Latest CFPB Updates 2021

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.

2021 Updates (see archives at the bottom for previous years)


New rule ensures mortgage servicers provide options to potentially vulnerable borrowers exiting forbearance

Sept. 29, 2021 – As of September, approximately 1.6 million borrowers are exiting mortgage forbearance programs. As servicers expand their operations to match the surge of forbearance exits, servicers should remember that not all borrowers are similarly situated. Many borrowers may be vulnerable to a greater risk of harm due to a variety of personal circumstances, including poor health, mental decline, disability, caregiving for a child or loved one, having limited English proficiency, inadequate access to technology, or being a first-time homeowner. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated some of these vulnerabilities.

The CFPB’s final rule amending Regulation X to assist mortgage borrowers affected by the COVID-19 emergency became effective on August 31. The final rule establishes temporary procedural safeguards to help ensure that eligible borrowers have a meaningful opportunity to be reviewed for loss mitigation before the servicer can make the first notice or filing required for foreclosure on certain mortgages.

READ MORE


CFPB Report Finds Declines in Credit Card Debt, New Applications and Increases in Digital Engagement in 2020
As Public and Private Relief Ends, Consumer Credit Card Use Trends in 2020 began to Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Sept. 29, 2021 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its fifth biennial report to Congress today on the consumer credit card market, finding that the market’s growth over the last few years reversed course in 2020. In reviewing the market for potential consumer harm, the report presents the latest research on consumer card use, cost, and availability. From a 2019 peak of $926 billion, credit card debt fell to $811 billion by the second quarter of 2020, the largest six-month decline on record, before reaching $825 billion by the end of the year.

“While public and private programs helped consumers bring down their credit card debt during the pandemic, we at the CFPB will be watching to make sure families and individuals still struggling get the assistance they need,” said Dave Uejio, the Acting CFPB Director. “Across the credit card market, consumers sought and used less credit, paid down debt, and dropped late payment rates to historic lows. As pandemic relief efforts end, the CFPB will be using all our tools to support an equitable recovery.”

READ MORE


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announces New Advisory Committee Members

Sept. 22, 2021 – CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio today announced the appointment of new members to the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), and Academic Research Council (ARC). These committee members will advise Bureau leadership on a broad range of consumer financial issues and emerging market trends.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act charges the CFPB with establishing a CAB to advise and consult with the Bureau’s Director on a variety of consumer financial issues. The Bureau also created three councils: the CBAC, CUAC, and ARC. The CBAC and CUAC advise and consult with the Bureau on consumer financial issues related to community banks and credit unions. The ARC advises the Bureau on its strategic research planning process and research agenda and provides feedback on research methodologies, data collection strategies, and methods of analysis, including methodologies and strategies for quantifying the costs and benefits of regulatory actions.

READ MORE


CFPB has Major Disaster Resources for Institutions and Consumers

Sept. 14, 2021  – The Bureau recognizes the serious impact major disasters or emergencies, like those caused by the recent hurricanes, have on consumers and the operations of many supervised entities. As a reminder, the Bureau has published a Supervisory Policy Statement on the existing flexibility certain laws and regulations provide that may be helpful for supervised entities during recovery after major disasters and emergencies. The Bureau also has resources you may want to share with your consumers to help them after major disasters.

You can access the Supervisory Policy Statement here: www.consumerfinance.gov/compliance/supervisory-guidance/statement-supervisory-practices-regarding-financial-institutions-and-consumers-affected-major-disaster-or-emergency/.

You can access the consumer resources for disasters here: www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/disasters-and-emergencies/.


2022 HMDA Filing Instructions Guide and Supplemental Guide for Quarterly Filers Release

Sept. 10, 2021  – The Bureau is pleased to announce that the Filing Instructions Guide (FIG) for Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data collected in 2022 is now available. The 2022 FIG is a technical resource to help financial institutions file HMDA data collected in 2022 and reported in 2023.

