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  • CFPB extends its small business lending rule and opens comment period

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On June 25, the CFPB released its formal action to extend the compliance dates for its small business lending rule, section 1071 (covered by InfoBytes here). The extension of 290 days represented the time elapsed between the Texas court’s first issuance of a stay last year and the Supreme Court’s decision in CFPB v. CFSA last month. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the CFPB notified the public of these changes in May but has now issued its interim final rule with a request for public comment. The new rule will implement section 1071 by adding subpart B to Regulation B of the rule, and the CFPB estimated this rule will affect at most 1,900 banks, savings associations and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets.

    Under the new rule, the following dates will go into effect:

    • Tier 1 institutions (highest volume lenders): The new compliance date will be July 18, 2025, and the first filing deadline will be June 1, 2026.
    • Tier 2 institutions (moderate volume lenders): The new compliance date will be January 16, 2026, and the first filing deadline will be June 1, 2027.
    • Tier 3 institutions (lowest volume lenders): The new compliance date will be October 18, 2026, and the first filing deadline will be June 1, 2027.

    The CFPB also included the previous rule’s 12-month grace period wherein the Bureau would not assess penalties for errors made in good faith in data reporting. To add clarity to these changes, the Bureau issued an unofficial redline of its final changes. The new rule will go into effect 30 days following its publication in the Federal Register.

     

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Issues Regulation B CFPB Small Business Lending Bank Compliance

  • CFPB to extend 1071 rule compliance deadlines

    Federal Issues

    On May 17, the CFPB announced it is extending the compliance deadlines for the small business lending rule (Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank, the “1071 rule”), which will require financial institutions to collect and report data on lending to small businesses to the Bureau (covered by InfoBytes here). Following challenges to the 1071 rule in the U.S. District Court in Texas, the rule was stayed pending the Supreme Court’s decision in CFPB v. CFSA (covered by InfoBytes here). Considering the Supreme Court’s recent decision that the Bureau’s funding is constitutional and the district court’s order requiring the CFPB to extend the rule’s compliance deadlines to compensate for the period stayed, the Bureau will issue an interim final rule to extend compliance deadlines as follows:

    • Tier 1 institutions (highest volume lenders): The new compliance date is July 18, 2025, and the first filing deadline is June 1, 2026.
    • Tier 2 institutions (moderate volume lenders): The new compliance date is January 16, 2026, and the first filing deadline is June 1, 2027.
    • Tier 3 institutions (lowest volume lenders): The new compliance date is October 18, 2026, and the first filing deadline is June 1, 2027.

    Federal Issues Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Small Business Lending Texas

  • New York State Attorney General wins $77 million judgment against short-term lenders for predatory lending

    State Issues

    On February 8, New York State Attorney General (AG) Letitia James announced a more than $77 million judgment against three merchant cash advance (MCA) companies for usury and fraud based on allegations the lenders used short-term loans to charge illegally high-interest and undisclosed fees. 

    In a June 2020 announcement, Attorney General James detailed her office’s investigation, which concluded that the companies employed practices including (i) extending MCAs to small business owners at illegal interest rates over short durations; (ii) imposing undisclosed fees; (iii) withdrawing excess amounts from merchants’ bank accounts; and (iv) procuring judgments against merchants through the submission of falsified affidavits in New York State courts.

    The judgment follows a September 2023 court decision finding violations of New York’s prohibitions against, among other things, usury and predatory lending, and requiring the companies to cease collections and to repay thousands of small businesses the interest they paid. The companies were ordered to provide the full restitution and damages within 60 days to all merchants who entered into MCAs, including refunding all amounts taken from merchants or their guarantors in connection with the MCAs, minus the principal amounts funded to the borrowers. After the companies failed to pay the damages, the AG sought the entry of the monetary judgment from the court. 

