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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations


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  • CFPB updates status on Section 1071 NPRM

    Federal Issues

    On November 22, the CFPB filed its seventh status report in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California as required under a stipulated settlement reached in February 2020 with a group of plaintiffs, including the California Reinvestment Coalition, related to the collection of small business lending data. 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. The newest status report states that the Bureau has met its deadlines under the stipulated settlement, which included issuing its long-awaited proposed rule (NPRM) in September. As covered by a Buckley Special Alert, the NPRM would require a broad swath of lenders to collect data on loans they make to small businesses, including information about the loans themselves, the characteristics of the borrower, and demographic information regarding the borrower’s principal owners. This information would be reported annually to the Bureau and published by the Bureau on its website. Comments on the NPRM are due January 6, 2022. Among other things, the Bureau notes in its status report that once the Section 1071 NPRM comment period concludes, it will meet and confer with plaintiffs to discuss an “appropriate deadline” for issuing the final rule, consistent with the stipulated settlement.

    Find continuing Section 1071 coverage here.

    Federal Issues CFPB Section 1071 Small Business Lending Dodd-Frank

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  • SBA releases updated Covid-19 EIDL program guidance

    Federal Issues

    On November 19, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced updated guidance for Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program applicants while funding remains available. The updated guidance provided that (i) the deadline to submit EIDL loans and targeted advance applications will be December 31 (loans will continued to be processed after this date until funds are depleted); (ii) supplemental targeted advance applications will also be accepted through December 31, however SBA noted that it may not be able to process applications submitted near the deadline due to legal requirements (SBA encouraged applicants to apply by December 10 to allow for adequate processing time); (iii) borrowers may request increases “up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date, or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is soonest”; and (iv) appeal requests for Covid-19 EIDL applications that are received on or before December 31 will be accepted and reviewed provided they are received within the regulation’s timeframes (i.e., “six months from the date of decline for reconsiderations and 30 days from the date of reconsideration decline for appeals—unless funding is no longer available”). SBA further directed applicants to review enhancements made to the EIDL program in September.

    Federal Issues SBA Small Business Lending EIDL Covid-19

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  • CFPB deputy director discusses future rulemaking research efforts

    Federal Issues

    On November 5, CFPB Deputy Director Zixta Martinez spoke before the Bureau’s Academic Research Council (ARC) meeting, in which she discussed recent research efforts taken to inform future rulemaking and identify root causes of challenges facing consumers. Martinez highlighted Section 1022 orders recently sent to several big tech payment platforms seeking information on their products, plans, and practices (covered by InfoBytes here). She noted that the evaluation of these companies’ payments platform data will help inform the Bureau on the future of the payments system as well as potential emerging risks, and will provide insights that may impact future rulemaking under Section 1033 concerning the disclosure of consumer data by regulated entities. Among other things, Martinez also discussed the importance of small business lending research to better understand whether these businesses provide fair and equitable access to credit and referred to the Bureau’s Section 1071 notice of proposed rulemaking issued in September (covered by a Buckley Special Alert). Martinez also noted that one of the Bureau’s priorities is ensuring access to fair and affordable credit for low-income, minority, or traditionally underserved communities, and said the Office of Research will solicit “suggestions and advice for ways to integrate racial and economic equity analyses into the CFPB’s research agenda.”

    Federal Issues CFPB Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Section 1033 Payments Section 1071 Small Business Lending Fair Lending

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  • Chopra testifies on CFPB direction

    Federal Issues

    On October 27, newly sworn in CFPB Director Rohit Chopra appeared for the first time before the House Financial Services Committee to offer some of the first insights into his priorities at the Bureau. Chopra’s opening remarks focused on concerns regarding “Big Tech” and its control over the flow of money in the economy (these comments followed the issuance of information requests to six technology companies, covered by InfoBytes here). Chopra also focused on a need to ensure robust competition in financial markets and listen to local financial institutions and nascent players about obstacles they face when seeking to challenge dominant incumbents. Chopra also stressed the importance of holding “repeat offenders” accountable, highlighted an intent to coordinate efforts with federal and state regulators, and indicated a preference for scrutinizing larger market participants over smaller entities. He noted, however, potential leniency for companies that self-identify their own issues and violations. Additional highlights of the hearing include the following:

    Enforcement. Chopra noted that “markets work well when rules are easy to follow and easy to enforce.” He also expressed his view that the CFPB should focus its resources on larger industry participants and “repeat offenders” rather than “strong-arming” small businesses into settlements to create law. Chopra also expressed a preference for setting regulatory guidelines through enforcement, indicating that “markets work well when rules are easy to follow, and easy to enforce.”

