Skip to main content
Menu Icon Menu Icon
Close

InfoBytes Blog

Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Filter

Subscribe to our InfoBytes Blog weekly newsletter and other publications for news affecting the financial services industry.

  • CFPB issues Supervisory Highlights special edition on consumer reporting

    Federal Issues

    On December 9, the CFPB released a special edition of its fall 2019 Supervisory Highlights, focusing on recent supervisory findings in the areas of consumer reporting and information furnishing to consumer reporting companies (CRCs). This is the second special edition to focus on consumer reporting issues, and follows a report that the Bureau released in March 2017 covered by InfoBytes here. According to the Bureau, recent supervisory reviews of FCRA and Regulation V compliance have identified new violations as well as compliance management system (CMS) weaknesses at CFPB-supervised institutions. However, the Bureau noted that examiners have also observed significant improvements, such as continued investment in FCRA-related CMS.

    Highlights of the supervisory findings include:

    • Recent examples of CMS weaknesses and FCRA/Regulation V violations (where corrective action has either been taken or is currently being taken) in which one or more (i) mortgage loan furnishers did not maintain policies and procedures “appropriate to the nature, size, complexity, and scope of the furnisher’s activities”; (ii) auto loan furnishers’ policies and procedures failed to provide sufficient guidance for investigating indirect disputes containing allegations of identity theft; (iii) debt collection furnishers’ policies and procedures failed to differentiate between FCRA disputes, FDCPA disputes, or validation requests, leading to a lack of consideration for applicable regulatory requirements when handling these matters; and (iv) deposit account furnishers lacked written policies and procedures for furnishing or validating the information provided to specialty CRCs.
    • Examiners found that one or more furnishers provided information they knew, or had reasonable cause to believe, was inaccurate. Examples include inaccurate derogatory status codes due to coding errors and unclear addresses for consumers to submit disputes.
    • Examiners discovered several instances where furnishers failed to send prompt notifications to CRCs after determining that information previously furnished was inaccurate, including situations where furnishers failed to promptly update or correct information after consumers paid charged-off balances in full or discharged them in bankruptcy.
    • Examiners found that some furnishers reported the incorrect date of the first delinquency in connection with their responsibility to provide notice of delinquent accounts to CRCs.
    • Examiners found several instances where furnishers failed to investigate disputes, complete investigations in a timely manner, or notify consumers of certain determinations related to “frivolous or irrelevant” disputes.

    The Bureau also discussed supervisory observations concerning CRC compliance with FCRA provisions, and commented that CRCs continue to (i) improve procedures concerning the accuracy of information contained in consumer reports; (ii) implement improvements to prevent consumer reports from being furnished to users who lack a permissible purpose; (iii) strengthen procedures to “block information that a consumer has identified as resulting from an alleged identity theft”; and (iv) investigate and respond to consumer disputes. 

    Federal Issues CFPB Consumer Reporting FCRA Compliance Regulation V Credit Report

    Share page with AddThis
  • CFPB reaches $8.5 million settlement with background screening company

    Federal Issues

    On November 22, the CFPB announced a settlement with an employment background screening company resolving allegations that the company violated the FCRA. In the complaint, the Bureau asserts that the company failed to “employ reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy” in the consumer reports it prepared. Specifically, the Bureau claims that until October 2014, the company matched criminal records with applicants based on only two personal identifiers, which created a “heightened risk of false positives” in commonly named individuals. The company also had a practice of including “high-risk indicators,” sourced from a third party, in its consumer reports and did not follow procedures to verify the accuracy of the designations. Additionally, the Bureau asserts that the company failed to maintain procedures to ensure that adverse public record information was complete and up to date, resulting in reporting outdated adverse information in violation of the FCRA. Under the stipulated judgment, in addition to injunctive relief, the company will be required to pay $6 million in monetary relief to affected consumers and a $2.5 million civil money penalty.