They have also released a Supplemental Guide for Quarterly Filers for 2022, which includes 2022 calendar year deadlines. This guide will help financial institutions that are required to file HMDA data quarterly. Note that as of April 1, 2021, the Bureau rescinds the Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Quarterly Reporting Under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and instructs all financial institutions required to file quarterly to do so beginning with their 2021 Quarter 1 data.

The 2022 FIG and the Supplemental Guide for Quarterly Filers for 2022 can be accessed at https://ffiec.cfpb.gov under Help for Filers.

Please direct any questions to HMDAHelp@cfpb.gov.


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Report Finding a Continued Decline in College Credit Card Agreements in 2020

Sept. 9, 2021  – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today released a report on the agreements signed between credit card issuers and colleges, or organizations affiliated with colleges, finding that the market for college credit cards continued its general trend of decline in 2020.

The report also finds that agreements with alumni associations continued to make up the largest part of this market, as defined by the number of agreements, the number of accounts, and the amounts of payments made by issuers to their counterparties. Today’s report is the twelfth annual college credit card report issued as required by the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (“CARD Act”).

“The CFPB remains steadfast in its efforts to ensure our financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole, especially for students,” said CFPB Acting Director Uejio. “Our duty to collect and publish data on these credit card agreements supports transparency and an informed public.”

READ MORE


CFPB Proposes Rule to Shine New Light on Small Businesses’ Access to Credit
Proposal Would Increase Transparency in a $2.4 Trillion Sector of the American Economy and Bolster Fair Lending

Sept. 01, 2021  –  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today proposed a new rule designed to help small businesses gain access to the credit they need and deserve by increasing transparency in the lending marketplace. This rule, mandated by Congress in the Dodd-Frank Act, would, if finalized, require lenders to disclose information about their lending to small businesses, allowing community organizations, researchers, lenders, and others to better support small business and community development needs. Under the proposal, lenders would be required to report the amount and type of small business credit applied for and extended, demographic information about small business credit applicants, and key elements of the price of the credit offered. The CFPB today also launched a web portal for small business entrepreneurs to share their stories about applying for credit, which will help the CFPB understand small business entrepreneurs’ challenges and successes in accessing credit.

READ MORE


(Aug. 11) FFIEC Issues Guidance on Authentication and Access to Financial Institution Services and Systems

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), on behalf of its members, today issued guidance that provides financial institutions with examples of effective authentication and access risk management principles and practices for customers, employees, and third parties accessing digital banking services and information systems.

The guidance:

  • Highlights the current cybersecurity threat environment including increased remote access by customers and users, and attacks that leverage compromised credentials; and mentions the risks arising from push payment capabilities.
  • Recognizes the importance of the financial institution’s risk assessment to determine appropriate access and authentication practices to determine the wide range of users accessing financial institution systems and services.
  • Supports a financial institution’s adoption of layered security and underscores weaknesses in single-factor authentication.
  • Discusses how multi-factor authentication or controls of equivalent strength can more effectively mitigate risks.
  • Includes examples of authentication controls, and a list of government and industry resources and references to assist financial institutions with authentication and access management.

The new guidance replaces previous documents issued in 2005 and 2011. Related Link 


(Aug. 10) CFPB Report: Mortgage Servicers’ Pandemic Response Varies Significantly
Supervisory data show some servicers struggled to assist borrowers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today published a report detailing 16 large mortgage servicers’ COVID-19 pandemic response. The report’s data metrics include call handling and loan delinquency rates, and they highlight the industry’s widely varied response to the pandemic. For example, many servicers managed to handle high call volume with an average hold time below 3 minutes, while others reported keeping callers waiting for as long as 26 minutes. The CFPB expects servicers to compare the report’s findings to their own internal metrics to identify opportunities for, and demonstrate concrete efforts toward, improvement.

“Many emergency mortgage protections are winding down, and servicers have had ample time to prepare for the millions of distressed homeowners who need their assistance,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “Today’s report should inform servicers’ own data reviews as they determine whether they are doing enough for borrowers. Servicers who find themselves at the bottom of the pack should immediately take corrective steps. The CFPB will hold accountable those servicers who cause harm to homeowners and families.”

