Skip to main content
Menu Icon Menu Icon

InfoBytes Blog

Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

House Financial Services Committee: CFPB Removed Safeguards to Achieve Political Goals

CFPB Auto Finance ECOA Disparate Impact

Consumer Finance

On January 20, Republicans on the House Committee on Financial Services issued a report alleging that the CFPB removed a number of safeguards from the claims process after it secured its first settlement with an auto finance company and the company’s subsidiary bank in 2013. The Committee’s most recent report follows a November 2015 report in which the Republican staff (i) criticized the CFPB’s approach for determining discrimination in the auto lending industry; and (ii) questioned the CFPB’s authority to bring claims against banks involved in indirect auto lending under ECOA on a disparate impact theory. According to the more recently published report, the CFPB failed to confirm that funds from the 2013 settlement would be distributed to eligible recipients. Specifically, the report states that when CFPB Director Cordray announced that $80 million would be paid to consumers affected by the auto finance company’s practices, he “did not know the race of a single borrower in any vehicle finance contract purchased by [the company].” The report further comments that, “Bureau officials knew that in order to generate a sufficient number of check recipients, they would have to remove a number of safeguards from the claims process, including confirming the race of claimants alleged to have been discriminated against, thus making it more likely that non-minority consumers would receive remuneration.”