    Section 1033 of Dodd-Frank. With respect to implementing this set of requirements, which deals with consumers’ rights to access information about their financial accounts, Chopra indicated a desire to “unlock more competition,” but warned that there also needs to be assurance that “banks and nonbanks are operating under the same set of rules” and that there is “not regulatory arbitrage.” While Chopra did not specify a timeline for promulgating the final rule implementing this section, he noted that the process is underway and that the Bureau is consulting with various experts. (Issuance of the ANPR was covered by InfoBytes here.)

    Abusive acts and practices. Chopra said that he agreed with former acting Director Dave Uejio’s decision to rescind a policy statement on “abusive” conduct issued by former Director Kathy Kraninger. Chopra stated he has “huge aspirations to create durable jurisprudence” regarding the definition of “abusive” in Dodd-Frank. He noted that “it could be a mix” of judicial decisions and “how the CFPB may use rules and guidance to help articulate those standards.”

    Cryptocurrency and stablecoins. Chopra expressed concerns about the potential for big payment platforms to process stablecoins—cryptocurrencies pegged to stable commodities or currencies like the dollar. However, Chopra clarified that it is not his intention to use his regulatory authority to ban or limit the use of cryptocurrency or blockchain technology. Regarding the CFPB’s role in cryptocurrency, Chopra claimed that depending on the laws implicated, there is a “fact-based determination as to any sort of law that cryptocurrencies or digital currencies have to comply with.” He further described that this is “something that the CFPB is working with the other regulators on,” and emphasized that “where digital payments [are] involved, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act is a key law with key consumer protections.”

    QM Rule. When asked about the postponement of the mandatory compliance date of the General Qualified Mortgage final rule to October 2022 (covered by InfoBytes here), Chopra said he is eager “to hear of places where it needs to be changed” but emphasized that the postponement was before his time and that the rule has gone into effect. He also stated that “QM is a key part of the mortgage market and the mortgage regulatory guidelines.” Therefore, he wants to ensure that the CFPB is always looking at it to make sure the objectives that Congress laid forward in Dodd-Frank are being carried out. When asked about his support of the proposed change in the QM rule, Chopra said he did not know but wants “to make sure he understands the full basis of it.”

    Chopra echoed such sentiments in his October 28 testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.

    Federal Issues CFPB Enforcement Supervision UDAAP Consumer Finance Dodd-Frank House Financial Services Committee Senate Banking Committee Small Business Lending Section 1033 Abusive Cryptocurrency Fintech Mortgages Qualified Mortgage

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  • NYDFS issues pre-proposed regulation to implement Commercial Finance Disclosure Law

    State Issues

    On September 21, NYDFS Acting Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris announced a pre-proposed regulation to implement New York’s Commercial Finance Disclosure Law (CFDL) (covered by InfoBytes here), which was enacted at the end of December 2020, and amended in February to expand coverage and delay the effective date to January 1, 2022. (See S5470-B, as amended by S898.) Under the CFDL, providers of commercial financing, which includes persons and entities who solicit and present specific offers of commercial financing on behalf of a third party, are required to give consumer-style loan disclosures to potential recipients at the time a specific offering of finance is extended for certain commercial transactions of $2.5 million or less.

    The CFDL and the pre-proposed implementing regulation are applicable to persons or entities who (i) extend a specific offer of commercial financing to a recipient (i.e., a person who applies for commercial financing and is made a specific offer of commercial financing); (ii) solicit and present specific offers of commercial financing on behalf of a third party; or (iii) provide or will provide commercial financing to recipients and communicate a specific amount, rate or price, in connection with the commercial financing, either directly to a recipient, or to a broker with the expectation that the information will be shared with a recipient.