Read More


(Aug. 6) CFPB Issues Interpretive Rule on Certain Mortgage and Disclosure Timing Requirements for the 2021 Juneteenth Federal Holiday

Read the interpretive rule.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today released an interpretive rule to assist the mortgage industry in determining whether to treat June 19, 2021, as a federal holiday or a business day for purposes of compliance with certain time-sensitive borrower protections.

“The federal recognition and celebration of Juneteenth was a welcome and important step toward healing the national legacy of slavery,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “We understand that the quick enactment of the federal Juneteenth legislation created interpretive questions and compliance challenges for the mortgage industry with respect to rescission of closed-end mortgages and certain time-sensitive mortgage disclosures. The mortgage industry can refer to today’s interpretive rule when determining how to treat June 19, 2021.”

Read More


(Aug 4) CFPB Mortgage Servicing Small Entity Compliance Guide Updates

Today, the Bureau updated the Mortgage Servicing Small Entity Compliance Guide to incorporate references to the most recent Mortgage Servicing Rules. The updates provide an overview of the 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Final Rule and 2020 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Interim Final Rule provisions, as well as identify what areas of the underlying Mortgage Servicing Rules are impacted by these Rules.

In addition, this version of the guide also updates the discussion of the servicing file requirements under the existing Mortgage Servicing Rules to provide guidance about compliant use of multiple electronic systems.

The updates to the Small Entity Compliance Guide are summarized in the version log.

You can access the Mortgage Servicing Small Entity Compliance Guide here: www.consumerfinance.gov/compliance/compliance-resources/mortgage-resources/mortserv/.


(June 30) CFPB Confirms Effective Date for Debt Collection Final Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced that two final rules issued under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) will take effect as planned, on November 30, 2021. The CFPB issued a proposal in April 2021 that, if finalized, would have extended the effective dates to January 29, 2022. The CFPB has now determined that such an extension is unnecessary. Following this announcement, the CFPB will publish a formal notice in the Federal Register withdrawing the April 2021 proposal.

The CFPB proposed extending the final rules’ effective date by 60 days to allow stakeholders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic additional time to review and implement the rules. The public comments generally did not support an extension. Most industry commenters stated that they would be prepared to comply with the final rules by November 30, 2021. Although consumer advocate commenters generally supported extending the effective date, they did not focus on whether additional time is needed to implement the rules. The alternative basis for an extension that many commenters urged, a reconsideration of the rules, was beyond the scope of the NPRM and could raise concerns under the Administrative Procedure Act. Nothing in this decision precludes the CFPB from reconsidering the debt collection rules at a later date.

Read More


(June 29) CFPB Report Highlights Supervisory Findings of Wide-Ranging Violations of Law in 2020

The Bureau issued a report highlighting legal violations identified by the Bureau’s examinations in 2020. The report also highlights prior CFPB supervisory findings that led to public enforcement actions in 2020 resulting in more than $124 million in consumer remediation and civil money penalties.

“Today’s release of Supervisory Highlights reinforces the importance of the Bureau’s supervisory work, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, to find and correct systemic problems that hurt consumers,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “The actions we took in 2020 mitigated some of that harm, but consumers are still struggling, and we will stay vigilant.”

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the CFPB has the authority to supervise large banks, thrifts, credit unions with assets over $10 billion, and certain nonbanks for compliance with Federal consumer financial law.

Read More


(June 28) CFPB Issues Rules to Facilitate Smooth Transition as Federal Foreclosure Protections Expire

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today finalized amendments to the federal mortgage servicing regulations to reinforce the ongoing economic recovery as the federal foreclosure moratoria are phased out and which will help protect mortgage borrowers from unwelcome surprises as they exit forbearance. The amendments will support the housing market’s smooth and orderly transition to post-pandemic operation. The rules issued today will establish temporary special safeguards to help ensure that borrowers have time before foreclosure to explore their options, including loan modifications and selling their homes. The rules cover loans on principal residences, generally exclude small servicers, and will take effect on August 31, 2021.


