Dykema Gossett PLLC
Dykema Gossett PLLC

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Law Blog

CFPB Law Blog

News and analysisi of the priorities, initiatives and regulatory actions and proceedings of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


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Top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee Proposes Sweeping Changes to Fair Credit Reporting Act

U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D-Cal), the top Democrat on the Republican led House Financial Services Committee, proposed a bill on September 10, 2014 to change many key provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulating the way lenders report consumer payments to credit reporting agencies.  The bill, entitled the “Fair Credit Reporting Improvement Act of 2014”, proposes the most sweeping changes to the FCRA since it was passed in 1970, and would affect consumer reporting agencies, consumers, lenders, employers and furnishers of credit information. Read More ›

Interagency Guidance Regarding Unfair or Deceptive Credit Practices

Several regulatory agencies have jointly issued guidance to banks, saving associations, and Federal credit unions concerning the repeal of consumer protection regulations promulgated under the FTC Act.  The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the Board), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (the OCC) jointly issued guidance on August 22, 2014 to banks, savings associations, and Federal credit unions explaining that the repeal of certain regulations as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act should not be construed as a tacit approval of these prohibited practices addressed in the regulations, and that the CFPB may still enforce such rules in principal under its general mandate to prohibit deceptive practices.  Read More ›

Eighteen Months after Bulletin 2013-01, CFPB Issues New Guidance on Mortgage Servicing Transfers

Mortgage servicers and subservicers should consider reviewing the August 19, 2014 bulletin from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on mortgage servicing transfers to ensure compliance with the most up-to-date guidance.  This bulletin replaces the February 2013 bulletin on the same topic, incorporating the January 10, 2014 revisions to Regulation X, which implements the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).  For servicers who have fully implemented the CFPB’s February 2013 guidance and the new servicing rule, we do not expect the information in the new bulletin to require significant changes to policies and practices.  Rather, the bulletin may provide a useful set of benchmarks and reminders.  Read More ›

CFPB Raises Concerns About Overdraft Fees

In a July 31, 2014 Data Point, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) concluded that  consumers who opt in to overdraft services for debit card and ATM transactions put themselves at a “serious risk when using their debit card.”  The Data Point is based on data from a set of large banks supervised by the CFPB. The CFPB reviewed account-level and transaction-level data in an attempt to better understand how overdraft practices affect consumers. The study was supplemented by other research and responses to a CFPB Request for Information issued to the public in February 2012.  The report concluded that the majority of debit card overdraft fees are incurred on transactions of $24 or less and are repaid within three days; in other words, a consumer repairing the transaction fee within three days pays the equivalent of a 17,000 percent annual percentage rate (APR).   Read More ›

CFPB Issues Advisory Concerning The Risks Associated With the Use of Virtual Currencies

On August 11, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a consumer advisory warning consumers about the risks of virtual currencies, also referred to as “digital currencies,” such as Bitcoin.  The potential risks include the threat of hacking and scams, volatile exchange rates, unclear costs, and the risk that companies offering virtual currencies may not offer help or refunds for lost or stolen funds.  The CFPB also announced that consumers who encounter problems with a virtual currency may now submit a complaint with the CFPB.    Read More ›

The CFPB Implements Guidelines to Comport With the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2013 Decision in United States v. Windsor, Striking Down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act

On July 9, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had recently implemented policies to ensure certain statutes and regulations were consistent and in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26, 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, in which the Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional.  Section 3 of DOMA provided, in part, that “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”  Read More ›

CFPB Proposed Arbitration Study Receives Criticism from Industry and Consumer Groups

In June 2013, the CFPB put credit card issuers and servicers on notice that it was planning to investigate consumer experience with mandatory arbitration agreements. With the proposed survey, the CFPB planned to elicit feedback regarding the effect of dispute resolution provisions on consumer choice of credit cards and consumers’ default assumptions regarding their dispute resolution rights, including their awareness, understanding, and valuation of certain resolution options. The information would be gathered through a telephone survey of 1,000 credit card holders. Dodd-Frank Act section 1028 mandates the CFPB conduct an arbitration study and the finding could result in new and far-reaching regulation of consumer financial products. The CFPB is authorized to regulate the use of dispute resolution agreements in the context of consumer financial products and services. Based on public comments, a revised proposed survey was published in May 2014. Read More ›

Supreme Court Invalidates President Obama’s Recess Appointments

The United States Supreme Court held today that three recess appointments President Barack Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were unconstitutional, upholding an earlier D.C. Circuit ruling. The case, National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning., could call into question the validity of the actions of any federal officer who was appointed in the same manner.  Read More ›

CFPB’S Fifth Semi-Annual Report: A Brief Summary

On May 28, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its fifth Semi-Annual Report to the President and Congress, covering its activities from October 1, 2013 - March 31, 2014. Not surprisingly, the fifth report echoes many of the same points as the previous, fourth Semi-Annual Report, issued on November 5, 2013. In these reports, the Bureau summarizes its efforts to protect consumers in the financial marketplace and help them improve their financial lives. In the most recent report, the Bureau details how it is using consumer engagement, consumer outreach, regulation, and enforcement to ensure consumers are protected from improper conduct and to ensure access to competitive and fair markets. A brief summary of some the key points and highlights from the lengthy, 177-page fifth Semi-Annual Report are listed below:  Read More ›

CFPB Concludes Medical Debts Unduly Harm Credit Scores

On May 20, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a data point report that focused on whether consumers with medical debts were overly penalized for medical debts that go into collection and show up on their credit reports. The CFPB confronted two questions in the report: (1) “whether medical and non-medical collection are equally predictive about the subsequent respective credit performance of consumers with these different types of accounts” and (2) “whether paid and unpaid medical collections are equally predictive of consumer delinquency rates.” In assessing these questions, the CFPB reviewed about five million anonymized credit records. The answer to both questions—according to the CFPB—is no.   Read More ›