    The term “commercial financing” is defined broadly to include:

    • Open-End Financing
    • Closed-End Financing
    • Sales-Based Financing (i.e., merchant cash advance)
      • Defined to mean any transaction repaid over time as a percentage of sales or revenue, in which the payment amount may vary by sales or revenue volume, including any financing with a sales or revenue based true-up mechanism.
    • Accounts Receivable Purchase Transactions, including Factoring
      • Factoring is defined to mean any accounts receivable purchase transaction that includes an agreement to purchase, transfer, or sell a legally enforceable claim for payment held by a recipient for goods or services that have been supplied or rendered, but for which payment has not yet been made.
    • Asset-Based Lending
      • Defined to mean a transaction in which advances are made from time to time contingent upon a recipient forwarding payments received from one or more third parties for goods or services the recipient has supplied or rendered to such third party.
    • Lease Financing
      • Defined to mean providing a lease for goods that includes a purchase option that creates a security interest in the goods leased, including a “finance lease” as defined in the UCC.
    • Any other form of financing for which proceeds are not primarily intended for consumer-purpose.

    Notwithstanding, the pre-proposed regulation provides that commercial financing does not encompass any transaction in which a financer provides a disclosure required by the Truth in Lending Act. The following entities and transactions are exempt from the CFDL: (i) financial institutions (defined as a chartered or licensed bank, trust company, industrial loan company, savings and loan association, or federal credit union, authorized to do business in New York); (ii) lenders regulated under the federal Farm Credit Act; (iii) commercial financing transactions secured by real property; (iv) technology service providers; (v) certain lease transactions under the New York Uniform Commercial Code; (vi) lenders who make no more than five applicable transactions in New York in a 12-month period; (vii) individual commercial financing transactions in an amount over $2.5 million; and (viii) commercial financing transactions involving certain vehicle dealers.

    Among other things, the pre-proposed regulation:

    • Includes definitions for terms used in the CFDL and the pre-proposed regulation, including definitions of “finance charge” under the different covered transactions (e.g., commercial financing transactions generally, account receivable purchase transactions that are not factoring transactions, factoring transactions, lease financing transactions).  
    • Explains how providers should calculate the annual percentage rate and outlines allowed tolerances. 
    • Outlines formatting requirements for disclosures for the following types of financing: (i) sales-based financing (including merchant cash advances); (ii) closed-end financing; (iii) open-end financing; (iv) factoring transaction financing; (v) lease financing; (vi) general asset-based financing; and (vii) all other commercial financing transactions.
    • Provides disclosure requirements for instances where the amount financed is greater than the recipient funds, which includes a disclosure entitled “Funding You Will Receive.”
    • Provides that, consistent with the CFDL, a provider must give the required disclosures to a recipient at the time of extending a specific offer for commercial financing. The pre-proposed regulation defines “at the time of extending a specific offer” to mean (i) any time a specific periodic or irregular payment amount, rate or price in connection with commercial financing is quoted in writing to a recipient, based upon information from, or about, the recipient; and (ii) any subsequent time when the terms of an existing consummated commercial financing contract are changed, prior to the recipient agreeing to the changes, if the resulting changes would increase the finance charge (certain alternative parameters apply with respect to open-end credit plans). The pre-proposed regulation also notes that where a provider allows a recipient to select from multiple offer options or customize a financing offer, the provider need only provide the disclosure(s) for the specific offer that the recipient elects to pursue.
    • Provides disclosure signature requirements, which may be electronic (prior to consummating a commercial financing, a financer must obtain a copy of the disclosures made pursuant to the CFDL that are signed by the recipient).
    • Describes how the CFDL’s $2.5 million disclosure threshold is calculated.  
    • Outlines requirements for commercial financings that offer multiple payment options.
    • Specifies certain duties of financers and brokers involved in commercial financing, including record retention requirements (four years).  
    • Details the reporting process for which certain providers calculating estimated annual percentage rates will report data to the superintendent relating to “the estimated annual percentage rates disclosed to the recipient and actual retrospective annual percentage rates of completed transactions” in order to facilitate accurate estimates for future transactions.  

    Outreach comments on the pre-proposed regulation are due by October 1. After NYDFS completes this preliminary phase, NYDFS will make a formal proposed regulation. Comments on the formal proposed regulation will be due within 60 days of publication in the State Register. NYDFS expects to have a final regulation in place by January 1, 2022, which is the effective date set forth in the underlying law. 