(June 17) HMDA Data Browser Maps Tool Release

The Bureau is announcing the newly released FFIEC HMDA Data Browser feature — the HMDA Maps tool.  It allows those interested in exploring HMDA data to filter subsets by popular variables and display them in an illustrative format.  Once users have displayed their desired data, they have the option to download the data as a CSV, copy and share the page URL, or save the summary report as a PDF.  The HMDA Maps tool contains data for the years 2018, 2019, and the most recent, 2020 data.

The HMDA Maps tool can be found here.
For more information on the latest release of mortgage lending data, see the press release.


(June 16) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Interpretive Rule on Authority to Resume Examinations Regarding the Military Lending Act

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interpretive rule today that explains the basis for its authority to examine supervised financial institutions for risks to active-duty service members and their dependents (i.e. military borrowers) from conduct that violates the Military Lending Act (MLA).

“The Military Lending Act is an essential law protecting the finances of our military families and we are excited to announce this rule change prior to July, which is Military Consumer Month,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “Through our enforcement of the MLA, companies that harmed military borrowers have been ordered to pay millions of dollars in redress and civil penalties. To fulfill its purpose and protect military borrowers we must supervise financial institutions and hold them accountable for endangering consumers.”

READ MORE


(June 11) Spring 2021 Rulemaking Agenda

The CFPB has published their Spring 2021 Agenda as part of the Spring 2021 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, to further their consumer protection mission and mandate, they are currently pursuing under interim leadership pending the appointment and confirmation of a permanent Director. The permanent Director’s changes to their regulatory agenda will be reflected in the Fall 2021 Unified Agenda. They have also taken actions, and plan further actions, to focus our resources on addressing the adverse impacts to consumers in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, and are taking concrete steps toward furthering our commitment to promoting racial and economic equity.

READ MORE


(June 4) Electronic Fund Transfers Frequently Asked Questions 

The Bureau issued Electronic Fund Transfers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  The FAQs address the unauthorized transfer and error resolution provisions under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Regulation E, including situations when a consumer is fraudulently induced by a third party to provide their account information or private network rules conflict with the regulation.

These FAQs are published on the Electronic Fund Transfers compliance aid webpage. This webpage will serve as an access point to materials such as compliance aids, supervisory guidance, and any additional guidance the Bureau issues regarding electronic fund transfers.


(June 2) CFPB Issues FAQs on Escrow Accounts

The Bureau released a set of FAQs that discuss certain topics relating to escrow accounts under Regulation X. The FAQs provide a general overview of the escrow account provisions in Regulation X, and they address topics such as deficiencies, shortages, and surpluses.

You can access the FAQs on escrow accounts here: www.consumerfinance.gov/compliance/compliance-resources/mortgage-resources/mortserv/mortgage-servicing-faqs/.


(May 27) Manufactured Housing Loan Borrowers Face Higher Interest Rates, Risks, and Barriers to Credit, New CFPB Report Finds

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a report that provides new insights into manufactured housing financing, a vital source of lending for millions of manufactured housing homeowners. Manufactured housing is a small segment of the overall housing supply, but it is one of the most affordable types of housing available to low-income consumers and makes up 13% of the housing stock in small towns and rural America. Those low acquisition costs, however, often come coupled with higher interest rates and limited opportunity to refinance. Consumers who do not own the underlying land are more likely to see their homes depreciate and have fewer protections if they fall behind on payments. These factors combined can make this affordable housing a potentially risky avenue for homeownership. The CFPB’s report uses new information collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to shed light on the experiences of these often-overlooked families.

READ MORE


(May 14) TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure FAQs

The questions and answers below pertain to compliance with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID or TRID Rule).

This is a Compliance Aid issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Bureau published a Policy Statement on Compliance Aids, available here, that explains the Bureau’s approach to Compliance Aids.

