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CFPB Releases Spring 2017 Rulemaking Agenda

Wed 23 Aug, 2017  /  by   /   Client Alerts

By Michael M. Aphibal

August 23, 2017

Last month, the CFPB announced the publication its Spring 2017 rulemaking agenda after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) posted the agenda on its website.

The CFPB submits its rulemaking agenda to OMB as part of the Unified Agenda program, in which federal agencies must submit regulatory agendas to OMB twice a year. As an independent regulatory agency, the CFPB voluntarily participates in the Unified Agenda program.

Through the Unified Agenda, the CFPB listed several rulemakings in various stages of completion: pre-rule, proposed rule, final rule, long-term, and completed.

Many of the CFPB’s ongoing rulemakings concern mortgage rules, including rules on mortgage originations and servicing, the integrated federal mortgage disclosures, and mortgage reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The CFPB is currently completing rulemakings to make clarifications to the HMDA rules and to alter aspects of the mortgage servicing rule. The CFPB states that it expects to issue a proposal in the fall to make one or more substantive changes to the rule.

The CFPB is also looking at rulemaking to implement section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires financial institutions to compile, maintain, and report information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.

In addition, the CFPB is still working on several rulemaking initiatives that would regulate certain products or markets.

  • Small-Dollar, Short-Term Lending: The CFPB is currently working to finalize its rule on payday, auto title, and similar lending products. The CFPB received more than one million comments about the proposed rule and is still considering those comments.
  • Debt Collection: The CFPB is considering comments it received from small business regarding an outline of a proposal for the regulation of the debt collection market that the CFPB released in July 2016. The CFPB intends to issue a proposed rule later in 2017 concerning debt collections’ communication practices and consumer disclosures. The CFPB will address separately the regulation of information flows between creditors and debt collectors and potential rules to govern creditors that collect their own debts.
  • Overdrafts: The CFPB is considering rulemaking regarding checking account overdraft programs. The CFPB is concerned that some institutions are aggressively steering consumers to opt in to overdraft programs. The CFPB is engaged in consumer testing of revised opt-in forms and is considering whether other regulatory changes may be warranted to enhance consumer decision making.
  • Other Personal Loan Providers: The CFPB is working to develop a proposed rule that would define non-bank “larger participants” in the market for personal loans, including consumer installment loans and vehicle title loans. It is also considering whether requiring the registration of these or other non-depository lenders would facilitate supervision.
  • Prepaid Financial Products: Earlier, the CFPB finalized its rule governing prepaid financial products. The CFPB delayed the effective date of the rule by six months and is considering amendments to the rule to address industry concerns.
  • Privacy: The CFPB indicated that it is in the final rule stage of an amendment to Regulation P, the privacy regulations. This amendment will address an exception to the requirement that financial institutions provide annual privacy notices to their customers.

In addition to developing new rules, the CFPB is reviewing its current rules to clarify ambiguities, address developments in the marketplace, or modernize or streamline provisions. The categories of rules that the CFPB is reviewing include:

  • Mortgage servicing rules;
  • Rules requiring mortgage lenders to assess consumers’ ability to repay;
  • Consumer remittance transfers of money to international recipients; and
  • Rules inherited from other agencies when the CFPB was formed.

The CFPB is also considering changes that will affect how credit card issuers submit credit agreements to the CFPB, as required by the Credit CARD Act. The CFPB is considering rules to modernize the CFPB’s database of credit card agreements to reduce burdens on issuers that submit credit card agreements to the CFPB and make the database more useful for consumers and the general public.

Finally, the CFPB listed a number of topics that it considers “long-term actions.”

The CFPB’s Spring 2017 Agenda can be found on the OMB’s website: Current Actions; Long-Term Actions. The CFPB also has a summary of its agenda on its website.