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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

DFPI proposes new CCFPL modifications on complaints and inquiries

State Issues Agency Rule-Making & Guidance State Regulators DFPI CCFPL Consumer Complaints

State Issues

On April 14, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) released a third round of modifications to proposed regulations for implementing and interpreting certain sections of the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) related to consumer complaints and inquiries. DFPI modified the proposed text in December and March (covered by InfoBytes here and here) in response to comments received on the initially proposed text issued last year to implement Section 90008 subdivisions (a) (b), and (d)(2)(D) of the CCFPL (covered by InfoBytes here). Subdivisions (a) and (b) authorize the DFPI to promulgate rules establishing reasonable procedures for covered persons to provide timely responses to consumers and the DFPI concerning consumer complaints and inquiries, whereas subdivision (d)(2)(D) permits covered persons to withhold certain non-public or confidential information when responding to consumer inquiries.

DFPI considered comments on the most recent proposed modifications and is now proposing further additional changes:

  • Amended definitions. The proposed modifications change “officer” to “complaint officer” and expand the definition to mean “an individual designated by the covered person with primary authority and responsibility for the effective operation and governance of the complaint process, including the authority and responsibility to monitor the complaint process and resolve complaints.” References to “officer” have been changed to “complaint officer” throughout.
  • Complaint processes and procedures. The proposed modifications make clarifying edits to the requirements for annual notices issued to consumers (disclosures must be provided “in a clear and conspicuous manner”), and specify that complaints pertaining solely to entities not involved in the offering or providing of the financial product or service being reported on should not be included in the number of complaints received.
  • Inquiry processes and procedures. The proposed modifications clarify that should an inquirer indicate any dissatisfaction “regarding a specific issue or problem” concerning a financial product or service or allege wrongdoing by the covered person or third party, the inquiry should be handled as a complaint.

Comments are due April 29.