Topics Include (click on title for a complete list of topics)


(May 4) CFPB Issues Reports Detailing Mortgage Borrowers’ Continuing COVID-19 Challenges

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released two reports today showing that more work needs to be done to help mortgage borrowers coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. The first report documents that Black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers are much more likely to be delinquent or in a forbearance program than white borrowers. In a second report, the CFPB reports that overall mortgage complaints to the CFPB have risen to their highest level in three years. (Click on the title to access the reports.)


(May 3) 2021 CFPB Research Conference: May 6-7th

Thank you for your interest in the Bureau’s Research Conference.  This two-day virtual conference will feature seven panels of researchers presenting their work in various areas of consumer finance with members of the CFPB’s Office of Research serving as discussants.
  • Day one of the conference will take place on Thursday, May 6 from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm.
  • Day two of the conference is Friday, May 7 from 10:45 am – 5:45 pm.  All times are EDT.

(April 28) CFPB Consumer Complaint Bulletin Examines County-Level Demographic Data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a bulletin today analyzing complaints submitted by consumers in counties nationwide. In 2019 and 2020, the CFPB received more complaints on a per-capita basis from consumers living in predominantly minority counties than from consumers in predominantly white, non-Hispanic counties. Consumers in counties with the highest percentage of minority population submitted complaints at over four times the rate compared to counties with the lowest percentage of the minority population.


(April 28) Final Rule Issued: Qualified Mortgage Definition under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z): General QM Loan Definition; Delay of Mandatory Compliance Date

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing this final rule to delay until October 1, 2022 the mandatory compliance date for the final rule titled Qualified Mortgage Definition under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z): General QM Loan Definition (General QM Final Rule). The Bureau is taking this action to help ensure access to responsible, affordable mortgage credit and to preserve flexibility for consumers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects.

Click here to read the CFPB’s executive summary.


(April 19) CFPB Rule Clarifies Tenants Can Hold Debt Collectors Accountable for Illegal Evictions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today issued an interim final rule in support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s eviction moratorium. The CFPB’s rule requires debt collectors to provide written notice to tenants of their rights under the eviction moratorium and prohibits debt collectors from misrepresenting tenants’ eligibility for protection from eviction under the moratorium.


(April 16) CFPB Updates the Debt Collection Small Entity Compliance Guide

Today, the Bureau updated the Debt Collection Small Entity Compliance Guide to include a discussion of the December 2020 Final Rule.

  • On April 16, 2021, the Bureau updated the Small Entity Compliance Guide to add discussion of the December 2020 Rule requirements.
  • On April 7, 2021, the Bureau issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to delay the effective date of the October and December 2020 Debt Collection Final Rules.

You can access the updated Small Entity Compliance Guide here


(April 7) CFPB Proposes Delay of Effective Date for Recent Debt Collection Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today proposed extending the effective date of two recent debt collection rules to give affected parties more time to comply due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The CFPB issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to delay by 60 days the effective date of two final rules issued under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The debt collection rules, issued in late 2020, are scheduled to take effect on November 30, 2021. The CFPB is proposing to extend the effective date of both rules to January 29, 2022. The proposed delay would allow stakeholders affected by the pandemic additional time to review and implement the rules.


(April 5) CFPB Proposes Mortgage Servicing Changes to Prevent Wave of COVID-19 Foreclosures

Today the CFPB proposed a set of rule changes intended to help prevent avoidable foreclosures as the emergency federal foreclosure protections expire. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, millions of families nationwide have suffered the loss of income and nearly 3 million homeowners are behind on their mortgages. The CFPB’s proposal seeks to ensure that both servicers and borrowers have the tools and time they need to work together to prevent avoidable foreclosures, recognizing that the expected surge of borrowers exiting forbearance in the fall will put mortgage servicers under strain.


(April 2) The 2021 edition of the “Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!” is now available

The 2021 version, developed by member agencies of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, reflects updates to incorporate content from the HMDA Rule issued by the Bureau in April 2020. The appendices provide additional implementation materials you may find useful.


