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  • CFPB releases regulatory agenda

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs recently released the CFPB’s spring 2023 regulatory agenda. Key rulemaking initiatives that the agency expects to initiate or continue include:

    • Overdraft fees. The Bureau is considering whether to engage in pre-rulemaking activity in November to amend Regulation Z with respect to special rules for determining whether overdraft fees are considered finance charges.
    • FCRA rulemaking. The Bureau is considering whether to engage in pre-rulemaking activity in November to amend Regulation V, which implements the FCRA. In January, the Bureau issued its annual report covering information gathered by the Bureau regarding certain consumer complaints on the three largest nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). CFPB Director Rohit Chopra noted that the Bureau “will be exploring new rules to ensure that [the CRAs] are following the law, rather than cutting corners to fuel their profit model.” (Covered by InfoBytes here.)
    • Insufficient funds fees. The Bureau is considering whether to engage in pre-rulemaking activity in November regarding non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees. The Bureau commented that while NSF fees have been a significant source of fee revenue for depository institutions, recently some institutions have voluntarily stopped charging such fees.
    • Amendments to FIRREA concerning automated valuation models. On June 1, the Bureau issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with the Federal Reserve Board, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and FHFA to develop regulations to implement quality control standards mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act concerning automated valuation models used by mortgage originators and secondary market issuers. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) Previously, the Bureau released a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) outline and report in February and May 2022 respectively. (Covered by InfoBytes here.)
    • Section 1033 rulemaking. Section 1033 of Dodd-Frank provides that covered entities, such as banks, must make available to consumers, upon request, transaction data and other information concerning consumer financial products or services that the consumer obtains from the covered entity. Over the past several years, the Bureau has engaged in a series of rulemaking steps to prescribe standards for this requirement, including the release of a 71-page outline of proposals and alternatives in advance of convening a panel under the SBREFA and the issuance of a final report examining the impact of the Bureau’s proposals to address consumers’ personal financial data rights. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) Proposed rulemaking may be issued in October.
    • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. The Bureau issued an NPRM last month to extend TILA’s ability-to-repay requirements to PACE transactions. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) The proposed effective date is at least one year after the final rule is published in the Federal Register (“but no earlier than the October 1 which follows by at least six months Federal Register publication”), with the possibility of a further extension to ensure compliance with a TILA timing requirement.
    • Supervision of Larger Participants in Consumer Payment Markets. The Bureau is considering whether to engage in pre-rulemaking activity next month to define larger participants in consumer payment markets and further the scope of the agency’s nonbank supervision program.
    • Nonbank registration. The Bureau announced its intention to identify repeat financial law offenders by establishing a database of enforcement actions taken against certain nonbank covered entities. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) The Bureau anticipates issuing a final rule later this year.
    • Terms and conditions registry for supervised nonbanks. At the beginning of the year, the Bureau issued an NPRM that would create a public registry of terms and conditions used in non-negotiable, “take it or leave it” nonbank form contracts that “claim to waive or limit consumer rights and protections.” Under the proposal, supervised nonbank companies would be required to report annually to the Bureau on their use of standard-form contract terms that “seek to waive consumer rights or other legal protections or limit the ability of consumers to enforce or exercise their rights” and would appear in a publicly accessible registry. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) The Bureau anticipates issuing a final rule later this year.
    • Credit card penalty fees. The Bureau issued an NPRM in February to solicit public feedback on proposed changes to credit card late fees and late payments and card issuers’ revenue and expenses. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) Under the CARD Act rules inherited by the Bureau from the Fed, credit card late fees must be “reasonable and proportional” to the costs incurred by the issuer as a result of a late payment. A final rule may be issued later this year.
    • LIBOR transition. In April, the Bureau issued an interim final rule, amending Regulation Z, which implements TILA, to update various provisions related to the LIBOR transition. Effective May 15, the interim final rule further addresses LIBOR’s sunset on June 30, by incorporating references to the SOFR-based replacement—the Fed-selected benchmark replacement for the 12-month LIBOR index—into Regulation Z. (Covered by InfoBytes here.)

