CFPB status report provides Section 1071 implementation updates
On May 26, the CFPB filed its first status report in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California as required under a stipulated settlement reached in February with a group of plaintiffs, including the California Reinvestment Coalition. The settlement (covered by InfoBytes here) resolved a 2019 lawsuit that sought an order compelling the Bureau to issue a final rule implementing Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires the Bureau to collect and disclose data on lending to women and minority-owned small businesses. Under the settlement’s terms, the Bureau agreed to outline a proposal for collecting data and studying discrimination in small-business lending by September 15, and to create a Small Business Advocacy Review panel by October 15 in order to prepare a report on the proposal. The Bureau is also required to submit status reports, which must detail the Bureau’s progress and address whether it is on track to meet all relevant deadlines to the plaintiffs and the court every 90 days until the final rule is issued.
Updates on the following items are provided within the first status report: (i) the Bureau is continuing to work to resolve legal and policy issues in order to implement Section 1071; (ii) Bureau staff have begun drafting sections of the outline and started preliminary internal work to select small entity representatives who will consult with the panel; (iii) a survey seeking information from lenders on one-time costs for preparing and collecting data required by Section 1071 (covered by InfoBytes here) was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Bureau believes it can conduct the process without these results if necessary; (iv) the Bureau believes it is on track to meet the September and October deadlines, but notes that the Covid-19 pandemic may “introduce uncertainty with respect to the Bureau’s future ability to meet these deadlines,” and may also impact the Bureau’s ability to recruit small entity representatives to participate in the process; and (iv) the Bureau will notify the plaintiffs should it believe that a deadline extension is needed.