(April 1) CFPB Compliance Bulletin Warns Mortgage Servicers: Unprepared is Unacceptable

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today warned mortgage servicers to take all necessary steps now to prevent a wave of avoidable foreclosures this fall. Millions of homeowners currently in forbearance will need help from their servicers when the pandemic-related federal emergency mortgage protections expire this summer and fall. Servicers should dedicate sufficient resources and staff now to ensure they are prepared for a surge in borrowers needing help. The CFPB will closely monitor how servicers engage with borrowers, respond to borrower requests, and process applications for loss mitigation. The CFPB will consider a servicer’s overall effectiveness in helping consumers when using its discretion to address compliance issues that arise.


(March 31) CFPB Rescinds Series Of Policy Statements To Ensure Industry Complies With Consumer Protection Laws

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced it is rescinding seven policy statements issued last year that provided temporary flexibilities to financial institutions in consumer financial markets including mortgages, credit reporting, credit cards and prepaid cards. The seven rescissions, effective April 1, provide guidance to financial institutions on complying with their legal and regulatory obligations. With the rescissions, the CFPB is providing notice that it intends to exercise the full scope of the supervisory and enforcement authority provided under the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFPB is also rescinding its 2018 bulletin on supervisory communications and replacing it with a revised bulletin describing its use of matters requiring attention (MRAs) to effectively convey supervisory expectations.

(March 29) Agencies Seek Wide Range of Views on Financial Institutions’ Use of Artificial Intelligence

The Federal Reserve Board, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced the request for information (RFI) to gain input from financial institutions, trade associations, consumer groups, and other stakeholders on the growing use of AI by financial institutions.

(March 29) CFPB Acting Director Uejio and FTC Acting Chairwoman Slaughter Issue Joint Statement on Preventing Illegal Evictions

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Dave Uejio and Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter issued a joint statement regarding their agencies’ work to help stop illegal evictions and protect American consumers facing economic hardship due to COVID-19.

(March 24) CFPB Annual Complaint Report Highlights More Than a Half-Million Complaints Received in 2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provided to Congress the Consumer Response Annual Report for 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the consumer financial marketplace is reflected in the increase of complaints submitted to the CFPB. The CFPB handled approximately 542,300 complaints last year—a nearly 54% increase over the approximately 352,400 complaints handled in 2019.

(March 22) CFPB Submits 2020 Report to Congress on the Administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the 2020 annual report to Congress on the administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The report highlights efforts by the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect consumers, particularly those who have suffered profound financial impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFPB and the FTC, along with state and federal partners, accomplished much toward stopping unlawful debt collection practices and continuing its vigorous law enforcement, consumer education and public outreach, and policy initiatives.

(March 17) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Encourages Financial Institutions and Debt Collectors to Allow Stimulus Payments to Reach Consumers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is squarely focused on addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economically vulnerable consumers and is looking carefully at the stimulus payments that millions are now receiving through the American Rescue Plan. The Bureau is concerned that some of those desperately needed funds will not reach consumers, and will instead be intercepted by financial institutions or debt collectors to cover overdraft fees, past-due debts, or other liabilities.

(March 11) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Rescinds Abusiveness Policy Statement to Better Protect Consumers

Today, the CFPB announced it is rescinding its January 24, 2020 policy statement, “Statement of Policy Regarding Prohibition on Abusive Acts or Practices.” Going forward, the CFPB intends to exercise its supervisory and enforcement authority consistent with the full scope of its statutory authority under the Dodd-Frank Act as established by Congress. The CFPB has made these changes to better protect consumers and the marketplace from abusive acts or practices, and to enforce the law as Congress wrote it.

(March 9) CFPB Clarifies That Discrimination by Lenders on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is Illegal

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interpretive rule clarifying that the prohibition against sex discrimination under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B includes sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination. This prohibition also covers discrimination based on actual or perceived nonconformity with traditional sex- or gender-based stereotypes, and discrimination based on an applicant’s social or other associations.