    Federal Issues CFPB FCRA Consumer Reporting Courts Settlement Civil Money Penalties Enforcement

    Share page with AddThis
  • FTC announces settlement over tenant-screening FCRA violations

    Consumer Finance

    On October 16, the FTC announced that it reached a settlement with a Texas-based company over allegations that it violated the FCRA by failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of tenant-screening information furnished to landlords and property managers. The FTC alleges that the company compiled screening reports through an automated system using broad criteria that incorrectly matched applicants to criminal records. Additionally, the company allegedly lacked policies or procedures to assess the accuracy of those results, which led to some renters being turned down for housing. The settlement requires the company to pay $3 million—the largest civil penalty ever assessed by the FTC against a background screening company. In addition, the company must maintain reasonable procedures to ensure consumer reports contain the maximum possible accuracy of information and is subject to compliance, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements.

    Consumer Finance FTC Settlement FCRA Consumer Reporting

    Share page with AddThis
  • 3rd Circuit: Failure to provide job applicants consumer reports has standing under Spokeo

    Courts

    On September 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit issued a precedential order reversing in part and affirming in part a lower court’s dismissal of claims brought by three individuals who claimed a company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it failed to provide them with copies of their consumer reports. According to the opinion, the three plaintiffs applied for jobs with the company and were ultimately not hired due to information discovered in their background checks. The plaintiffs filed a putative class action asserting the company did not send them copies of their background checks before it took adverse action when deciding not to hire them, and also failed to provide them with notices of their rights under the FCRA. The district court dismissed the claims against the company, finding there was only a “bare procedural violation,” and not a concrete injury in fact as required under the Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins (covered by a Buckley Sandler Special Alert). On appeal, the 3rd Circuit reversed the lower court’s decision, concluding that the plaintiffs had standing to assert that the company violated the FCRA by taking adverse action without first providing copies of their consumer reports. Additionally, the court noted that “taking an adverse employment action without providing the required consumer report is ‘the very harm that Congress sought to prevent, arising from prototypical conduct proscribed’ by the FCRA.” However, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claim alleging the company failed to provide them with a notice of their FCRA rights, finding that the claim was a “‘bare procedural violation, divorced from any concrete harm,’” and lacked Article III standing under Spokeo. The 3rd Circuit remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with their findings.

    Courts Third Circuit Appellate Consumer Reporting FCRA Spokeo

    Share page with AddThis
  • CFPB Releases Supervisory Highlights Focused on Credit Reporting

    Consumer Finance

    On March 2, the CFPB released its Supervisory Highlights for winter 2017 that outlines supervisory and oversight actions the Bureau has taken to address issues in the credit reporting market. According to the CFPB’s February Monthly Complaint Report, the Bureau has handled approximately 185,700 credit reporting complaints since the Bureau’s inception. Examples of these complaints include that no action happens when consumers dispute items on their reports, that paid debts often show up as “unpaid,” and that consumers’ files are not updated to reflect changes or deletions which negatively affect their credit scores.

    The new Supervisory Highlights outlines the actions the Bureau has taken to address concerns, including the following:

    • Fixing data accuracy at consumer reporting companies, including instituting quality control programs and tests to identify mix-ups as well as improving corrective actions and preventative measures.
    • Directing consumer reporting companies to improve dispute investigation systems.
    • Directing furnishers supplying data to consumer reporting companies to ensure the integrity of the information, an effort that “includes better investigations and handling of disputes, notifying consumers of results, and taking corrective action when inaccurate information has been supplied.”

    As further explained, the CFPB uses the same supervision approach for credit reporting activities that it uses for other activities of supervised entities, which “includes a review of compliance systems and procedures, on-site examinations, discussions with relevant personnel, and requirements to produce relevant reports . . . [and, if violations are discovered], enforcement actions.” In addition, on the same day, the Bureau posted to its blog a guide to help consumers learn ways to monitor their credit history, including a list of several companies that claim to offer existing customers free access to credit scores.

    Consumer Finance Consumer Complaints CFPB Consumer Reporting

    Share page with AddThis
  • CFPB Report Suggests Remittance Transfer History Offers Little Value For Credit Scores

    Fintech

    On July 3, the CFPB published a report on its study of the use of remittance histories in credit scoring, which found that (i) remittance histories have little predictive value for credit scoring purposes, and (ii) remittance histories are unlikely to improve the credit scores of consumers who send remittance transfers. The report follows a 2011 CFPB report on remittance transfers, which  was required by the Dodd-Frank Act and assessed, among other things, the feasibility of and impediments to using remittance data in credit scoring. At that time, the CFPB identified a number of potential impediments to incorporating remittance history into credit scoring, and noted the need for further research to better address the potential impact of remittance information on consumer credit scoring.

