CFPB Annual Threshold Adjustments

On August 15th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued amendments to the dollar threshold amounts under Regulation Z. The minimum interest charge disclosure thresholds will remain unchanged in 2015. The adjusted dollar amount for the penalty fees safe harbor in 2015 will be $27 for a first late payment and $38 for each subsequent violation within the following six months. For Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (“HOPEA”) loans, the adjusted total loan amount threshold is $20,391, effective January 1, 2015. The adjusted statutory fee trigger for HOPEA loans is $1,020, effective January 1, 2015. Effective January 1, 2015, for the purpose of creditor’s determination of a consumer’s ability to repay a transaction secured by a dwelling, a covered transaction is not a qualified mortgage unless the transaction’s total points and fees do not exceed 3 percent of the total loan amount for a loan greater than or equal to $101,953; $3,059 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $61,172 but less than $101,953; 5 percent of the total loan amount for a loan greater than or equal to $20,391 but less than $61,172; $1,020 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $12,744 but less than $20,391; and 8 percent of the total loan amount for a loan amount less than $12,744. The amendments are effective January 1, 2015. 79 FR 48015.

Treasury Department Revises Sanctions Guidance

On August 13th, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued revised guidance on entities owned by persons whose property has been blocked. Under the revised guidance, “any entity owned in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons is itself considered to be a blocked person.” See also Frequently Asked Questions Nos. 398 -402.

FinCEN AML Advisory

On August 11th, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an advisory on promoting a culture of compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act.

A Bitcoin Warning

On August 11th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a consumer advisory warning consumers about the risks of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. The CFPB advises consumers to be aware of potential issues with virtual currencies such as unclear costs, volatile exchange rates, the threat of hacking and scams, and that companies may not offer help or refunds for lost or stolen funds. The CFPB also announced that consumers who encounter a problem with a virtual currency product or service can now submit a complaint with the Bureau. CFPB Press Release. See also DealBook.