On January 18, the CFPB filed a proposed final judgment against an Illinois-based third-party payment processor and its founder (collectively, “defendants”), which ceased operations almost three years ago, settling claims that the defendants facilitated payments for telemarketing fraudsters targeting seniors.

Continue Reading CFPB Bans Payment Processor for Engaging in Fraudulent Practices

Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act states that consumers have the right to access their own bank account and transaction data in a usable electronic format.  This provision mandates that the CFPB adopt a rule relating to data access.  However, the timeline for this rule has been fluid, in part due to the CFPB’s full agenda and the time needed by Rohit Chopra, the CFPB’s new director and a former member of the Federal Trade Commission, to make his own determinations about the rule.

Continue Reading CFPB Likely to Delay Data Sharing Rule Until 2023

On January 5, the CFPB released its Annual Report of Credit and Consumer Reporting Complaints that analyzes complaint responses by the three major consumer reporting agencies (CRAs).  The CFPB’s analysis reveals that recent changes in complaint responses provided by the CRAs resulted in fewer meaningful responses and with fewer instances of relief to consumers.  As a result, the CFPB concludes that the CRAs failed to meet their obligations under Section 611 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires that CRAs review consumer allegations of incomplete or inaccurate information on consumer credit reports, including allegations made by an authorized third-party representative of the consumer.

Continue Reading CFPB Report: Major Credit Bureaus Failed to Meet Statutory Obligations in Response to Consumer Complaints

On December 17, the CFPB filed a proposed stipulated final judgment and order against a limited liability company, its principals, and an attorney who allegedly provided advisory services to consumers who sold structured settlements to the company.   The CFPB alleged that the company steered consumers to consider signing away future structured settlement payments for lump-sum payments, and to receive “independent advice” from an attorney who was paid directly by the company who indicated to consumers that the transactions required very little scrutiny.

Continue Reading CFPB Takes Action Against Purchaser of Structured Settlements

On December 21, an online lending fintech agreed to a stipulated final judgment with the CFPB to resolve a September 2021 complaint alleging that the company deceived consumers and violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) (we discussed this complaint in an earlier Consumer Finance & FinTech Blog post here).  The stipulated final judgment prohibits the company from making new loans, collecting on outstanding loans to harmed consumers, selling consumer information, and making misrepresentations when providing loans or collecting debt or helping others that do so.  The company also agreed to a $40,500,000 suspended monetary judgment, and a $100,000 civil penalty based on its limited ability to pay.

Continue Reading CFPB Closes Online Lending Fintech for Violating ECOA and CFPB Consent Order

On December 16, the CFPB issued a series of orders to five companies offering “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) credit.  The orders seek to collect information on the risks and benefits of these “fast-growing” products over concerns about “accumulating debt, regulatory arbitrage, and data harvesting in a consumer credit market already quickly changing with technology.”  BNPL is a deferred payment option that allows consumers to split a purchase into smaller installments, typically four or less, often with a down payment of 25 percent due at checkout.  To underscore BNPL’s current popularity, a report issued by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation recently reported that “[t]he top six buy now pay later lenders accounted for 10,924,547, or 91 percent, of the total consumer loans originated in 2020” (we discussed this report in an earlier Consumer Finance & FinTech Blog post here).

Continue Reading CFPB Issues Orders to Companies Offering BNPL Credit

The CFPB has amended Regulation Z to address the anticipated sunset of LIBOR, which is expected to be discontinued in June 2023.  Some creditors currently use LIBOR as an index for calculating rates for open-end and closed-end products.  The effective date of this final rule is April 1, 2022.


Continue Reading CFPB Published Reg. Z Amendments to Facilitate Libor Transition

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has enhanced its regulatory scrutiny of the fees financial institutions assess on consumer depositors.  To better understand the gamut of such fees and financial institutions’ practices with respect to the same, the CFPB has required financial institutions to submit detailed quarterly statements identifying and breaking out the various types of fees assessed on consumer accounts.  In particular, the CFPB has required them to provide aggregate amounts charged as (i) overdraft and non-sufficient funds (“NSF”) fees; (ii) periodic account maintenance fees; and (iii) ATM fees (in particular, the fees charged in connection with consumer transactions at out-of-network ATMs).  The CFPB has now analyzed the consumer fee data going back to 2015 and published two reports: (i) Data Point: Overdraft/NSF Fee Reliance Since 2015—Evidence from Bank Call Reports; and (ii) Data Point: Checking Account Overdraft at Financial Institutions Served by Core Processors.  In general, the reports reveal that overdraft and NSF fees constitute one of the primary sources of financial institution revenues generated from consumer banking operations.  Indeed, overdraft fees alone generated more than $15 billion in revenues for banks and credit unions in 2019.

Continue Reading The CFPB Study Shines Spotlight on Banking Fees as a Presage to Greater Regulatory Scrutiny of Consumer Banking Fees

The CFPB, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, and state financial regulators issued a statement this week ending the temporary supervisory and enforcement flexibility provided to mortgage servicers due to the COVID-19 pandemic by the agencies.  In April 2020, the banking agencies issued an interagency statement that relaxed supervision and enforcement of mortgage servicers’ compliance with certain requirements because of constraints caused by the pandemic.  For instance, the banking agencies indicated that they would not intend to take supervisory or enforcement action against mortgage servicers for delays in sending certain early intervention and loss mitigation notices and taking certain actions relating to loss mitigation set out in the mortgage servicing rules, provided that servicers are making good faith efforts to provide these notices and take these actions within a reasonable time.

Continue Reading Banking Agencies: Mortgage Servicers Should Prepare For Increased Scrutiny

On November 1, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG), the FDIC, and the OCC announced the release of a report on stablecoins — virtual currencies that, unlike Bitcoin, are backed by assets like gold or fiat currency. Stablecoins aim to eliminate the hesitation many consumers have about mainstream cryptocurrencies, namely their unpredictable volatility.

Continue Reading President’s Working Group Releases Report on Stablecoins

On October 28, newly approved CFPB director, Rohit Chopra, made his first appearance before the House Financial Services Committee since his narrow approval by the Senate.  Director Chopra focused on topics with bipartisan appeal:  the Bureau’s enforcement efforts aimed at large companies, ways it may try to help small businesses (including small financial companies) and the importance of strong relationships between banks and customers.
Continue Reading CFPB Director Chopra Appears at First House Hearing Since Approval as Director