    To conduct its supplemental analysis of the potential effect of including remittance histories in credit models, the CFPB collected a random set of 500,000 consumers from a single remittance transfer provider. The CFPB was able to match approximately 212,000 of those remitters to a credit record held by one of the three major consumer reporting agencies. The CFPB analyzed the remitter data set in comparison to a control set of 200,000 consumers with credit records.

    First, the CFPB estimated a credit scoring model that used only credit history information to serve as a baseline estimate of the level of predictiveness that credit history information alone produces. The CFPB then evaluated how large of an increase in predictiveness results when remittance histories are added to that baseline model. The CFPB determined that including remittance histories in credit scoring models is unlikely to increase the predictiveness of the models enough to warrant generating scores for otherwise unscorable credit records. The report cautions that the CFPB’s analysis of the predictiveness of remittance histories is limited in numerous ways.

    Second, the CFPB assessed the impact of remittance histories on the credit scores of three different populations: (i) remitters without credit files or who could not be matched to a credit file—the majority of the original 500,000 sample size; (ii) remitters with credit profiles insufficient to be scored (“unscoreable”); and (iii) remitters with credit scores.

    The CFPB determined that for remitter sample members without credit records remittance histories likely would not allow those individuals to develop a credit profile. The CFPB hypothesizes that given the limited utility of remittance history for predicting future performance, credit model builders would not construct a credit scoring model for this population without any credit records. Similarly, although the CFPB found that although remittance transfers appear to be associated with better credit outcomes for the small segment of remitters with “unscorable” credit, model builders still would be unlikely to score these consumers because remittance histories offer little with regard to predictiveness,. Finally, the CFPB reported that for remitters who already have credit scores, remittance history information appears to drag down credit scores.

    The report adds that remittance transfers also are likely to correlate with race or ethnicity, which could raise fair lending risk for credit model developments. Further, the CFPB states that the credit scoring value of remittance histories appears even less valuable compared to other potential alternative data—specifically rental and utility payment data. The bureau suggests that future efforts to enhance consumer credit scoring models should focus on activities that involve regularly scheduled payments, as opposed to voluntary payments like remittance transfers.

    CFPB Consumer Reporting Remittance Credit Scores

    Share page with AddThis
  • CFPB Report Highlights Nonbank Supervisory Findings

    Consumer Finance

    On May 22, the CFPB published its Spring 2014 Supervisory Highlights report, its fourth such report to date. In addition to reviewing recent guidance, rulemakings, and public enforcement actions, the report states that the CFPB’s nonpublic supervisory actions related to deposit products, consumer reporting, credit cards, and mortgage origination and servicing have yielded more than $70 million in remediation to over 775,000 consumers. The report also reiterates CFPB supervisory guidance with regard to oversight of third-party service providers and implementation of compliance management systems (CMS) to mitigate risk.

    The report specifically highlights fair lending aspects of CMS, based on CFPB examiners’ observations that “financial institutions lack adequate policies and procedures for managing the fair lending risk that may arise when a lender makes exceptions to its established credit standards.” The CFPB acknowledges that credit exceptions are appropriate when based on a legitimate justification. In addition to reviewing fair lending aspects of CMS, the CFPB states lenders should also maintain adequate documentation and oversight to avoid increasing fair lending risk.

    Nonbank Supervisory Findings

    The majority of the report summarizes supervisory findings at nonbanks, particularly with regard to consumer reporting, debt collection, and short-term, small-dollar lending:

    Consumer Reporting

    Following its adoption of its larger participant rule for consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) in July 2012, CFPB examiners reviewed CRAs’ dispute handling processes and CMS, and found among other things that (i) some CRAs lacked a formal or adequate CMS, and/or their boards and senior managers exercised insufficient oversight of the CMS; (ii) some CRAs failed to establish sufficient FCRA compliance policies, including with regard to dispute-handling procedures, and (iii) some failed to adequately supervise vendors, including call center and ancillary product vendors. CFPB examiners also found that (i) at least one CRA did not monitor or track consumer complaints; (ii) at least one CRA failed to forward all relevant consumer dispute materials to the furnisher, as required by FCRA; and (iii) at least one refused to accept disputes from certain consumer submitted online or by phone.