(March 3) CFPB Proposes Delay of Mandatory Compliance Date for General Qualified Mortgage Rule

The bureau proposes Delay of Mandatory Compliance Date for General Qualified Mortgage RuleThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to delay the mandatory compliance date of the General Qualified Mortgage (QM) final rule from July 1, 2021 to October 1, 2022. The CFPB is proposing to extend the compliance date to ensure homeowners struggling with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have the options they need.

(March 1) Action needed to keep eviction away for thousands, acting director says

The bureau is working with federal agencies and consumers to help mitigate a potential flood of home foreclosures and evictions, according to a report it issued today on housing insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic. “The good news is that actions taken by both the public and private sector have, so far, prevented many families from losing their homes during the height of the public health crisis,” said Dave Uejio, the bureau’s acting director, in a blog post. “However, as legal protections expire in the months ahead, over 11 million families – nearly 10% of U.S. households – are at risk of eviction and foreclosure. He added that “put simply: we have very little time to prevent millions of families from losing their homes.”

(Feb. 23) Revisions on ability-to-repay/QM rules made in guide

Updates to the small-entity compliance guide on the ability-to-repay/qualified mortgage (QM) rule were issued today by the bureau, reflecting amendments to last year’s final rules to extend the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) patch, or what the bureau now calls the “temporary GSE QM rule.” The rule is used for loans that are eligible for purchase or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac; creating a seasoned QM definition; and revising what is now called the general QM definition.

(Feb. 23) Revising – or revoking – ‘seasoned QM’ rule under consideration

Revoking or revising the “seasoned” qualified mortgage (QM) final rule issued in December is under consideration by the bureau, according to a statement issued Feb. 23. The bureau, in that statement (circulated along with a notice of small-entity compliance guide updates), also said it was looking at whether to delay the July 1 mandatory compliance date for the December final rule on the general QM loan definition. Both rules, which created a “seasoned” QM loan definition and revised the existing QM loan definition – now called the general QM definition – are set to take effect March 1, with mandatory compliance generally set for July 1. The new seasoned QM and general QM definitions in those rules also replaced the debt-to-income ratio ceiling as a QM factor, instead using performance requirements and a pricing component, respectively.

(Jan. 21) Semiannual report outlines complaints, bureau actions

Credit or consumer reporting remain the most complained-about products by consumers, making up more than half (54%) of all complaints received by the agency in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2020, according to the agency’s fall 2020 semiannual report issued Jan. 21. The credit or consumer reporting complaints also led all complaints in the previous year’s report – but in 2020 represented a bigger share of the total. In 2020, the credit/consumer reporting complaints accounted for 54%, compared to 43% in 2019. Rounding out the top five were: debt collection (17% of all complaints, compared to 22% in 2019); credit cards (7% in 2020, 8% in 2019); checking or savings (6% compared to 8%); and mortgages (6% compared to 8%).

(Jan. 19) Special edition of Supervisory Highlights looks at risks from pandemic

A special edition of the bureau’s Supervisory Highlights that detailing prioritized assessment (PA) work in the area of COVID-19 has been published. The bureau said the PA observations are described in the areas of mortgage, auto and student loan servicing, credit card account management, consumer reporting-furnishing, debt collection, deposits, prepaid cards, and small business lending. The bureau said the PA supervisory work was conducted last year after the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and focused on assessing risks to consumers resulting from the pandemic.

(Jan. 19) Final rule codifying ‘supervisory guidance’ role issued

A new rule codifying that supervisory guidance does not have the force of law, and that enforcement actions are not based on the guidance, was finalized Tuesday by the bureau; both the FDIC and the OCC also finalized the regulation. The rule codifies a 2018 interagency statement on the role of supervisory guidance that was intended to clarify the differences between regulations and guidance. The final rule also states that the statement is binding on the agency.