    State Issues New York State Attorney General Enforcement Small Business Lending Interest Usury

  • OCC issues State Small Business Credit Initiative 2.0 FAQs

    On January 8, the OCC issued Bulletin 2024-1, which provides responses to frequently asked questions regarding the state small business credit initiative (SSBCI). The SSBCI, run by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, facilitates access to capital for small businesses, supports credit and investment programs, and offers technical assistance for applying to SSBCI funding and other government programs. The FAQs address a variety of topics, including the types of credit and investment programs states may set up, including collateral support programs, capital access programs, and loan guarantee programs, among others; criteria to qualify as “underserved” for access to the credit; treatment of certain funds; program descriptions; and whether loans made through the program could be considered for Community Reinvestment Act purposes.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues OCC Small Business Lending FAQs

  • SBA issues new SBLC licenses for the first time in 40 years

    Federal Issues

    On November 1, the SBA announced that three new Small Business Lending Company (SBLC) licenses have been issued to lenders focused on underserved markets, which is notably the first expansion of the SBLC program in more than 40 years. An SBLC license permits lending institutions to leverage government guarantees during the process of approving small business loans, decreasing risk for the lender, and lowering costs for the borrower. Consequently, SBA noted, SBLCs can extend a greater number of loans to small businesses than would be feasible without government support. The announcement stated that SBA's current SBLCs surpass banks and credit unions in their ability to provide loans to minority-owned businesses.

    In June, the SBA opened a window for new applications for lenders. In announcing the new licensees, SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman stated that “[w]ith the addition of three new Small Business License Companies, the SBA will be able to serve even more small business owners who need capital to start, operate, and grow their businesses.” The SBA highlighted that “[e]ach of the three new SBLC license holders will focus on historically underserved markets, including small businesses in Native, rural, and low-income communities.”

    Federal Issues SBA Nonbank Consumer Finance Peer-to-Peer Loans Small Business Lending Biden Licensing

  • Senate passes resolution seeking to nullify CFPB’s small business lending rule

    Federal Issues

    Recently, the U.S. Senate passed a joint resolution of disapproval (S.J. Res. 32) under the Congressional Review Act to nullify the CFPB’s small business lending rule. As previously covered on InfoBytes, the rule, which requires financial institutions to collect and report to the CFPB credit application data for small businesses, has faced opposition from various politicians and is the subject of litigation brought by financial institutions that would be subject to the rule in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas. In support of the joint resolution, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), who introduced the legislation, recently argued on the floor that “the CFPB is setting these small business people… up for lawsuits” because “[it] has promulgated a rule that totally perverts our intention in section 1071.”  If the House of Representatives similarly passes the joint resolution, and President Biden signs it, the CFPB’s rule will be nullified under the Congressional Review Act.

    The joint resolution follows the order from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granting a nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining the CFPB from enforcing the rule (covered by InfoBytes here and here).

    Federal Issues CFPB Section 1071 Congress Peer-to-Peer Small Business Lending Texas

  • District Court grants 1071 Rule nationwide stay

    Courts

    On October 26, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas entered an order granting intervenors’ motions for preliminary injunction against the CFPB and its small business loan rule.

    As previously covered by InfoBytes, the district court entered an order in August enjoining enforcement of the rule pending the Supreme Court’s decision in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Fin. Serv. of Am. and extending the rule’s compliance date to account for the tine the stay remained in place. The court, however, limited that relief to the plaintiffs at that time—a bank and two bank trade associations—and their members. In the wake of this ruling, separate trade associations representing small business lenders asked the CFPB to take administrative action to ensure that the compliance date for other lenders would be adjusted commensurately. The CFPB declined their request.

    In response, separate groups of intervenor plaintiffs, including trade associations representing other types of small business lenders, intervened in the action and filed motions seeking to expand the scope of the preliminary injunction to all affected lenders (or at least their members), claiming the court’s decision to spare some from the rule put them at a competitive disadvantage.  The CFPB opposed those motions (covered by InfoBytes here).

    In its most recent order, the court reasoned that the preliminary injunction should extend to intervenors because the CFPB lacked evidence supporting its argument that that greater harm would result from a stay on its 1071 rule and “its intended benefits for small businesses failed to tip the balance in their favor.” The court reasoned that the purpose of the statute underlying the Bureau’s final rule is the equal application of lending laws to all credit applications to avoid disparate outcomes, presuming uniform application to covered financial institutions. Therefore, to exempt plaintiffs and not all other covered financial institutions would undermine the statute, leaving “non-exempted lenders subject to the discretion of an agency whose very ability to act is a matter of constitutional concern pending resolution on a nationwide scale.” Under that reasoning, the district court granted plaintiffs’ motions for preliminary injunction, enjoining the CFPB from implementing its 1071 Rule for small business lending.  

    Courts CFPB Small Business Lending Litigation Texas Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

  • Kentucky banks win injunction on Small Business Lending Rule enforcement

    Courts

    On September 14, U.S. District Judge Karen K. Caldwell issued an order granting an injunction sought by the Kentucky Bankers Association and eight Kentucky-based banks to enjoin the CFPB from implementing and enforcing requirements for small business lenders until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the CFPB’s funding structure (previously covered by InfoBytes here and here).