    Debt Collection

    The CFPB finalized its debt collector larger participant rule in October 2012 and since that time its examiners have observed debt collectors engaged in the following allegedly illegal or unfair and deceptive practices: (i) intentionally misleading consumers about litigation; (ii) making excessive calls to consumers; and (iii) failing to investigate consumer credit report disputes.

    Short-term, Small-dollar Lending

    The Dodd-Frank Act grants the CFPB supervisory authority over payday lenders without having first to adopt a larger participant rule. The CFPB launched its payday lender supervision program in January 2012 and reports that its examiners have found, among other things, that in seeking to collect payday loan debt some lenders engaged in the following allegedly unfair or deceptive practices: (i) threatening to take legal actions they did not actually intend to pursue; (ii) threatening to impose additional fees or to debit borrowers’ accounts, regardless of contract terms; (iii) falsely claiming they were running non-existent promotions to induce borrowers to call back about their debt; and (iv) calling borrowers multiple times per day or visiting borrowers’ workplaces.

    CFPB Payday Lending Nonbank Supervision Mortgage Origination Auto Finance Debt Collection Consumer Reporting Bank Supervision

    Share page with AddThis
  • CFPB Supplements Consumer Reporting Guidance, Holds Consumer Advisory Board Meeting, Issues Consumer Reporting Complaints Report

    Consumer Finance

    On February 27, the CFPB issued supplemental guidance related to consumer reporting and held a public meeting focused on consumer reporting issues. The CFPB also released a report on consumer reporting complaints it has received.

    Supervisory Guidance

    The CFPB issued a supervision bulletin (2014-01) that restates the general obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for furnishers of information to credit reporting agencies and “warn[s] companies that provide information to credit reporting agencies not to avoid investigating consumer disputes.” It follows and supplements guidance issued last year detailing the CFPB’s expectations for furnishers.

    The latest guidance is predicated on the CFPB’s concern that when a furnisher responds to a consumer’s dispute, it may, without conducting an investigation, simply direct the consumer reporting agency (CRA) to delete the item it has furnished. The guidance states that a furnisher should not assume that it ceases to be a furnisher with respect to an item that a consumer disputes simply because it directs the CRA to delete that item. In addition, the guidance explains that whether an investigation is reasonable depends on the circumstances, but states that furnishers should not assume that simply deleting an item will generally constitute a reasonable investigation.

    The CFPB promises to continue to monitor furnishers’ compliance with FCRA regarding consumer disputes of information they have furnished to CRAs. Furnishers should take immediate steps to ensure they are fulfilling their obligations under the law.

    Consumer Advisory Board Meeting

    The public session of this week’s two-day Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) Meeting featured remarks from Director Cordray, and a discussion among CAB members, industry representatives, and consumer advocates on several major topics: (i) use of credit history in employment decisions; (ii) consumer access to credit information; and (iii) the credit dispute process.

    Mr. Cordray focused on steps the CFPB has taken related to the credit reporting market, including: (i) launching a complaint portal through which consumers have submitted 31,000 consumer reporting complaints, nearly 75% of which have related to the accuracy and completeness of credit reports; (ii) beginning to supervise large credit reporting companies and many large furnishers; (iii) identifying process changes, including upgrades to the e-Oscar consumer dispute system to allow consumers to file disputes online and to provide furnishers direct access to dispute materials; and (iv) issuing guidance to furnishers on resolving consumer disputes.

    Mr. Cordray also expressed support for a “major initiative” in the credit card industry to make credit scoring information more easily and regularly available to card holders. Mr. Cordray stated that he sent letters to the CEOs of the major card companies “strongly encouraging them to consider making credit scores and educational content freely available to their customers on a regular basis.” He added that he sees “no reason why this approach should not be replicated with customers across other product lines as well.”

    In his CAB remarks, Mr. Cordray also identified some persistent concerns that resulted in the additional furnisher guidance issued today, discussed above.  He stated that “[s]ome furnishers are taking short-cuts to avoid undertaking appropriate investigations of consumer disputes. For example, a consumer may find an error on the credit report and file a dispute about an incorrect debt or a credit card that was never opened. In response, the furnisher may simply delete that account from the information it passes along to the credit reporting company.” He stated that such practices deprive consumers of important protections.

