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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CFPB Helps Protect Consumers Against Credit Card Data Breaches

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a consumer advisory last week instructing consumers on how to protect themselves against recent data breaches and where to get help if their information was stolen.  Millions of consumers have been exposed to potential fraud as a result of such breaches involving payment cards, including credit, debit, and prepaid cards.  Personal information, including names and contact information of consumers, appears to have been stolen as well.    Read More ›

CFPB Continues Focus on Student Loans, Opening Complaint and Feedback Tool for Servicemembers and Veterans

In its continuing effort to ramp up oversight of student loans, on January 30, 2014, the CFPB announced the opening of a new online student complaint system specifically for servicemembers, veterans, and their families to report negative experiences at education institutions and training programs administering the Post-9/11 GI Bill, DoD Military Tuition Assistance, and other military-related education benefit programs.  Read More ›

CFPB Enforces RESPA Referral Prohibition Against Mortgage Lender

On January 16, 2014, Director Richard Cordray and the CFPB announced the entry of a Consent Order involving a mortgage lender, Fidelity Mortgage Corporation (FMC), and its President for alleged violations of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).  Although FMC and its President neither admit nor deny the CFPB's allegations, the Consent Order entered against the company and its President are instructive of potential future actions by the CFPB in connection with purported RESPA violations.  Moreover, since the CFPB recently took action under RESPA against two other third parties, a law firm and a home builder, we believe this action signals that the CFPB intends to actively police for RESPA enforcement.   Read More ›

CFPB Continues to Ramp Up Oversight and Protection for Students

On December 3, 2013, the CFPB announced that it would begin supervising certain non-bank student loan servicers. Two weeks later, on December 17, 2013, it called on financial institutions to publicly disclose their agreements with colleges and universities to market debit and credit products to students. Read More ›

CFPB Takes First Action Against Online Loan Servicer

On December 16, 2013, the CFPB initiated its first action against an online loan servicer. CashCall, Inc. allegedly engaged in unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices. The CFPB investigation uncovered evidence that the company had violated either licensing requirements or interest-rate caps in at least eight states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and North Carolina. According to the CFPB, the loans included amounts ranging from $850 to $10,000, with annual interest rates between 90% and 343%. As a result of the violations, the loans were rendered void or nullified in whole or in part. In this case, a third-party lender allegedly made usurious loans and CashCall then undertook servicing and collecting on those void or nullified loans.  Because the usurious loans were void or nullified, the CFPB alleged that CashCall was attempting to collect on a debt that borrowers did not owe.  The goal of the action is to make CashCall refund money it received from void or nullified loans and pay additional damages and penalties. Read More ›

American Express Reaches $59.5 Million Settlement with CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced on December 23, 2013 that it reached a settlement with American Express over alleged illegal credit card practices. Under the settlement, American Express agreed to refund $59.5 million to more than 335,000 customers. The company said that most of the money had already been refunded. American Express will also pay an additional $9.6 million in civil penalties to the CFPB, $3.6 million in fines to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and $3 million in fines to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).  Read More ›

Happy New Year!

This past year brought many developments to the consumer financial services industry and we have worked to keep you updated and informed about the changes and their potential impact on your business.  The next year promises to offer many additional events that will impact the regulatory environment and we pledge to get key information and insight to our readers as quickly and thoroughly as possible.  Read More ›

New CFPB Guidance on Higher-Priced Mortgage Loan Appraisal Rules under the Truth in Lending Act

On December 12, 2013, six federal financial regulatory agencies (the Federal Reserve, CFPB, FDIC, FHFA, NCUA, and OCC) issued a final rule amending the Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements for “higher-risk” mortgages to create exemptions from appraisal requirements for manufactured homes; loans of $25,000 or less (indexed each year for inflation); and certain “streamlined” refinancing transactions.  These exemptions are just in time, as the Higher-Priced Mortgage Loan (or HPML) Appraisal Rules under the Truth in Lending Act take effect on January 18, 2014.    Read More ›

Looking Ahead To 2014: Auto Finance and The CFPB

The impact of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s reach on the automotive finance industry remains a significant issue as 2014 approaches. Several of the largest lenders in the automotive finance industry were under review by the CFPB in 2013, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The increase in reviews, and the concerns the CFPB has expressed with regard to the practices of automotive finance lenders and car dealers, is likely to cause the industry to watch for more guidance from the CFPB in 2014.  Read More ›

CFPB Extends Supervisory Power to Federal Student Loan Servicers

On December 3, 2013, the CFPB announced that it had finalized a proposed rule which would allow the agency to begin supervising certain non-bank student loan servicers for the first time.  The CFPB is already supervising student loan servicing conducted by the nation’s largest depository institutions.    Read More ›