May 02, 2014

CFPB praises flat auto dealer fee

May 5, 2014 – CFPB Director Richard Cordray praised BMO Harris Bank for its plans to pay auto dealers a flat percentage of loan amounts for indirect auto loans, in an effort to avoid discrimination.

"It is encouraging to see BMO Harris taking this proactive step to protect consumers from discrimination," said Cordray.

The bureau issued a March 2013 guidance bulletin to indirect auto lenders. The guidance, which focused on the fair lending provisions of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, said lenders may be liable under the doctrines of disparate treatment and impact for disparities in the indirect lender's portfolio.

NAFCU has voiced concerns that the guidance appeared to put credit unions between auto dealers and CFPB, which has no direct supervisory authority over auto dealers under the Dodd-Frank Act.

In its response to concerns aired last fall by a group of bipartisan senators about how the bureau collects information, CFPB explained that because non-mortgage lenders do not collect demographic information, the bureau uses proxy methodologies such as the Social Security database and others.

This March, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, asked the CFPB again for information on its information-collecting methods, and later called for the bureau's four advisory council meetings to be made open to the public and journalists.