    During the discussion session, consumer advocates complained that credit reports provided to consumers are not the same as the reports provided to creditors. They claimed that consumers receive “sterilized” versions and do not, for example, get to see if their file is mixed with some else’s file. They also complained that the reports do not provide credit scores.

    With regard to the CFPB’s support for creditors disclosing credit scores on a regular basis, several participants, including a representative for CRAs, stated that creditors should be free to provide the credit score of their choice, and not only FICO.  Mr. Cordray and the CFPB’s Corey Stone responded that the CFPB is encouraging voluntary participation in score disclosure programs, but stated the Bureau does not believe that any one score needs to be disclosed. Instead, Mr. Stone explained that creditors should provide the score that is most relevant and useful for its customers.  Mr. Cordray stressed the importance of providing educational information with the score, regardless of what score is provided.

    The consumer advocates also were sharply critical of the CRAs and certain creditors’ dispute resolution processes. One participant raised specific concerns about the lack of human interaction in online dispute processes and the sale of certain add-on products offered during the dispute process.

    The industry’s representative defended recent enhancements to the dispute process and highlighted the efficiency benefits of online disputes, including quicker resolution.  He added that many furnishers prefer to hear directly from their customers, and that the real issue is how creditors respond.

    Report on Consumer Reporting Complaints

    The “credit reporting complaint snapshot” states that of the nearly 300,000 complaints the CFPB has received on a range of consumer financial products and services, approximately 31,000 or 11 percent have been about credit reporting. The CFPB accepts consumer credit reporting complaints in five categories: (i) incorrect credit report information; (ii) credit reporting company’s investigation; (iii) improper use of a credit report; (iv) inability to obtain credit report or score; and (v) credit monitoring or identity protection services. The CFPB reports that the most common complaints related to incorrect information on a credit report, while very few complaints related to identity protection or credit monitoring services. The report reviews the complaint handling process, and indicates that companies have resolved approximately 91 percent of the complaints submitted to them.

    CFPB Nonbank Supervision Debt Collection Consumer Reporting Bank Supervision Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    Share page with AddThis
  • CFPB Consumer Advisory Board Meeting To Focus On Consumer Reporting

    Consumer Finance

    The CFPB announced this week that its next Consumer Advisory Board meeting will be held on February 27, in Washington, DC, and that the sole public session will focus on the “consumer experience in the credit reporting market.” Non-public sessions of the two-day event will cover, among other things, the HMDA rulemaking, the debt collection rulemaking, and the CFPB’s general approach to regulation.

    CFPB Consumer Reporting

    Share page with AddThis
  • CFPB Director Defends Mortgage Rules, Discusses Plans In Other Markets

    Consumer Finance

    On January 28, the House Financial Services Committee held a lengthy hearing with CFPB Director Richard Cordray in connection with the CFPB’s November 2013 Semi-Annual Report to Congress, which covers the period April 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013. The hearing came a day after the Committee launched a CFPB-like “Tell Your Story” feature through which it is seeking information from consumers and business owners about how the CFPB has impacted them or their customers. The Committee has provided an online submission form and also will take stories by telephone. Mr. Cordray’s prepared statement provided a general recap of the CFPB’s recent activities and focused on the mortgage rules and their implementation. It also specifically highlighted the CFPB’s concerns with the student loan servicing market.

    The question and answer session centered on the implementation and impact of the CFPB’s mortgage rules, as well as the CFPB’s activities with regard to auto finance, HMDA, credit reporting, student lending, and other topics. Committee members also questioned Mr. Cordray on the CFPB’s collection and use of consumer data, particularly credit card account data, and the costs of the CFPB’s building construction/rehabilitation.

    Mortgage Rule Implementation / Impact

    Generally, Director Cordray pushed back against charges that the mortgage rules, in particular the ATR/QM rule, are inflexible and will limit credit availability. He urged members to wait for data before judging the impacts, and he suggested that much of the concerns being raised are “unreasoned and irrational,” resulting from smaller institutions that are unaware of the CFPB’s adjustments to the QM rule. He stated that he has personally called many small banks and has learned they are just not aware of the rule’s flexibility. He repeatedly stated that the rules can be amended, and that the CFPB will be closely monitoring market data.

