CFPB Rulemaking

  • Remittances: On August 14th, the CFPB published in the Federal Register (78 FR 49365) an amendment clarifying and making a technical correction to a final rule regarding remedies for errors in electronic remittance transfers.  The amendment clarifies that, if the sender provides incorrect or insufficient information to the transfer provider that results in a transfer error, transfer providers must, at the sender’s request, refund or reapply to a new transfer the full principal amount and may not deduct from the principal the amount of any fees or taxes associated with the initial transfer.  The final rule, as amended and corrected, goes into effect on October 28, 2013.

CFPB Supervision

  • Bank and non-bank self-reporting: On August 9th, CFPB Assistant Director for Supervision Policy Peggy Twohig stated that banks and non-banks subject to CFPB jurisdiction should self-report to the CFPB all possible violations of federal consumer financial laws as well as all possible unfair or deceptive acts or practices, not only clear violations.  Twohig added that the CFPB will then determine whether to initiate an enforcement action. 
  • Examination Procedures: Yesterday, the CFPB updated its examination procedures relating to the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.  The updates address the following mortgage issues:
    • a consumer’s ability to repay the loan;
    • points, fees, and risky features in a loan;
    • monthly statements and disclosures;
    • dual tracking, whereby the servicer proceeds with foreclosure while simultaneously working with the borrower to avoid foreclosure;
    • consumers’ access to servicing personnel for a fair review process; and
    • use of a licensed or certified appraiser.

CFPB & Congress

  • Data Privacy: On August 12th, Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (RID) held a news conference in Boise (ID) expressing concern about the CFPB’s collection of consumer financial data, a concern the Government Accountability Office is examining at his request.  Attendees at the event included Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden (R), Boise attorney John Zarian, and Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

CFPB Operations

  • Today, the CFPB published in the Federal Register (78 FR 50041) a revised notice establishing a Privacy Act system of records.  The CFPB Social Networks and Citizen Engagement System will store information about individuals who access the CFPB website in order to increase transparency as well as effective and meaningful collaboration with the public, employees, and contractors; to encourage broad sharing of information regarding consumer financial issues; and to help the CFPB distribute critical information about both the CFPB and key consumer finance issues.  Public comments are being accepted through September 16, 2013.  The new system of records will otherwise go into effect on September 25, 2013.

CFPB Commentary

  • Yesterday, David Skeel Jr. published an essay entitled, “Behavioralism in Finance and Securities Law,” which addresses how behavioral economics has informed, and can inform, the work of financial and securities regulatory agencies, including the CFPB.  Skeel argues that behavioral economics was a factor in the CFPB’s initial conception and has grown steadily to become central to the CFPB’s mission.