On September 22, the CFPB released its annual report providing an overview of the residential mortgage trends and activity in 2021 based on data collected from thousands of U.S. lending institutions under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Some of the key findings in the report include:

Continue Reading 2021 CFPB Annual Report Shows Increase in Home Purchase Loans, Decrease in Refinancing

Recently, the CFPB released a report outlining the challenges and risks inherent in the rapid evolution of the payment ecosystem, with a particular focus on emerging uses cases involving “super apps,” buy now, pay later (BNPL), and embedded payments, as well as their implications for consumers. The report notes that these changes create more opportunities for companies to aggregate and monetize consumer financial data, and for large players to dominate consumers’ financial and commercial lives.

Continue Reading CFPB Warns of Consumer Risk Over New Payment Products, Foreshadows Supervision of BNPLs

The FTC recently published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to discuss harms associated with the collection, processing, and selling of personal data. The FTC is inviting public comments on whether it should implement new rules on how companies:

Continue Reading FTC Signals Focus on Increasing Protections Around Personal Data

On August 10, the CFPB issued an interpretive rule stating that digital marketing providers that are involved in the identification or selection of prospective customers or the selection or placement of content to affect consumer engagement including purchase or adoption behavior, are subject to the CFPB’s jurisdiction. The rule ostensibly clarifies the scope of companies that are “service providers” under the CFPA to include digital marketing providers, and thereby subjecting them to the CFPB’s authority to prohibit UDAAPs.

Continue Reading CFPB’s New Interpretive Rule Sets Sights on Digital Marketing Vendors

On August 11, the CFPB published a circular clarifying liability under consumer financial protection law for bank and nonbank financial companies that fail to safeguard consumer data. The circular describes how firms may be violating the CFPA’s prohibition on unfair acts or practices with respect to the handling of consumer data by not implementing adequate measures to protect against data security incidents. These data security incidents may lead to significant harm to a few consumers—who, for example, become victims of targeted identify theft after a breach—or may lead to harm of many consumers in the event of large scale, customer-base-wide breaches. The circular includes specific examples for reference.

Continue Reading CFPB Circular: Safeguard Consumer Data or Face Liability

On August 10, the CFPB issued a consent order against a FinTech company for a faulty algorithm utilized in its personal finance management app that caused consumer accounts to overdraft and incur overdraft penalties. According to the CFPB, although the San Francisco-based fintech company promoted the app as a savings tool for consumers, it engaged in deceptive acts or practices in violation of the CFPA by:

Continue Reading CFPB Targets FinTech for Faulty Automated Savings Algorithm

On July 27, the CFPB and DOJ proposed a settlement with a nonbank mortgage lender for its discriminatory “redlining” lending practices against minority families living in the greater Philadelphia area. If approved by the court, the mortgage lender would be required to pay more than $22 million in civil penalties, and would be the CFPB’s first nonbank mortgage redlining settlement.

Continue Reading CFPB, DOJ Propose $22 Million Penalty Against Nonbank Mortgage Lender for Illegal Redlining

On July 27, CFPB Director Chopra was interviewed in multiple publications, here and here, about, among other topics, how the CFPB could seek to help mortgage borrowers strained by the Federal Reserve’s battle against inflation and how the agency is looking at cryptocurrency. Below are some of the more important updates from the interviews.

Continue Reading CFPB’s Chopra Has Payments and Crypto In Focus

On July 11, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra drafted a blog post detailing the Bureau’s efforts to comply with President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy aimed, in part, to address the Administration’s concerns about pressing antitrust and competition issues affecting consumers. The CFPB was directed by the Order to explore ways to make it easier for consumers to switch financial institutions and to aggressively enforce the prohibition of UDAAPs in consumer financial products and services pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act.

Continue Reading CFPB Continues Efforts to Promote Competition in Financial Markets

On June 28, the CFPB issued an interpretive rule affirming states’ abilities to police credit reporting markets through the issuance of their own fair credit report laws. The interpretive rule clarifies that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does not prevent states from enacting their own fair credit reporting laws that are stricter and more protective of consumers. The FCRA defines the permissible use of credit reports, and establishes the guidelines of the information that can and should be included in those reports. However, the FCRA leaves to the states the flexibility to consider local challenges affecting consumers and economies, and enact laws to protect consumers by further regulating credit report guidelines and uses. State fair credit reporting laws are not preempted by the FCRA unless they directly conflict with the FCRA or fall within the narrow preemption categories directly enumerated in the statute, according to the interpretive rule.

Continue Reading CFPB Issues Rule Clarifying States’ Rights to Protect Consumers Through Fair Credit Reporting Laws

On June 29, the CFPB issued an advisory opinion affirming that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Regulation F prohibit debt collectors from collecting pay-to-pay or “convenience fees” imposed for making a payment in a particular way, such as by phone or online, when such fees are not expressly authorized by the underlying agreement or otherwise permitted by law. In interpreting FDCPA Section 808, the Bureau’s advisory opinion explains that:

Continue Reading CFPB Advisory Opinion: Pay-to-Pay, “Convenience” Fees Prohibited by FDCPA