    The impact of the mortgage rules on the availability of credit for manufactured homes was a major topic throughout the hearing, On the substance of the issue, which was raised by Reps. Pearce (R-NM), Fincher (R-TN), Clay (D-MO), Sewell (D-AL), and others, Director Cordray explained that in his understanding, the concerns from the manufactured housing industry began with earlier changes in the HOEPA rule that resulted in a retreat from manufacture home lending. He stated that industry overreacted and now lenders are coming back into the market. Mr. Cordray has met personally with many lenders on this issue and will continue to do so while monitoring the market for actual impacts, as opposed to the “doomsday scenarios that are easy to speculate on in a room like this.” Still, he committed to work on this issue with manufacturers and lenders, as well as committee members.

    Several committee members, including Reps. Sherman (D-CA), and Huizenga (R-MI) raised the issue of the requirement that title insurance from affiliated companies must be counted in the QM three percent cap. Mr. Cordray repeated that the CFPB believes Congress made a determination to include affiliate title protections in numerous places in the Dodd-Frank Act. That said, the CFPB is looking at the data on the impacts and meeting with stakeholders. Rep. Huizenga was most forceful, stating that while the CFPB has sought to limit the impact of the three percent cap, it is not enough. He raised again his bill, HR 1077, Rep. Meeks’ HR 3211, and ongoing work with Senators Vitter (R-LA) and Manchin (D-WV). He cited a survey conducted by the Real Estate Settlement Providers Council that found the inclusion of title charges causes 60 percent of loans under $60,000 to fail as qualified mortgages, and such loans actually become high-cost HOEPA loans. The survey also found that 45 percent of affiliated loans between $60,000 and $125,000 failed to qualify as qualified mortgages, and that 97 percent of the loans that failed as QMs were under $200,000 simply due to the inclusion of title insurance. Director Cordray did not have time to respond in full, but indicated the CFPB is waiting to see data on the actual impact.

    Rep. Capito focused on the QM rule impact on Habitat for Humanity and other 501(c)(3) entities. Director Cordray stated that he spoke with the Habitat CEO prior to the hearing and believes the CFPB can address all of that organization’s concerns through rule amendments. He added that the CFPB already amended the rule to address Habitat’s first set of concerns, and that its latest concerns are new.

    HMDA Rule Amendments & Small Business Fair Lending Rule

    As she has done several times in the past, Rep. Velazquez (D-NY) raised the status of rulemaking required by Dodd-Frank Act section 1071 regarding small and minority/women-owned business lending. As he has in the past, Director Cordray explained that the CFPB is having difficulty addressing this rule given it is the only area in which the CFPB is required to address business lending. He added that the CFPB has determined that as it moves forward with the rule to amend HMDA data collection, which is underway now, the Bureau will attempt to fold the small business lending element into that process. He stated that the CFPB is working with the Federal Reserve Board on “overhauling that whole [HMDA] database” and “it feels to me that the right spot for this, and we've talked to a number of folks both from industry and consumer side on this, is to make [the small business lending requirements] part of the later stages of that, so it's coming, but not immediate.”

    Auto Finance

    Rep. Bachus (R-AL) asked Director Cordray to specify appropriate dealer compensation alternatives. Mr. Cordray responded that the CFPB does not know all the mechanisms yet that would be satisfactory. It is “open to auto lenders and others bringing those to [the CFPB’s] attention, but [the CFPB] did say flat fees are one possibility. A flat percentage of the loan might be a possibility. Some combination of that with different durations of the loan, different levels, and potentially other things that [the CFPB has not] thought of but others in the industry may think of and bring to [its] attention. So [the CFPB is] open-minded on that.”

    Reps. Scott (D-GA) and Barr (R-KY) also were critical of the CFPB’s auto finance guidance and suggested the CFPB should have met with industry stakeholders in advance or should have conducted a rulemaking. Mr. Scott asserted that auto credit is tighter and more expensive now. Mr. Cordray defended the guidance, as he has in the past, as a restatement of existing law. He does not believe the guidance has impacted or will impact the health of the auto market.