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Issues CFPB Fintech Payments Dodd-Frank Overdraft FCRA Consumer Reporting Agency NSF Fees FIRREA AVMs Section 1033 PACE Nonbank Supervision Credit Cards LIBOR Consumer Finance

  • Hsu discusses significance of consumer trust in banking

    On June 8, acting Comptroller of Currency Michael J. Hsu discussed the significance of consumer trust in banking, and announced the OCC is considering designing and releasing an annual survey to measure the extent of consumer trust in banking. (See OCC’s request for comments on its proposed annual trust survey.) Hsu noted that public trust in banking is imperative to a good relationship with the communities served and to ensure consumers do not rely on risky means for storing funds. Distrust also presents risks for banks, Hsu said, explaining that “banks that have material fairness and compliance deficiencies may face stiff civil money penalties, restrictions on growth, and sustained reputational damage, limiting their capacities to make loans.” Hsu’s focus on trust in the banking system is also inspired by the threatening impact of unfairness and a lack of inclusivity. Therefore, in addition to the survey, the OCC is focusing on methods of consumer protection to underpin public trust in banks. Efforts include strengthening and modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act to create more lending opportunities to those in low- and moderate-income areas, reforming overdrafts by issuing guidance on overdraft protection programs, and addressing bias in the appraisal of homes by issuing a proposed rule to implement quality control standards for automated valuation models.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues OCC Consumer Finance Financial Inclusion CRA Underserved Overdraft AVMs

  • Agencies propose new standards for AVMs

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On June 1, the CFPB joined the Federal Reserve Board, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and FHFA in issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to implement quality control standards mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act concerning automated valuation models (AVMs) used by mortgage originators and secondary market issuers. Specifically, institutions that engage in certain credit decisions or make securitization determinations would be required to adopt quality control standards to ensure a high level of confidence that estimates produced by an AVM are fair and nondiscriminatory. Other requirements would necessitate institutions to protect against data manipulation and avoid conflicts of interest. Institutions would also be required to conduct random sample testing and reviews and comply with applicable nondiscrimination laws. The agencies acknowledged that while advances in AVM technology and data availability may contribute to lower costs and reduce loan cycle times, institutions’ reliance on AMV technology must not be used as an excuse to evade the law.

    CFPB Director Rohit Chopra explained that, while AVMs rely on mathematical formulas and number crunching to produce estimates (and are often used to “check” human appraisers or used in place of an appraisal), they can still embed the human biases they are meant to correct. This is due in part to the data fed into the AVMs, the algorithms used within the machines, and biases and blind spots attributed to the individuals who develop the models, Chopra warned, commenting that AVMs can actually “make bias harder to eradicate in home valuations because the algorithms used cloak the biased inputs and design in a false mantle of objectivity.”

    Chopra went on to explain that inaccurate or biased algorithms can lead to serious harms to consumers, neighborhoods, and the housing market, and may also impact the tax base. A focus common to all the agencies, Chopra said, is ensuring that automated systems and artificial intelligence modeling technologies are developed and used in accordance with federal laws to avert discriminatory outcomes and prevent negative impacts on consumer financial stability.

    Comments on the NPRM are due within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Issues CFPB FDIC Federal Reserve NCUA FHFA OCC AVMs Mortgages Consumer Finance

  • CFPB releases regulatory agenda

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    Recently, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released the CFPB’s fall 2022 regulatory agenda. Key rulemaking initiatives that the agency expects to initiate or continue include:

    • Overdraft and NSF fees. The Bureau is considering whether to engage in pre-rulemaking activity in November to amend Regulation Z with respect to special rules for determining whether overdraft fees are considered finance charges. According to the Bureau, the rules, which were created when Regulation Z was adopted in 1969, have remained largely unchanged despite the fact that the nature of overdraft services has significantly changed over the years. The Bureau is also considering whether to engage in pre-rulemaking activity in November regarding non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees. The Bureau commented that while NSF fees have been a significant source of fee revenue for depository institutions, recently some institutions have voluntarily stopped charging such fees.
    • FCRA rulemaking. The Bureau is considering whether to engage in pre-rulemaking activity in November to amend Regulation V, which implements the FCRA. As previously covered by InfoBytes, on January 3, the Bureau issued its annual report covering information gathered by the Bureau regarding certain consumer complaints on the three largest nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). CFPB Director Rohit Chopra noted that the Bureau “will be exploring new rules to ensure that [the CRAs] are following the law, rather than cutting corners to fuel their profit model.”
    • Section 1033 rulemaking. Section 1033 of Dodd-Frank provides that covered entities, such as banks, must make available to consumers, upon request, transaction data and other information concerning consumer financial products or services that the consumer obtains from the covered entity. Over the past several years, the Bureau has engaged in a series of rulemaking steps to prescribe standards for this requirement, including the release of a 71-page outline of proposals and alternatives in advance of convening a panel under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA). The outline presents items under consideration that “would specify rules requiring certain covered persons that are data providers to make consumer financial information available to a consumer directly and to those third parties the consumer authorizes to access such information on the consumer’s behalf, such as a data aggregator or data recipient (authorized third parties).” (Covered by InfoBytes here.) The Bureau anticipates issuing a SBREFA report in February.
    • Amendments to FIRREA concerning automated valuation models. The Bureau is participating in interagency rulemaking with the Fed, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and FHFA to develop regulations to implement the amendments made by Dodd-Frank to FIRREA concerning appraisal automated valuation models (AVMs). The FIRREA amendments require implementing regulations for quality control standards for AVMs. The Bureau released a SBREFA outline and report in February and May 2022 respectively (covered by InfoBytes here), and estimates that the agencies will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in March.
    • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. The Bureau issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in March 2019 to extend TILA’s ability-to-repay requirements to PACE transactions. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) The Bureau is working to develop a proposed rule to implement Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act Section 307 in April.
    • Nonbank registration. The Bureau issued an NPRM in December to enhance market monitoring and risk-based supervision efforts by including all final public written orders and judgments (including any consent and stipulated orders and judgments) obtained or issued by any federal, state, or local government agency for violation of certain consumer protection laws related to unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices in a database of enforcement actions taken against certain nonbank covered entities. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) In a separate agenda item, the Bureau states that the NPRM would also require supervised nonbanks to register with the Bureau and provide information about their use of certain terms and conditions in standard-form contracts. The Bureau proposes “to collect information on standard terms used in contracts that are not subject to negotiating or that are not prominently advertised in marketing.” 
    • Credit card penalty fees. The Bureau issued an ANPRM last June to solicit information from credit card issuers, consumer groups, and the public regarding credit card late fees and late payments, and card issuers’ revenue and expenses. (Covered by InfoBytes here.) Under the CARD Act rules inherited by the Bureau from the Fed, credit card late fees must be “reasonable and proportional” to the costs incurred by the issuer as a result of a late payment. Calling the current credit card late fees “excessive,” the Bureau stated it intends to review the “immunity provision” to understand how banks that rely on this safe harbor set their fees and to examine whether banks are escaping enforcement scrutiny “if they set fees at a particular level, even if the fees were not necessary to deter a late payment and generated excess profits.” The Bureau is considering comments received on the ANPRM as it develops an NPRM that may be released this month.
    • Small business rulemaking. Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank amended ECOA to require financial institutions to report information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses, and directed the Bureau to promulgate rules for this reporting. An NPRM was issued in August 2021 (covered by InfoBytes here). The Bureau anticipates issuing a final rule later this month.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Issues CFPB Consumer Finance Overdraft NSF Fees FCRA Section 1033 SBREFA FIRREA AVMs PACE Nonbank Credit Cards Small Business Lending Section 1071

  • CFPB publishes rulemaking agenda

    Federal Issues

    Recently, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released the CFPB’s spring 2022 rulemaking agenda. According to the preamble, the information in the agenda is current as of April 1, 2022 and identifies regulatory matters that the Bureau “reasonably anticipates having under consideration during the period from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023.”