    State Issues State Regulators NYDFS Small Business Lending Merchant Cash Advance Disclosures Commercial Finance Bank Regulatory

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  • SBA issues final rule on PPP appeals process

    Federal Issues

    On September 16, the SBA published a final rule in the Federal Register informing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers and lenders of the appeal process for certain SBA loan review decisions under the PPP to the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals. The final rule adopts, with changes, certain portions of an interim final rule published in August 2020 (covered by InfoBytes here). Among other things, the final rule dispenses the 30-day delayed effective date to allow SBA to immediately issue decisions and provide certainty concerning the appeals process to potential appellants without further delay. Because the final rule further “provides increased accessibility to borrowers in response to comments previously received by the public, allowing the borrowers that receive an appealable final SBA loan review decision to immediately appeal under the final rule is in the best interests of the borrowers.” The final rule became effective September 14.

    Federal Issues SBA Covid-19 CARES Act Small Business Lending

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  • Special Alert: CFPB proposes small business loan data collection regime

    Federal Issues

    Over a decade ago, Congress enacted an amendment to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act that directed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to implement a new regime for small business loan data collection similar to the regime that exists in the mortgage industry. Last week, a month before a court-imposed deadline, the Bureau issued its long-awaited proposed rule. The proposal was largely consistent with prior Bureau statements regarding its approach, but nonetheless contained some surprises that reflect the change in leadership at the CFPB. Lenders will need to carefully assess the impact of the proposed rule on their business.

    The proposed rule, which is mandated under Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, would require a broad swath of lenders to collect data on loans they make to small businesses, including information about the loans themselves, the characteristics of the borrower, and demographic information regarding the borrower’s principal owners. This information would be reported annually to the Bureau, and eventually published by the Bureau on its website, with some potential modifications.

    The statute’s stated intent is to “facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws and enable communities, governmental entities, and creditors to identify business and community development needs and opportunities of women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio echoed these themes in prepared remarks, suggesting that the proposal was a step towards “a fairer, more transparent small business lending market.” But the Bureau itself acknowledges that it is engaged in a balancing exercise, weighing the intended benefits of the rule against the cost imposed on lenders (and by extension, borrowers), the risk to privacy interests, and the risk of unintended consequences that accompany any major regulatory intervention. The public, including lenders potentially subject to the rule, have 90 days to submit comments on whether the Bureau got the balance right.

    The proposed rule would cover most of the small business lending market

    By its terms, the statute would apply broadly to any “financial institution” that extended credit to any women-owned, minority-owned, or small business. But the statute also allowed the Bureau to exempt any “class of financial institutions” from its requirements. Last fall, as part of a process required under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), the Bureau suggested that it might exempt lenders based on their size (i.e., those beneath thresholds of $100 million or $200 million in assets), their loan activity (i.e., those making 25, 50, or 100 or fewer loans annually), or based on either threshold. The proposed rule lands at the broadest end of this possible spectrum, abandoning any exemptions based on size altogether and adopting the lowest of the proposed activity levels. Any financial institution that originates at least 25 “covered credit transactions” for “small businesses” in each of the two preceding years would be subject to the rule.

    Any loan, line of credit, credit card, or merchant cash advance, including agricultural-purpose credit and those that are also covered by HMDA, would be considered a “covered credit transaction.”[1] Notably, the Bureau suggested in its SBREFA Outline that it would exclude merchant cash advances, but declined to do so in the proposal, concluding that the segment is growing and presents unique fair lending risk.

    Just as it did in its SBREFA Outline, the Bureau would adopt the Small Business Administration’s definition of “small business,” except that the Bureau’s definition would use a simplified size threshold of $5 million or less in gross annual revenue. This divergence will require SBA approval, which Uejio expressed confidence in getting.

    The proposal’s collection requirements are triggered whenever a lender subject to the rule under the activity threshold receives a “covered credit application.” This term is defined broadly to include “any oral or written request for a covered credit transaction that is made in accordance with procedures used by [the] financial institution for the type of credit requested.” Reevaluation requests, extension requests, and renewal requests would not be considered applications (unless the request seeks additional credit amounts), nor would inquiries and prequalification requests.

