In an effort to reach more consumers, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity launched a new mobile app for iPhone and iPad today. The app gives users instant access to HUD’s online housing discrimination complaint form and information about fair housing rights. After downloading the app, consumers and fair housing advocacy groups will have what HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasviña called “faster and easier” access to the complaint form. This makes sense for repeat complainants like fair housing advocacy organizations. But for the average consumer looking to file a discrimination complaint, downloading an app rather than visiting HUD’s web site seems like an unnecessary extra step. In any case, the app is a valiant attempt by HUD to follow the CFPB’s lead in maximizing technology to reach out to consumers.
On January 23, 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) published proposed guidance to supervised institutions regarding social media use. The proposed guidance reminds financial institutions that they must comply with consumer protection laws when they engage in regulated activities over social media, but does not dwell on how an institution must comply with particular compliance obligations in the social media context. Rather, the guidance is meant to highlight the broader compliance, reputational, and operational risks that institutions should address within their risk management programs. Read More