    Key rulemaking initiatives include:

    • Consumer Access to Financial Records. The Bureau notes that it is considering rulemaking to implement section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act to address the development and use of standardized formats for information made available to consumers. The Bureau will release materials in advance of convening a panel under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), in conjunction with the Office of Management and Budget and the Small Business Administration’s Chief Counsel for Advocacy.
    • Amendments to FIRREA Concerning Automated Valuation Models. The Bureau is participating in interagency rulemaking with the Fed, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and FHFA to develop regulations to implement the amendments made by the Dodd-Frank Act to FIRREA concerning appraisal automated valuation models (AVMs). The FIRREA amendments require implementing regulations for quality control standards for AVMs. The Bureau released a SBREFA outline in February 2022 and estimates in the agenda that the agencies will issue an NPRM in December 2022 (covered by InfoBytes here).
    • Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing. The Bureau issued an ANPR in March 2019 to extend TILA’s ability-to-repay requirements to PACE transactions (covered by InfoBytes here). The Bureau is working to develop a proposed rule to implement Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act section 307 in May 2023.
    • Small Business Lending Data Collection Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act amended ECOA to require financial institutions to report information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses, and directed the Bureau to promulgate rules for this reporting. The Bureau issued an NPRM in August 2021, and the comment period ended January 6 (covered by InfoBytes here). The agenda indicates that the Bureau estimates issuance of a final rule in March 2023.
    • Adverse Information in Cases of Human Trafficking Under the Debt Bondage Repair Act. The National Defense Authorization Act amended the FCRA to prohibit consumer reporting agencies from providing reports containing any adverse items of information resulting from human trafficking. In June 2022, the CFPB issued a final rule implementing amendments to the FCRA intended to assist victims of human trafficking (covered by InfoBytes here).

    Federal Issues Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Dodd-Frank Small Business Lending SBREFA PACE Programs AVMs Bank Regulatory Section 1033 Section 1071 ECOA FCRA OCC Federal Reserve FDIC NCUA FHFA

  • CFPB revising its rulemaking approach

    Federal Issues

    On June 17, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra announced in a blog post that the agency plans to move away from overly complicated and tailored rules. “Complexity creates unintended loopholes, but it also gives companies the ability to claim there is a loophole with creative lawyering,” Chopra said. The Bureau’s plan to implement simple, durable bright-line guidance and rules will better communicate the agency’s expectations and will provide numerous other benefits, he added.

    With regards to traditional rulemaking, the Bureau outlined several priorities, which include focusing on implementing longstanding Congressional directives related to consumer access to financial records, increased transparency in the small business lending marketplace, and quality control standards for automated valuation models under Sections 1033, 1071, and 1473(q) of the Dodd-Frank Act. Additionally, the Bureau stated it will assess whether it should use Congressional authority to register certain nonbank financial companies to identify potential violators of federal consumer financial laws.

    Chopra also announced that the Bureau is reviewing a “host of rules” that it inherited from other agencies such as the FTC and the Federal Reserve. “Many of these rules have now been tested in the marketplace for many years and are in need of a fresh look,” Chopra said. Specifically, the Bureau will (i) review rules originated by the Fed under the 2009 Credit CARD Act (including areas related to “enforcement immunity and inflation provisions when imposing penalties on customers”); (ii) review rules inherited from the FTC for implementing the FCRA to identify possible enhancements and changes in business practices; and (iii) review its own Qualified Mortgage Rules to assess aspects of the “seasoning provisions” (covered by a Buckley Special Alert) and explore ways “to spur streamlined modification and refinancing in the mortgage market.”

    The Bureau noted that it also plans to increase its interpretation of existing laws through its Advisory Opinion program and will continue to issue Consumer Financial Protection Circulars to provide additional clarity and encourage consistent enforcement of consumer financial laws among government agencies (covered by InfoBytes here and here).

