Compliance Blog

Mar 04, 2016

CFPB’s Policy Priorities Confirm Rulemaking Plans on Overdraft, Debt Collection and Interest in Small Business Lending

Written by Shereefat Balogun, Regulatory Compliance Counsel

On Thursday, February 25, 2016, the CFPB held a Consumer Advisory Board meeting which generally provided an overview of the bureau's strategic outlook. The CFPB subsequently published a report outlining its two-year supervision and enforcement priorities. Many of the stated priorities are iterations of previous comments made by the bureau, and confirm impending rulemaking. Others provide insight on new areas of interest.  Credit unions under the bureau's jurisdiction should note the following priorities as they set their compliance goals for the next two years:

  • Arbitration: The CFPB indicated that it will continue the rulemaking process to regulate the use of arbitration clauses, especially those that limit a consumer's right to bring a class action.
  • Consumer Reporting: The bureau reported that it will continue to examine and investigate consumer reporting companies and furnishers of information, with a focus on accuracy and dispute resolution processes. The CFPB also stated that it may consider rulemaking around furnisher and consumer accuracy, dispute resolution, and related issues.
  • Debt Collection: The CFPB confirmed that it will initiate the rulemaking process and finalize a rule that establishes guidelines to ensure that debt collectors treat consumers with respect, substantiate the debts they collect on, and provide consumers with appropriate information about their rights and the debt collection process.
  • Mortgages: The CFPB has restated its commitment to ensure that the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) rule is successfully implemented, and that its supervisory and enforcement programs work to provide equal and fair access to mortgage credit. The CFPB also indicated a particular focus on implementing its mortgage servicing rules. Lastly, the bureau stated that it will begin to assess the effectiveness of significant rules that are already in place.
  • Overdraft: The bureau makes clear that it fully intends to move forward with the rulemaking process related to overdrafts, with a purported goal of making the overdraft market fairer and more transparent.
  • Small Business Lending: The CFPB confirmed its growing interest in small business lending, and lists its plan to build a small business lending team and begin market research and outreach for a rulemaking on business lending data collection. The bureau also indicated that it will continue to examine small business lenders for compliance with fair lending laws. As a reminder, Dodd-Frank amended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), requiring financial institutions to collect and maintain certain information in connection with credit applications submitted by women-owned, minority-owned or small businesses.

This is a few of the priorities listed in the report. NAFCU previously reported on the full list of priorities. Notably, the CFPB clarifies that, in addition to the stated priority goals, it will continue its ongoing efforts in its fair lending oversight of indirect auto lenders and rulemaking on prepaid cards. The bureau also advises companies to continue their focus on complying with the law beyond the particular issues described in the goals, whether or not they see their particular industry or product mentioned explicitly among the shared cross-Bureau priorities.

As a reminder, this will only be applicable to credit unions directly supervised by the CFPB- those with over $10 billion in assets. For those credit unions not subject to CFPB's supervision, the priorities may nonetheless be a useful tool. The policy priorities can be found here. Credit unions are also advised to review NCUA's Supervisory Priorities for 2016.