We re­ported on de­vel­op­ments with the Con­sumer Fi­nan­cial Pro­tec­tion Bu­reau (CFPB) back in Jan­u­ary and March.  The hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try has an in­ter­est in the de­vel­op­ment of the CFPB be­cause the agency has broad au­thor­ity to pre­vent acts or prac­tices which are "un­fair," "abu­sive" or "de­cep­tive."  In con­nec­tion with that mis­sion, the CFPB may re­visit or in­vent de­f­i­n­i­tions for "de­cep­tive," "un­rea­son­able ad­van­tage of con­sumers' . . . rea­son­able re­liance" and "cov­ered per­sons."   

Stak­ing Out Its Turf . . . While the ru­mored re­cess ap­point­ment of the CFPB di­rec­tor did not come to pass, the Fed­eral Reg­is­ter did pub­lish on May 31 a list of rules and or­ders that the CFPB would have au­thor­ity to en­force.  While that list isn't fi­nal, it does pro­vide some in­sight as to the scope of the CFPB's broad reg­u­la­tory power.  Here are some the listed rules and or­ders that may be of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try:  

. . . With Some Caveats

Not sur­pris­ingly, we found some in­ter­est­ing nuggets when re­view­ing the re­lease:

  • This list was pub­lished by the Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury, which has in­terim au­thor­ity to per­form cer­tain CFPB func­tions (see foot­note 6 in the no­tice).  Even so, as of June 12, the CFPB’s web­site had no men­tion of ei­ther the May 31 no­tice or the list of rules pro­posed to be en­forced by the CFPB.
  • As to the FTC’s Tele­mar­ket­ing Sales Rule, the CFPB will only “have au­thor­ity to en­force in some cir­cum­stances” that rule.  While spe­cific ex­cep­tions to CFPB en­force­ment au­thor­ity were spelled out else­where (i.e., Fair Credit Re­port­ing), the no­tice does not de­tail what was meant by “in some cir­cum­stances” with re­spect to the Tele­mar­ket­ing Sales Rule.  
  • The no­tice states very clearly that it does not in any way limit the CFPB’s en­force­ment au­thor­ity as de­fined by Dodd-Frank:

[T]he in­clu­sion or ex­clu­sion of any rule or or­der would not al­ter the CFPB’s au­thor­ity.  In ad­di­tion, sec­tion 1063(i) does not re­quire the CFPB to up­date, cor­rect, or oth­er­wise main­tain the fi­nal list.  Be­cause the list un­der sec­tion 1063(i) re­flects the CFPB’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of its au­thor­ity un­der [Dodd-Frank] and re­lates to agency or­ga­ni­za­tion, pro­ce­dure and prac­tice, the list is not sub­ject to the no­tice-and-com­ment re­quire­ments of the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Pro­ce­dure Act.  Nev­er­the­less, the Bu­reau in­vites pub­lic com­ment dur­ing a thirty-day pe­riod.