November 15, 2019

CFPB outlines plan for small biz data collection rule

CFPBThe CFPB is seeking summary judgment in a lawsuit brought against it for allegedly violating the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The California Reinvestment Coalition, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, and two individual small business owners claim the bureau has violated the law by not issuing regulations to implement Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which is related to small business lending data collection.

In its motion for summary judgment to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the bureau argues that it has not violated the APA as Congress did not stipulate a timeline for this rulemaking. In addition, the bureau cites its recent symposium on the issue as proof that it "has made considerable progress in undertaking the information-gathering necessary to support an informed rulemaking."

The bureau also outlines its rulemaking plan for Section 1071:

  • In the next six months, the bureau plans to complete its recommendation and briefing to Director Kathy Kraninger.

  • Next, the bureau will begin the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) process to determine the rule's impact on small businesses, as well as seek Office of Management and Budget approval to conduct a survey of estimated one-time costs to lenders responsible for reporting data under the rule.

  • By next November, the bureau plans to release the SBREFA outline and the SBREFA panel would issue its report within two months of being convened.

  • As the bureau cannot predict how many comments it will receive in response to the SBREFA outline, it cannot estimate a target date for the issuance of a proposed rule on Section 1071.

The bureau first issued a request for information in May 2017. Its 2019 spring rulemaking agenda has "pre-rule activity" happening in early 2020.

NAFCU has previously urged the bureau to exempt credit unions from rulemakings related to data collection and reporting on small business lending as the industry is subject to strict limits on member business lending and field of membership rules. Due to these restrictions, reported data may not achieve the statutory purpose.

The association will keep credit unions informed as this lawsuit and rulemaking proceed.