    The rule would require the collection of 21 data points

    The statute sets forth thirteen specific data points to be collected by lenders that the Bureau refers to as “mandatory data points:”

    • Whether the applicant is minority-owned
    • Whether the applicant is women-owned
    • Unique identifier for each application
    • Application date
    • Loan type (i.e., product type, guarantees, and term)
    • Loan purpose
    • Amount applied for
    • Amount approved or extended
    • The action on the application (i.e., originated, approved but not accepted, denied, withdrawn, or incomplete)
    • Action date
    • Census tract
    • Gross annual revenue
    • Race, sex, and ethnicity of the principal owners

    The collection of information about the principal owner’s[2] race, sex, and ethnicity is a major change from the SBREFA Outline, which suggested that the Bureau would likely propose the collection of such information solely based on applicant self-reporting. As the Bureau recognized at the time, “requiring reporting based on visual observation or surname could create unwarranted compliance burdens in the context of small business lending.” The proposal reverses course, and would require lenders who meet with any principal owner to determine the ethnicity and race of the principal owner if the applicant declines to provide that information. As the statute requires, the data collected regarding the principal owners’ race, sex, and ethnicity—as well as whether the business is minority-owned or women-owned—must not be shared with underwriters, unless restricting access is not feasible.[3]

    The statute also authorized the Bureau to require additional data that would advance the purposes of the statute (so-called “discretionary data points”). The CFPB’s proposed discretionary data points are consistent with this administration’s prioritization of fair lending enforcement:

    • Pricing
    • Time in business
    • NAICS Code
    • Number of employees
    • Application method (e.g., in-person, phone, mail, online)
    • Application recipient (e.g., direct or through a third party)
    • Reasons for denial (providing nine specific reasons and a text box for any other reason)
    • Number of principal owners (i.e., 0-4)

    The SBREFA Outline envisioned the first four above; the last four were introduced in the proposal. Of particular note, pricing data is granular: for fixed-rate loans, the rate; for variable-rate loans, the margin, index value, and index name; for merchant cash advances and similar products, the difference between the amount advanced and the amount paid; and for all transactions, origination charges, broker fees, whether the fees were paid directly to the broker or to the financial institution for delivery to the broker, noninterest charges imposed over the first year, whether the financial institution could have included a prepayment penalty under its policies, and whether it did impose a prepayment penalty.

    Will everything be published?

    Lenders must collect and report to the Bureau annually, which will publish the data on its website — subject to modifications or deletions that it determines advance a privacy interest. The Bureau has not yet proposed modifications or deletions, but intends to issue a policy statement on its approach after it has received one full year of data.

    In the meantime, however, the Bureau has made clear that it will disclose the identity of financial institutions and is generally not persuaded that competitive or reputational harms to financial institutions or increased litigation are a basis to withhold publication of data. Instead, the Bureau has indicated that its principal concern is avoiding the risk that an applicant could be re-identified through specific data points.

    How will the rule impact small business lending?

    The proposal would apply to thousands of small business lenders offering a wide range of products. The Bureau acknowledges the collection and reporting of this information will impose costs on lenders, some of which it expects to be passed along to borrowers.

    But the most significant impact of the rule will be the Bureau’s eventual publication of the data. In its view, publication of granular data on specific lending decisions will advance the statutory goals of facilitating fair lending enforcement and business and community development. But concerns over reputational harms and increased fair lending scrutiny may also cause lenders to eliminate subjective elements of underwriting that are a traditional, and often appropriate, feature of small business underwriting. If the eventual effect of the rule is to, as one commenter put it, “artificially flatten prices,” the rule could lead to a small business lending market that is less innovative and less sensitive to actual credit risk than the market that exists today.

    The public has 90 days to submit comments regarding the CFPB’s proposal.

    If you have any questions regarding the CFPB’s proposed rule, please visit our Fair Lending and Fair Servicing page or contact a Buckley attorney with whom you have worked in the past.

    [1] The proposal would exclude certain other types of credit, including trade credit, public utilities credit, securities credit, and incidental credit. The rule would also not cover factoring, leases, consumer-designated credit used for business purposes, and credit secured by certain investment properties (specifically 1-4 individual dwelling units).

    [2] A principal owner is any individual who owns 25% or more of the small business.

    [3] If not feasible, the institution must provide notice to the applicant of its intention to share this information.

    Federal Issues CFPB Special Alerts Consumer Finance 1071 Small Business Lending

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  • CFPB proposes collection of small business lending data

    Federal Issues

    On September 1, the CFPB released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and request for public comment on a proposed rule to implement Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires the agency to collect and disclose data on lending to women and minority-owned small businesses. The NPRM would create a new subpart B to existing Regulation B, the implementing regulation for ECOA, in order to increase transparency in the lending marketplace. Covered financial institutions would be required to collect and report to the Bureau a broad set of data points relating to applications for several small business credit products with the stated goal of facilitating the enforcement of fair lending laws and enabling the identification of business and community development needs and opportunities for women-owned, minority-owned, and other small businesses.