    As previously covered by InfoBytes, the plaintiff banks filed their motion for a preliminary injunction seeking an order to enjoin the CFPB from enforcing the Small Business Lending Rule against them for the same reasons that a Texas district court enjoined enforcement of the rule (Texas decision covered by InfoBytes here). The CFPB argued, among other things, that the plaintiff banks failed to satisfy the factors necessary for preliminary relief, that the plaintiff banks are factually wrong in asserting that the Rule would require lenders to compile “‘scores of additional data points’ about their small business loans,” and the “outlier ruling of the 5th Circuit” in the Texas case does not demonstrate that the plaintiff banks are entitled to the relief they seek.

    In the order granting the preliminary injunction, Judge Caldwell discussed the factors for determining whether injunctive relief is appropriate. Notably, Judge Caldwell determined that the irreparable harm factor weighs in favor of the plaintiffs, stating “[p]laintiffs are already incurring expenses in preparation for enforcement of the Rule and will not be able to recover upon a Supreme Court ruling that the CFPB’s funding structure is unconstitutional.” Additionally, Judge Caldwell indicated that the likelihood of success factor “does not tip the scale in either direction,” and the substantial harm to others if the preliminary injunction is granted, and the public interest factors “carry little weight” because “[b]efore the Rule becomes enforceable, a decision on the merits will be issued by the highest court in the land.”

    Judge Caldwell found that the imposition of the preliminary injunction “will create no harm to the CFPB nor the public since the rule would not otherwise be enforceable in the interim” and granted the preliminary injunction “in the interest of preserving the status quo until the Supreme Court has made its decision.”  

    Courts CFPB Constitution Funding Structure Small Business Lending Litigation Consumer Protection

  • CFPB contests Kentucky banks' motion to block enforcement of Small Business Lending Rule

    Courts

    On September 5, the CFPB filed an opposition to a motion for a preliminary injunction made by a group of Kentucky banks (plaintiff banks) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the plaintiff banks filed their motion for a preliminary injunction seeking an order to enjoin the CFPB from enforcing the Small Business Lending Rule against them for the same reasons that a Texas district court enjoined enforcement of the rule (Texas decision covered by InfoBytes here). The CFPB argues that the plaintiff banks have not satisfied any of the factors necessary for preliminary relief, including that they have not shown that their claim is likely to succeed on the merits, and they have not shown that they face imminent irreparable harm. The Bureau also argues that the plaintiff banks are factually wrong in asserting that the Rule would require lenders to compile “‘scores of additional data points’ about their small business loans,” and that the additional data requirements are consistent with the Bureau’s statutory authority to require such additional data if it assists in “‘fulfilling the purposes of [the statute].’” The CFPB argues, among other things, that the “outlier ruling of the 5th Circuit” in the Texas case does not demonstrate that the plaintiff banks are entitled to the relief they seek. 

     

    Courts Federal Issues CFPB Funding Structure Constitution Kentucky Dodd-Frank Section 1071 Administrative Procedure Act Consumer Finance Small Business Lending

  • DFPI finalizes small business UDAAP and data reporting rule

    State Issues

    DFPI recently approved the final regulation for implementing and interpreting certain sections of the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) related to commercial financial products and services. After considering comments and releasing three rounds of modifications to Sections 1060, 1061, and 1062, the final regulation will, among other things, bring protections to small businesses seeking loans, by (i) defining and prohibiting unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices in the offering or provision of commercial financing to small businesses, nonprofits, and family farms; and (ii) establishing data collection and reporting requirements.

    Previous InfoBytes coverage on the (i) initial modifications to the CCFPL proposed regulation can be found here; (ii) the second round of CCFPL modifications proposal is found here; and (iii) the third iteration of the modified CCFPL proposal is located here.

    This DFPI regulation was notably finalized on the heels of the CFPB’s finalized Section 1071 rule on small business lending data, which similarly will require financial institutions to collect and provide the Bureau data on lending to small businesses (covered by InfoBytes here)

    Sections 1060, 1061, and 1062 will be effective on October 1.

    State Issues Agency Rule-Making & Guidance State Regulators DFPI CCFPL Commercial Finance UDAAP Small Business Lending Consumer Finance California

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