(Jan. 19) Final rule exempts smaller CUs, banks from escrow accounts

An exemption from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for certain higher-priced mortgage loans (HPMLs) for smaller credit unions and banks and was issued as a final rule Tuesday by the bureau. It takes effect  upon publication in the Federal Register. The rule exempts from the HPML escrow requirement any loan made by a bank or credit union and secured by a first lien on the principal dwelling of a consumer if: the institution has assets of $10 billion or less; the institution and its affiliates originated 1,000 or fewer loans secured by a first lien on a principal dwelling during the preceding calendar year; and certain of the existing HPML escrow exemption criteria are met.

(Jan. 15) Small entity guide for debt collection communications rule offered

A summary of the October 2020 debt collection rule regarding communications between collectors and debtors is provided in a small entity compliance guide released by the federal consumer financial protection agency Friday. The debt collection rule takes effect Nov. 30, 2021, the guide notes. It applies to attempts to communicate, communications, and other conduct by debt collectors occurring on or after that date, regardless of when the underlying debt was incurred.

(Jan. 13) Statement aims at encouraging financials to better serve consumers with limited English proficiency (LEP)

Credit unions and other financial institutions are encouraged to better serve consumers with limited English proficiency (LEP) and are being provided principles and guidelines to assist financial institutions seeking to better serve LEP consumers in non-English languages, the CFPB said today. The bureau said its “Statement Regarding the Provision of Financial Products and Services to Consumers with Limited English Proficiency” was also aimed at complying with the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and other applicable laws. The statement presents general principles for financial institutions to consider in serving LEP consumers in languages other than English. It also provides guidelines institutions can use to help advance those principles and develop compliance solutions, including key considerations to inform those decisions and specific information about common components of a compliance management system (CMS).

(Jan. 11) Beta release of HMDA platform for 2020 data collection unveiled

The beta release of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) platform for data collected in 2021 is available now for testing, the bureau said today. The platform may be used by credit unions and other financial institutions to determine whether their sample loan/application register (LAR) data comply with the reporting requirements outlined in the filing instructions guide (FIG) for HMDA data collected in 2021, the bureau said. To access the 2021 Beta Platform, financial institutions can use their login credentials from the 2020 filing period or, if they have not previously filed data, establish log-in credentials, and upload sample 2021 HMDA files to perform validation on their data, the bureau said. The bureau will continue to add functionality to the 2021 beta platform during the testing period, it said. It emphasized the beta platform is for testing purposes only and that no data submitted on it will be considered for HMDA data reporting compliance. (The filing instructions guide (FIG) can be found here.)

(Jan. 11) Applications open for advisory committee appointments

Applications for appointments to membership of one of the bureau’s four advisory committees that offer input from various sections of the financial industry, and for research projects by the agency, are now being taken, according to a notice published today in the Federal Register. Applications are due by Feb. 24; new members, selected through the application process, are expected to be announced in late summer, according to the agency. The bureau said it is taking applications for membership in its Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), and Academic Research Council (ARC), (collectively, advisory committees). According to the bureau, membership in the committees includes representatives of consumers, diverse communities, the financial services industry, academics, and economists. Appointments to the committees are generally for two years. “However, the Director may amend the respective committee charters from time to time during the charter terms, as the Director deems necessary to accomplish the purpose of the committees,” the agency said in its announcement.

(Jan. 5) Task force on consumer law issues report (with advice for dealing with states)

Considering the benefits and costs of preempting state law where conflicts can impede the provision of valuable products and services (such as the regulation of FinTech companies engaged in money transmission) is among the 100 total recommendations from a CFPB taskforce on federal consumer financial law released Tuesday. The report was issued by the bureau’s Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law after about a year of deliberations. Formed in January 2020, the group was charged with developing recommendations for ways to improve and strengthen consumer financial laws and regulations Other recommendations touching on states included: Continue to increase dialogue with state regulators to bridge knowledge gaps and streamline regulation; authorize CFPB to issue licenses to non-depository institutions that provide lending, money transmission, and payments services.

Archives

2020 CFPB Updates

2019 CFPB Updates