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)

(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.


2020 CFPB Updates

2019 CFPB Updates