    Federal Issues Bank Regulatory CFPB Consumer Finance FTC Federal Reserve Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CARD Act Consumer Reporting Agency Qualified Mortgage Dodd-Frank Nonbank FCRA AVMs Mortgages Credit Cards

  • CFPB seeks to prevent algorithmic bias

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On February 23, the CFPB released an outline of possible options for upcoming rulemaking to prevent algorithmic bias in automated home valuation models (AVMs). Dodd-Frank mandates that the Bureau, Federal Reserve Board, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and FHFA engage in joint agency rulemaking to strengthen the oversight of AVMs, which requires (i) ensuring a high level of confidence in the estimates; (ii) protecting against data manipulation; (iii) avoiding conflicts of interest; (iv) requiring random sample testing and reviews; and (v) accounting for other factors deemed “appropriate” by the agencies. The Small Business Advisory Review Panel’s Outline of Proposals and Alternatives Under Consideration details options for ensuring computer models used to determine home valuations are accurate and fair. While recognizing that AVMs “have the potential to contribute to lower costs and shorter turnaround times in the performance of property valuations” and are increasingly being used—in part due to advances in database and modeling technology and the availability of larger property datasets—the Bureau cautioned that using AVMs may introduce several risks that can impact data integrity and accuracy. The outline also expressed concerns that AVMs may “reflect bias in design and function or through the use of biased data and may introduce fair lending risk.” To mitigate potential fair lending risks in AVMs, the Bureau stated it is considering proposing “a requirement that covered institutions establish policies, practices, procedures, and control systems to ensure that their AVMs comply with applicable nondiscrimination laws.” The Bureau added that it “preliminarily believe[s] standards designed to ensure compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws may help ensure the accuracy, reliability, and independence of AVMs for all consumers and users.” Without proper safeguards, the Bureau warned in its announcement that “flawed” AVMs “could digitally redline certain neighborhoods and further embed and perpetuate historical lending, wealth, and home value disparities.”

    Among other things, the outline also previewed definitions under consideration for terms such as “mortgage originator,” “mortgage,” and “consumer’s principal dwelling,” and noted that the Bureau is considering a “principles-based option” to allow regulated institutions more flexibility to set their own AVM quality control standards, as well as a “prescriptive option” with a more detailed set of requirements for institutions to reduce potential compliance uncertainty. “It is tempting to think that machines crunching numbers can take bias out of the equation, but they can’t,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said. “This initiative is one of many steps we are taking to ensure that in-person and algorithmic appraisals are fairer and more accurate.”

    The Bureau stated that the next step will be to review the options to determine their potential impact on small business stakeholders as required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. Feedback will be used to inform the Bureau’s efforts on developing a formal proposal with the other agencies.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB AVMs Federal Reserve OCC FDIC NCUA FHFA Mortgages Fair Lending

  • CFPB releases regulatory agenda

    Federal Issues

    On January 31, the CFPB released its semiannual regulatory agenda in the Federal Register, as part of the Fall 2021 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. According to the CFPB, it “reasonably anticipates having the regulatory matters identified below under consideration during the period from November 1, 2021 to October 31, 2022.” The next agenda will be published in Spring 2022, which will update the recently released agenda through Spring 2023. Among other things, the agenda noted that the Bureau made “significant progress” on the implementation of Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which covers banks’ collection, reporting, and disclosure of information on credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. Other highlights of the agenda include the Bureau’s: (i) continued collaboration with other federal agencies on regulations for automated valuation models under the FIRREA amendments to Dodd-Frank; (ii) expectation to issue a final rule on the transition away from the LIBOR index, which aims to ensure that loans tied to LIBOR are transitioned “in an orderly, transparent, and fair manner”; (iii) assessment of a rule implementing HMDA; (iv) work on regulations for PACE financing and its “continu[ed] engagement with stakeholders and collect information” from a Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issued in March 2019 (covered by InfoBytes here); and (v) continued monitoring of consumer financial product markets and creation of working groups to focus on specific markets for potential future rulemakings.