    The NPRM defines a covered “financial institution” as an entity that meets a specific origination threshold where at least 25 “covered credit transactions” are originated to small businesses in each of the two preceding calendar years. A “covered credit transaction” under the NPRM would include transactions that meet the definition of business credit under Regulation B, as well as loans, lines of credit, credit cards, merchant cash advances, credit transactions for agricultural purposes, and transactions covered by HMDA. The definition of a small business would be one that had less than $5 million in gross annual revenue for the preceding fiscal year. Additionally, the NPRM defines a “covered application” as “an oral or written request for a covered credit transaction that is made in accordance with procedures used by a financial institution for the type of credit requested.” Data points that covered financial institutions would be required to collect on a calendar-year basis to be reported by June 1 of the following year are also provided.

    The Bureau proposes that an eventual final rule would become effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register; however, compliance would not be required until approximately 18 months after publication. Additionally, the Bureau proposes certain transitional provisions that would allow covered financial institutions to begin collecting data prior to the compliance date and would permit covered financial institutions to “use either the two calendar years immediately preceding the effective date or the second and third years preceding the compliance date to determine coverage.” (See also the Bureau’s summary on the NPRM here.) Comments on the NPRM will be received for 90 days following publication in the Federal Register.

    “This data will be used to support business and community development and foster fair lending,” acting Director Dave Uejio noted in a statement following the announcement of the NPRM. He added that the “rule is about providing greater transparency into which small businesses get credit and which ones do not.”

    A Buckley Special Alert is forthcoming.

    Federal Issues Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Section 1071 Small Business Lending Dodd-Frank Fair Lending

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  • CFPB to issue Section 1071 NPRM by September 30

    Federal Issues

    On August 23, the CFPB filed its sixth status report in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California as required under a stipulated settlement reached in February 2020 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. The newest status report follows a July court order, which requires the Bureau to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on small business lending data by September 30 (covered by InfoBytes here). Among other things, the Bureau notes in its status report that it expects to meet the September deadline and that it “is continuing to work on the significant legal and policy issues that must be resolved to implement the Section 1071 regulations.”

    Find continuing Section 1071 coverage here.

    Federal Issues Courts CFPB Section 1071 Small Business Lending Dodd-Frank Agency Rule-Making & Guidance SBREFA

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  • DFPI again modifies draft regulations for commercial financing disclosures

    State Issues

    On August 9, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) issued a second draft of proposed regulations implementing the requirements of the commercial financing disclosures required by SB 1235 (Chapter 1011, Statutes of 2018). As previously covered by InfoBytes, in 2018, California enacted SB 1235, which requires non-bank lenders and other finance companies to provide written consumer-style disclosures for certain commercial transactions, including small business loans and merchant cash advances. In July 2019, California released the first draft of the proposed regulations, and last September, California initiated the formal rulemaking process with the Office of Administrative Law (covered by InfoBytes here and here). The second modifications to the proposed regulations follow a consideration of public comments received on the initial proposed text, as well as additional comments received on modifications made to the proposed text in April. Among other things, the proposed modifications (i) amend several terms including “approved advance limit,” “approved credit limit,” and “amount financed”; (ii) clarify the definition of “at the time of extending a specific commercial financing offer”; (iii) replace the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) with the Secured Overnight Financing Rate as one of the benchmark rate options; (iv) add several terms including “broker,” “recipient funds,” “average monthly cost,” “estimated monthly cost,” and “prepaid finance charge”; (v) provide that for disclosure purposes, “a provider shall assume that there are 30 days in every month and 360 days in a year” and specify that the annual percentage rate must be expressed to the nearest ten basis points; (vi) amend certain disclosure requirements and thresholds; (vii) clarify methods for estimating monthly sales, income, or receipt projections for sales-based financing; (viii) amend duties and requirements for financers and brokers; and (ix) clarify APR calculation requirements and tolerances and outline disclosure criteria for specifying the amount of funding a recipient will receive.

    Comments on the second modifications must be received by August 24.

    State Issues State Regulators DFPI Disclosures Commercial Finance Small Business Lending APR Merchant Cash Advance

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