If you are on the edge of your seat waiting for the combined RESPA/TILA proposed regulations and disclosure forms, we have our first glimpse into the changes being contemplated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”). On February 21, 2012, the CFPB announced its plan, in accordance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, to solicit feedback from a group of small business mortgage and settlement companies that will be directly impacted by new and combined RESPA and TILA disclosure forms. In addition to describing the purpose and process for a Small Business Review Panel (“Panel”), and publishing a list of questions and issues for small business representatives to discuss at the upcoming Panel, the Bureau released an outline of the proposals currently under consideration for combined RESPA and TILA regulations. At this point, the outline is a list of issues that will allow the CFPB to measure whether the regulations under development could have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, but it gives us a first glance at the changes that could be coming for mortgage disclosures under RESPA and TILA. Read More
Several bills floating around Congress this month aim to address the privilege waiver issue that is causing anxiety for CFPB-regulated entities. Banks and credit unions routinely have shared privileged documents with their prudential regulators (banking agencies and the National Credit Union Administration) without concern about a claim of waiver because of two statutory provisions that say submitting privileged information to these regulators in the course of supervision does not result in a waiver as to any other person or entity. Read More
Payday lenders recently received their first peek at what life will be like under the CFPB’s watch, and it’s not a pretty picture. In the Bureau’s recently released examination procedures for payday lenders, the CFPB makes clear that it will examine every aspect of a payday lender’s operation, likely well beyond what most payday lenders have experienced to date with the patchwork of state regulation. Read More
On January 4, President Obama made several recess appointments, including the appointment of Richard Cordray as the first director of the CFPB. After facing harsh criticism, an Office of Legal Council (OLC) memorandum opinion was released on January 12, justifying the constitutionality of the appointments in question. Read More
Over the weekend, the CFPB and the FTC executed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between the two agencies that clarifies how they will share information and coordinate efforts with respect to companies and issues that fall under both agencies’ jurisdiction. The document contains few surprises but offers some insight into the steps the agencies are taking to prevent unnecessary duplication and inconsistency. Read More
The CFPB wants to get to know you – well. But it’s not a prelude to a kiss.
On January 12, 2012, the CFPB released its new Mortgage Origination Examination Procedures Governing Banks and Nonbanks (the “Procedures”). The release of the Procedures follows close on the heels of the CFPB’s October 13, 2011 release of its mortgage servicing examination procedures (see The CFPB Mortgage Servicing Examination Procedures Fail to Harmonize – Isn’t It Ironic? ), and its January 5, 2012 announcement of its nonbank supervision program (see CFPB Officially Launches Nonbank Supervision Program). Read More
By: Andrew L. Caplan* and David A. Tallman
*Mr. Caplan is not yet admitted to practice; admission to the NY Bar pending.
Litigation making its way through the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California could have broad implications for the use of social media websites for marketing purposes. The central issue in PhoneDog, LLC v. Kravitz is the extent to which a company can control or limit the use of a social media account created for the company’s benefit but used by an individual employee in that employee’s name. The case illustrates the competing concerns that companies face with respect to social media marketing. Some companies may prefer to allow employees to engage with social media relatively independently in order to mitigate the risk that courts or regulatory authorities will impute employee-generated content to the company or subject the content to substantive regulation. But by doing so, companies may lose the ability to manage key social media relationships. Read More
When servicemembers are discussed in relation to the consumer credit industry, the discussion usually centers on the protections to military homeowners and credit card holders under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”). While SCRA remains a concern of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”), recently the Office of Servicemember Affairs has been taking aim at a more unlikely target: student loans. The CFPB is looking into the recruiting practices of for-profit colleges to determine if for-profit colleges are exploiting servicemembers in order to evade a federal financial aid rule.