CFPB Acting Director Calls for Agency Review

01/19/18 – Acting Director Mick Mulvaney announced that the CFPB will undergo a review of the agency to identify “ways to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities.”

In a statement, Mulvaney said that, “[U]nder new leadership, it is natural for the Bureau to critically examine its policies and practices to ensure they aline with the Bureau’s statutory mandate. . . . Much can be done to facilitate greater consumer choice and efficient markets, while vigorously enforcing consumer financial law in a way that guarantees due process.”

To complete the review, Mulvaney asked the public to comment on various Bureau functions, including enforcement, supervision, rulemaking, market monitoring, and education activities. The Bureau will publish a series of Requests for Information (RFIs) in the Federal Register to formally solicit public comment.

The first RFI will seek feedback on Civil Investigative Demands, or CIDs. These demands are directed toward regulated entities when the Bureau is launching an enforcement investigation. According to the CFPB, responses to the RFI will help the Bureau evaluate the existing CID process and procedures and determine whether any changes are warranted.

Mulvaney’s call for a review follows a string of announcements that the Bureau will re-evaluate some regulations that have recently been finalized or become effective. For example, last month, the Bureau stated it would relax enforcement of new rules implementing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The HMDA requires lenders to report information about the applications they receive for certain types of mortgage loans or loans they purchase. In 2015, the CFPB modified the HMDA rules to require reporting of additional information. But last month, as Mulvaney began his tenure at the CFPB, the Bureau stated that if a lender submitted erroneous data, the CFPB did not intend to require resubmission of the data unless the errors were material. Additionally, the CFPB stated that did not intend to assess penalties for errors in data collected in 2018 and reported in 2019.

The CFPB also issued a statement on the prepaid card rule, which was finalized in 2016. According to the statement, the Bureau expects to issue amendments to the rule in early 2018 and will extend the effective date of the rule to allow additional time for its implementation.

Most recently, the CFPB stated that it intended to engage in a rulemaking process so that it could reconsider the payday lending rule. The American Banker reported that Mulvaney has backed efforts in Congress which would repeal the rule under the Congressional Review Act.

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