On November 3rd, the CFPB and the five other member agencies of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) published a statement and “general observations” from their 2014 cybersecurity assessment of more than 500 community institutions’ preparedness to mitigate cybersecurity risks. The FFIEC recommended that financial institutions participate in the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), a non-profit forum for financial services industry participants to share cybersecurity threat and vulnerability information. The “general observations” section of the report provides questions that chief executive officers and boards of directors should consider in assessing their institutions’ cybersecurity preparedness.
On November 5th, the CFPB published a report entitled, “A Snapshot of Debt Collection Complaints Submitted by Older Americans,” which reports on the CFPB’s analysis of the approximately 8,700 debt collection complaints made by older consumers to the CFPB from July 10, 2013 to September 30, 2014. The CFPB found that nearly a majority (48%) of all such complaints concerned alleged “continued attempts to collect debt not owed.” The CFPB also found that older Americans complained that:
- Collectors have inaccurate or inadequate information about debts;
- Collectors request payment while the consumer attempts to resolve billing disputes;
- Collectors attempt to collect on debts of deceased family members; and
- Collectors harass debtors with repeated calls and offensive language, including threats for non- payment.
Separately, the CFPB’s Assistant Director for the Office of Older Americans, Nora Dowd Eisenhower, published a consumer advisory with four recommendations for older Americans to address the most common debt collection complaints.
On November 5th, CFPB Director Richard Cordray delivered prepared remarks at a meeting of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC), of which Cordray, as CFPB Director, is the vice chair. Cordray introduced the CFPB’s new Assistant Director for Financial Education, Janneke Ratcliffe, and noted that she will work closely with FLEC. Cordray also reviewed the CFPB’s recent efforts to improve financial literacy, including by helping companies improve their employees’ financial wellness. He stated, “Our aim is to encourage more companies to create and adopt their own plans for providing resources and tools to their employees about how to navigate the financial marketplace.” He added, “We are already working with other FLEC agencies to update and submit their own workplace financial literacy plans.”