one-year appointment.

(March 26, 2020) Federal Agencies Encourage Banks, Savings Associations, and Credit Unions to Offer Responsible Small-Dollar Loans to Consumers and Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19
Five federal financial regulatory agencies today issued a joint statement encouraging banks, savings associations, and credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses in response to COVID-19.

(March 26, 2020) CFPB Provides Flexibility During COVID-19 Pandemic
CFPB announced that it is providing needed flexibility to enable financial companies to work with customers in need as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau is postponing some data collections from industry on Bureau-related rules to allow companies to focus on responding to consumers in need and making changes to its supervisory activities to account for operational challenges at regulated entities.

(March 20, 2020) CFPB Releases Report on 2019 Administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; Announces Extension of Comment Period
CFPB released the annual report to Congress on the administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The report highlights the continued efforts by the Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop unlawful debt collection practices, including vigorous law enforcement, consumer education and public outreach, and policy initiatives. Additionally, the Bureau announced today that it is extending the comment period on its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) implementing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The SNPRM, which proposed to require debt collectors to make certain disclosures when collecting time-barred debts, provided a 60-day public comment period that was set to close on May 4, 2020. Given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the comment period will be extended to June 5, 2020.

(March 6, 2020) Responsible Business Conduct: Self-Assessing, Self-Reporting, Remediating, and Cooperating (CFPB Bulletin 2020-01)
In 2013, the Bureau issued a Bulletin that identified several activities that individuals/businesses could engage in that could prevent and minimize harm to consumers, referring to these activities as “responsible conduct.” The Bureau is issuing this updated Bulletin to clarify its approach to responsible conduct and to reiterate the importance of such conduct.

(March 6, 2020) CFPB Releases New New HMDA FAQ and Regulatory Implementation Survey
CFPB published a response to the following frequently asked HMDA question: If a natural person applicant submits a mail, internet, or telephone application under Regulation C but does not provide race, ethnicity, or sex information, what should the financial institution report regarding whether this information was collected on the basis of visual observation or surname?  You can read the new FAQ here.

The Bureau is also seeking feedback on its compliance and guidance website.  The survey is available now.

(March 6, 2020) CFPB Takes Key Steps to Prevent Consumer Harm; Proposes Whistleblower Award Program, Other Measures
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today announced three steps to advance its strategy on one of its key priorities: preventing consumer harm.

The Bureau is:

  • Implementing an advisory opinion program to provide clear guidance to assist companies in better understanding their legal and regulatory obligations through advisory opinions;
  • Amending and reissuing its responsible business conduct bulletin, which articulates that the Bureau intends to provide credit to entities for their responsible conduct based on its extent and significance; and
  • Engaging with Congress to advance proposed legislation that would authorize the Bureau to award whistleblowers who report violations of Federal consumer financial law.

(Feb. 21, 2020) CFPB Issues Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Time-Barred Debt Disclosures
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Supplemental NPRM) regarding the collection of time-barred debt.  The Bureau proposes to prohibit collectors from using non-litigation means (such as calls) to collect on time-barred debt unless collectors disclose to consumers during the initial contact and on any required validation notice that the debt is time-barred.  Consumer research conducted by the Bureau found that a time-barred debt disclosure helps consumers understand that they cannot be sued if they do not pay.  That can help consumers make better informed decisions whether to pay the debt or not.

(Feb. 20, 2020) CFPB to Host Symposium on Consumer Access to Financial Records
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) announced today that it will hold a symposium on Consumer Access to Financial Records and Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act on February 26, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.  The event will be webcast on the Bureau’s website.

(Feb. 13, 2020) FFIEC Issues 2020 Edition of the Guide to HMDA Reporting
The 2020 edition of the “Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!” is now available. The guide was developed by member agencies of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), including NCUA, and reflects updates to incorporate content from the HMDA Rule issued by the CFPB in October 2019.  The appendices provide additional implementation materials you may find useful.

(Jan. 30, 2020) CFPB Announces Additions to Executive Team
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) announced additions to its executive team. The leadership positions are:

  • Susan M. Bernard will serve as Assistant Director for Regulations in the Research, Markets and Regulation Division.
  • Donna Roy will serve as Chief Information Officer in the Bureau’s Operations Division.
  • Rachelle Vaughan will serve as Chief Procurement Officer in the Bureau’s Operations Division.
  • Thomas G. Ward will serve as Assistant Director of Enforcement in the Supervision, Enforcement & Fair Lending Division.
  • David Wernecke will serve as Chief Experience Officer.

(Jan. 27, 2020) CFPB Announces Policy Statement on Compliance Aids
The CFPB  announced a new designation for certain Bureau guidance, known as “Compliance Aids,” and explained the legal status and role of guidance with that designation. Compliance Aids are designed to accurately summarize and illustrate the underlying rules and statutes. Accordingly, when exercising its enforcement and supervisory discretion, the Bureau does not intend to sanction, or ask a court to sanction, entities that reasonably rely on Compliance Aids.

(Jan. 24, 2020) CFPB Announces Policy Regarding Abusive Acts or Practices
The Dodd-Frank Act prohibits “abusive” acts or practices in connection with the provision of consumer financial products or services. The Bureau announced a policy providing clarification on how it intends to apply abusiveness in order to promote compliance and certainty. (READ)

(Jan. 24, 2020) CFPB Updates HMDA Small Entity Compliance Guide 
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published an updated version of the HMDA Small Entity Compliance Guide (Guide).  Changes to the Guide include updates to incorporate content from the HMDA Final Rule issued in October 2019. (READ)

(Jan. 13, 2020) CFPB Accepting Applications for Advisory Committees
To ensure that the CFPB hears from a variety of external experts with diverse viewpoints, we established the Consumer Advisory Board, the Community Bank Advisory Council, the Credit Union Advisory Council, and the Academic Research Council. These advisory committees provide the Bureau with information about emerging trends and practices in the consumer financial marketplace. They also allow us to hear directly from small financial institutions. (READ)

(Jan. 9, 2020) CFPB Announces Membership of Taskforce on Consumer Financial Law
The CFPB announced four members who will serve on the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law. The Taskforce will examine the existing legal and regulatory environment facing consumers and financial services providers and report to Director Kraninger its recommendations for ways to improve and strengthen consumer financial laws and regulations.  The Taskforce will produce new research and legal analysis of consumer financial laws in the United States, focusing specifically on harmonizing, modernizing, and updating the federal consumer financial laws—and their implementing regulations—and identifying gaps in knowledge that should be addressed through research, ways to improve consumer understanding of markets and products, and potential conflicts or inconsistencies in existing regulations and guidance. (READ)


2019 CFPB Updates