Deputy Enforcement Director for Policy and Strategy Discusses Priorities: On August 22nd , Hunter Wiggins, the CFPB Deputy Enforcement Director for Policy and Strategy, spoke at the D.C. Bar Antitrust and Consumer Law Section session entitled, “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Enforcement Priorities.” Wiggins outlined the structure of the Office of Enforcement, which currently has 150 employees. The Office evaluates enforcement priorities using the following criteria:
- the number of consumers potentially impacted by a practice;
- the period of time that practice has been in place and whether it is ongoing;
- the harm to consumers;
- whether a vulnerable demographic is disparately affected;
- whether consumers can reasonably avoid the practice by choosing alternative providers;
- whether the practice creates market distortions; and
- whether there is a lack of alternative solutions.
- College Students: On September 30th , the CFPB will host a forum regarding financial products that are marketed to college students. The forum will highlight input the CFPB has received since requesting information in January 2013 regarding such products and will also feature speakers from industry, student advocacy organizations, and institutions of higher education.
- Furnishers: On September 4 th , the CFPB published a Bulletin emphasizing that, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), companies that furnish consumer data to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), “furnishers,” have a robust duty to investigate consumer credit report disputes forwarded to them by the CRAs. The CFPB explains that it expects “every furnisher to review and consider ‘all relevant information’ relating to the dispute, including documents that the CRA includes with the notice of dispute or transmits during the investigation, and the furnisher’s own information with respect to the dispute.” The bulletin adds that the CFPB “will take appropriate supervisory and enforcement actions to address violations.”
- Deputy Director: On September 4th , the CFPB announced that Acting Deputy Director Steve Antonakes has been officially promoted to Deputy Director, having served as the Acting Deputy Director for the past seven months. Antonakes will also continue to serve as Associate Director for Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending. Antonakes previously served nine years as Massachusetts Deputy Commissioner of Banks and for seven years as Commissioner of Banks before joining the CFPB in November 2010 as Assistant Director for Large Bank Supervision. He earned his Ph.D. in Law and Public Policy from Northeastern University.
Mortgage Rules: On August 23rd, the American Bankers Association (ABA) sent a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Greenberg to request a delay of the new mortgage lender rules that are scheduled to go into effect on January 10, 2014. The letter encloses the ABA’s August 2013 survey of senior mortgage executives that found that:
- 79% of respondent banks are contracting outside vendors to provide compliance software, of which only 8% expect to receive the software by November;
- nearly 50% of the respondent banks expect a 2-3 month trial testing and training period, which banks could commence only after receiving the software;
- community banks are among those banks most concerned about the timing for software implementation.
On August 29th, a CFPB spokeswoman declined a request for delay, telling Law360, “Congress established an outside deadline for the effective date of the mortgage rules it directed us to write, and we set the effective date to reflect that deadline. We fully expect all institutions to be in compliance by January 10, 2014.”