On Friday, the CFPB launched a new online portal through which the public can submit comments on ongoing efforts to streamline inherited regulations. The move continues the Bureau’s trend of using its website to promote a more interactive and responsive regulatory feel. Over the past few months, the site has hosted dialogs between the Bureau, industry representatives, and consumers as part of Know Before You Owe Campaigns that have targeted disclosures related to mortgages, credit cards, and student loans. CFPB has also positioned its site as its preferred method for receiving and resolving complaints about consumers’ mortgages or credit cards. Indeed, the complaint portals remain the most prominent feature of the CFPB homepage. Read More
It is no secret that the CFPB is taking great interest in consumers’ complaints about credit cards. From day one, a “submit a credit card complaint” icon has held a prominent position on the agency’s home page, and CFPB representatives have talked about how credit card offers and terms are sometimes too complicated for consumers to understand.
On November 7, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled a process designed to warn individuals and companies of possible enforcement actions against them. At its discretion, the Bureau may provide an Early Warning Notice and an opportunity to respond before deciding whether to pursue an enforcement action. This process is not required by law, however, and the CFPB may decide not to provide notice in certain cases, such as when the Bureau’s Office of Enforcement believes that prompt action is necessary. Read More
Those who have been concerned about the expansive powers of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or the “Bureau”) should ready themselves for the risk assessment reviews that the Bureau is about to initiate. The CFPB recently released the first edition of its Supervision and Examination Manual (“Examination Manual”), which provides an overview of the Bureau’s supervision planning process and details the Bureau’s examination procedures. A key component of the Examination Manual is the CFPB’s Consumer Risk Assessment process, which evaluates supervised entities based on the amount of risk their activities pose to consumers, identifies sources of risk, and assesses the quality of risk controls put in place by the supervised entities.
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The CFPB, which has regularly reached out to consumers online through its blog posts and its consumer complaint portal, is also seeking consumer input the old-fashioned way – in person. On October 26, Raj Date, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury for the CFPB, who previously spoke with consumers in Philadelphia, will be headed to Minneapolis, Minnesota to discuss the Bureau’s upcoming initiatives directly with consumers. The Bureau has plans on holding more events aimed at consumers throughout the country in the upcoming months.
In the months ahead, the CFPB will be expanding the coverage of its consumer complaint portal to include products such as mortgages and student loans. Consumers have been able to submit credit card complaints through a portal on the CFPB web site since July 21st. In addition to providing a consumer portal through which consumers can submit and check on the status of their complaints, the CFPB now provides a company portal through which companies can view and respond to consumer complaints. The CFPB recently met with industry representatives to show them how the new system works. Read More
By: David L. Beam
Raj Date recently issued a statement on the CFPB’s web site which suggests that the Bureau is considering a standardized disclosure form for checking account fees. The “problem,” Mr. Date said, “is that checking accounts often come with a wide variety of unexpected costs that can quickly add up for consumers.” One bank might call the fee one thing, while another bank calls it something else. And the circumstances under which banks charge the same fee might be different. Read More
Debt collectors, consumer lenders, money transmitters, and prepaid card issuers, be forewarned: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau”) thinks it might need to send some examiners to your offices to see if you are complying with consumer protection laws.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires the Bureau to examine large banks, thrifts, credit unions, and their affiliates. The Act also allows the Bureau to conduct routine examinations of nonbank covered personsin the residential mortgage lending, private education lending, and payday lending markets, among others. Nondepository covered persons such as these will be subject to a risk-based supervision program that is designed to assess the covered person for compliance with Federal consumer financial law, obtain information about its activities, and assess risks to consumers and to the consumer financial markets. They may also have to register with the Bureau to help support the implementation of its supervision program.
To read the complete alert online, click here.
The centerpiece of the Dodd-Frank Act from a consumer protection standpoint is Title X, the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. The Act will create a powerful consumer financial protection watchdog, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The majority of existing federal consumer financial protection laws will come under the Bureau’s purview, and the Bureau will have broad authority to enforce those laws and to issue its own rules under the Act. This alert describes the Bureau, including its structure, objectives, functions, jurisdiction, rulemaking authority and enforcement powers.
To view the complete alert online, click here.
This client alert is part of a series of alerts focused on monitoring financial regulatory reform. Below is a list of other alerts in the series:
Investor Protection Provisions of Dodd-Frank – July 1, 2010