    Rep. Beatty (D-OH) raised a recent proposal from the National Association of Auto Dealers on alternative dealer compensation models. Mr. Cordray acknowledged having seen it, and said that as long as all parties agree that the CFPB is respecting its jurisdictional lines in the auto context, the Bureau is willing to sit down with dealers and others to work on a “broader solution.”

    Credit Reporting

    Rep. Velazquez (D-NY) asked for an update on the CFPB’s efforts to regulate consumer credit reporting agencies. Director Cordray described the CFPB’s efforts to, for the first time, provide federal supervision of the major credit reporting agencies. He stated that those agencies are not used to such supervision and that, in his view, it has been an adjustment for them. The CFPB has had examination teams into each of the three largest credit reporting agencies and is discussing “various issues” with them and areas of concern. He informed the committee that as a result of the CFPB’s efforts the credit reporting agencies, for the first time, are forwarding the documentation that consumers send them about problems and potential errors in their credit reports to the furnishers to be evaluated. The CFPB still is concerned about errors and error resolution.

    Prepaid & Overdraft

    In response to an inquiry from Rep. Maloney (D-NY), Mr. Cordray stated that the CFPB is continuing to work on the prepaid card proposed rule to address “a hole in the fabric” of consumer protection. He said the rule likely will address disclosures and add new protections. On overdraft, he acknowledged the CFPB is not as far along—the agency is still studying the market.

    Payday & Internet Lending

    Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) stated the FDIC and DOJ have admitted to working to shut down online lending. He confirmed that the Oversight Committee is considering investigating DOJ on Operation Choke Point (its payment processor investigations). He asked Director Cordray to support, perhaps with a letter of some sort, legitimate online lending businesses and processors. Mr. Cordray agreed that there is plenty of appropriate online lending, but declined to offer specific help absent further context.

    Rep. Murphy (D-FL) later suggested that the CFPB look at the “good regulation and great enforcement” in Florida. Director Cordray responded that the CFPB is looking at “a number of states that have developed different provisions on short-term, small-dollar payday lending” including Florida, Colorado, and Washington.

    Rep. Heck (D-WA) inquired as to the status of proposed Military Lending Act regulations. Director Cordray explained that the CFPB has been “actively engaged” on writing new rules with the Department of Defense, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, the OCC, Treasury Department, and the FTC. It stated that it has been difficult to get multiple agencies to work together, and asked Congress to “keep our feet to the fire and make it clear that you want to see that quickly.”

    Mobile Payments & Emerging Products/Providers

    Rep. Ellison (D-MN) asked about the CFPB’s views on emerging financial service providers, citing recent reports about T-Mobile’s efforts. Mr. Cordray stated that the CFPB is watching very closely and trying to keep up with the rapidly changing products and markets. He stated that it will present challenges to the current regulatory structure, particularly when phone companies are involved, and that the CFPB will need to coordinate with other regulators and probably will need legislation from Congress. Rep. Heck asked the CFPB to conduct a front-end in-depth analysis of consumer protection issues across various emerging mobile payments platforms. Mr. Cordray did not commit.

    Student Lending

    Rep. Peters (D-MI) raised his FAIR Student Credit Act bill, HR 2561. The bill, which is co-sponsored by Reps. Bachus (R-AL), Capito (R-WV), and seven other Republicans and 11 Democrats, would amend FCRA with respect to the responsibilities of furnishers of information to consumer reporting agencies. It would provide for the removal of a previously reported default regarding a qualified education loan from a consumer report if the consumer of the loan meets the requirements of a loan rehabilitation program, where the number of consecutive on-time monthly payments are equal to the number of payments specified in a default reduction program under the Higher Education Act of 1965. The bill would limit such rehabilitation benefits to once per loan. Rep. Peters indicated the Committee will consider the legislation, and that he has met with lenders who stated they could start offering rehabilitation immediately after the bill is enacted. Director Cordray stated that without having read the bill, it sounded promising, and that he would ask Rohit Chopra to work with the Congressman.

    CFPB Payday Lending Nonbank Supervision Mortgage Origination Prepaid Cards Auto Finance Student Lending Consumer Reporting Overdraft Mobile Payment Systems Enforcement U.S. House Bank Supervision Internet Lending

    Share page with AddThis

Pages

Upcoming Events