    Federal Issues Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Dodd-Frank FIRREA HMDA AVMs Section 1071 Federal Register LIBOR

  • CFPB publishes fall 2021 rulemaking agenda

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On December 13, the Office of Information And Regulatory Affairs released the CFPB’s fall 2021 rulemaking agenda. According to a Bureau announcement, the information released represents regulatory matters the Bureau plans to pursue during the period from November 2, 2021 to October 31, 2022. Additionally, the Bureau stated that the latest agenda reflects continued rulemakings intended to further its consumer financial protection mission and help advance the country’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Promoting racial and economic equity and supporting underserved and marginalized communities’ access to fair and affordable credit continue to be Bureau priorities.

    Key rulemaking initiatives include:

    • Small Business Rulemaking. This fall, the Bureau issued its long-awaited proposed rule (NPRM) for Section 1071 regulations, which 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. (Covered by a Buckley Special Alert.) The NPRM comment period goes through January 6, 2022, after which point the Bureau will review comments as it moves to develop a final rule. Find continuing Section 1071 coverage here.
    • Consumer Access to Financial Records. The Bureau noted that it is working on rulemaking to implement Section 1033 of Dodd-Frank in order to address the availability of electronic consumer financial account data. The Bureau is currently reviewing comments received in response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) issued fall 2020 regarding consumer data access (covered by InfoBytes here). Additionally, the Bureau stated it is monitoring the market to consider potential next steps, “including whether a Small Business Review Panel is required pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act.”
    • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the Bureau published an ANPR in March 2019 seeking feedback on the unique features of PACE financing and the general implications of regulating PACE financing under TILA (as required by Section 307 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which amended TILA to mandate that the Bureau issue certain regulations relating to PACE financing). The Bureau noted that it continues “to engage with stakeholders and collect information for the rulemaking, including by pursuing quantitative data on the effect of PACE on consumers’ financial outcomes.”
    • Automated Valuation Models (AVM). Interagency rulemaking is currently being pursued by the Bureau, Federal Reserve Board, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and FHFA to develop regulations for AVM quality control standards as required by Dodd-Frank amendments to FIRREA. The standards are designed to, among other things, “ensure a high level of confidence in the estimates produced by the valuation models, protect against the manipulation of data, seek to avoid conflicts of interest, require random sample testing and reviews,” and account for any other appropriate factors. An NPRM is anticipated for June 2022.
    • Amendments to Regulation Z to Facilitate LIBOR Transition. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the Bureau issued a final rule on December 7 to facilitate the transition from LIBOR for consumer financial products, including “adjustable-rate mortgages, credit cards, student loans, reverse mortgages, [and] home equity lines of credit,” among others. The final rule amended Regulation Z, which implements TILA, to generally address LIBOR’s eventual cessation for most U.S. dollar settings in June 2023, and establish requirements for how creditors must select replacement indices for existing LIBOR-linked consumer loans. The final rule generally takes effect April 1, 2022.
    • Reviewing Existing Regulations. The Bureau noted in its announcement that it decided to conduct an assessment of a rule implementing HMDA (most of which took effect January 2018), and referred to a notice and request for comments issued last month (covered by InfoBytes here), which solicited public comments on its plans to assess the effectiveness of the HMDA Rule. Additionally, the Bureau stated that it finished a review of Regulation Z rules implementing the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, and that “[a]fter considering the statutory review factors and public comments,” it “determined that the CARD Act rules should continue without change.”

    Notably, there are 14 rulemaking activities that are listed as inactive on the fall 2021 agenda, including rulemakings on overdraft services, consumer reporting, student loan servicing, Regulation E modernization, abusive acts and practices, loan originator compensation, and TILA/RESPA mortgage disclosure integration.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance CFPB Covid-19 Small Business Lending Section 1071 Consumer Finance PACE Programs AVMs Dodd-Frank Section 1033 Regulation Z LIBOR HMDA RESPA TILA CARES Act Debt Collection EGRRCPA Federal Reserve OCC FDIC NCUA FHFA Bank Regulatory FIRREA CARD Act

  • CFPB publishes rulemaking agenda

    Federal Issues

    On June 11, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released the CFPB’s spring 2021 rulemaking agenda. According to a Bureau announcement, the information released represents regulatory matters the Bureau is “currently pursuing under interim leadership pending the appointment and confirmation of a permanent Director.” Any changes made by the new permanent director will be reflected in the fall 2021 rulemaking agenda. Additionally, the Bureau indicates that it plans to continue to focus resources on actions addressing the adverse impacts to consumers due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and highlighted an interim final rule issued in April that addresses certain debt collector conduct associated with the CDC’s temporary eviction moratorium order (covered by InfoBytes here). The Bureau will also continue to take concrete steps toward furthering the agency’s “commitment to promoting racial and economic equity.”

    Key rulemaking initiatives include:

    • Small Business Rulemaking. Last September, the Bureau released a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) outline of proposals under consideration, convened an SBREFA panel last October, and released the panel’s final report last December (covered by InfoBytes here and here). The Bureau reports that it anticipates releasing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the Section 1071 regulations this September to “facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws as well as enable communities, governmental entities, and creditors to identify business and community development needs and opportunities of women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.”
    • Consumer Access to Financial Records. The Bureau notes that it is considering rulemaking to implement section 1033 of Dodd-Frank in order to address the availability of electronic consumer financial account data. The Bureau is currently reviewing comments received in response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) issued last fall regarding consumer data access (covered by InfoBytes here).
    • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the Bureau published an ANPR in March 2019 seeking feedback on the unique features of PACE financing and the general implications of regulating PACE financing under TILA. The Bureau notes that it continues “to engage with stakeholders and collect information for the rulemaking, including by pursuing quantitative data on the effect of PACE on consumers’ financial outcomes.”
    • Automated Valuation Models (AVM). Interagency rulemaking is currently being pursued by the Bureau, Federal Reserve Board, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and FHFA to develop regulations for AVM quality control standards as required by Dodd-Frank amendments to FIRREA. The standards are designed to, among other things, “ensure a high level of confidence in the estimates produced by the valuation models, protect against the manipulation of data, [ ] avoid conflicts of interest, require random sample testing and reviews,” and account for any other appropriate factors. An NPRM is anticipated for December.
    • Amendments to Regulation Z to Facilitate LIBOR Transition. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the Bureau issued an NPRM in June 2020 to amend Regulation Z to address the sunset of LIBOR, and to facilitate creditors’ transition away from using LIBOR as an index for variable-rate consumer products. A final rule is expected in January 2022.
    • Reviewing Existing Regulations. The Bureau notes in its announcement that while it will conduct an assessment of a rule implementing HMDA (most of which took effect January 2018), it will no longer pursue two HMDA proposed rulemakings previously listed in earlier agendas related to the reporting of HMDA data points and public disclosure of HMDA data. Additionally, the Bureau states that it finished a review of Regulation Z rules implementing the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 and plans to publish any resulting changes in the fall 2021 agenda.

    The Bureau’s announcement also highlights several completed rulemaking items, including (i) a final rule that formally extended the mandatory compliance date of the General Qualified Mortgage final rule to October 1, 2022 (covered by InfoBytes here); (ii) proposed amendments to the mortgage servicing early intervention and loss mitigation-related provisions under RESPA/Regulation X (covered by a Buckley Special Alert) (the Bureau anticipates issuing a final rule before June 30, when the federal foreclosure moratoria are set to expire); and (iii) a proposed rule (covered by InfoBytes here), which would extend the effective date of two final debt collection rules to allow affected parties additional time to comply due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (the Bureau plans to issue a final rule in June on whether, and for how long, it will extend the effective date once it reviews comments).

    Federal Issues CFPB Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Covid-19 Small Business Lending SBREFA Consumer Finance PACE Programs AVMs Dodd-Frank Regulation Z LIBOR HMDA RESPA TILA CARES Act Debt Collection Bank Regulatory Federal Reserve OCC FDIC NCUA FHFA

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