Inside CFPB Semi-annual Report: Proposed Rules in the Pipeline

cfpb_seal_blog_270x270.originalIn dissecting the CFPB’s recently published Semi-annual Report, which included Acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s recommended changes for imposing “meaningful accountability” on the regulatory agency, one of the most critical pieces of information for bank risk and compliance management is the list of proposed and final rules the CFPB anticipates working on in the near term.

Upcoming Proposed Rules Per CFPB Semi-annual Report

The report highlighted four regulatory areas in which the CFPB plans to issue proposed rules:

  1. Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule: This rule, also known as the Payday Lending Rule, was issued under former CFPB Director Richard Cordray on October 5, 2017 and published in the Federal Register on November 11, 2017. On the final rule’s effective date of January 16, 2018, the CFPB, under Acting Director Mulvaney, announced plans to begin the rulemaking process to reconsider the Payday Lending Final Rule. On March 27, Democratic Senators sent Mulvaney a letter opposing this action. The compliance date for most provisions in the Payday Lending Final Rule is August 19, 2019, giving covered financial institutions a reprieve from taking any further action to implement the rule until the CFPB specifies its exact plans for it.
  2. The Expedited Funds Availability Act (Reg CC): According to the Semi-annual Report, “The Bureau will work with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to issue jointly a rule that includes provisions within the Bureau’s authority.”
  3. Debt Collection: This issue has been on the CFPB’s radar for some time. The Bureau has conducted surveys and analyzed comments regarding the communication and disclosure practices of debt collectors. In its Spring 2017 Rulemaking Agenda, the CFPB noted plans to propose a debt collection rule in late 2017. While that did not happen prior to Cordray’s resignation, the Semi-annual Report makes clear that this issue remains a priority for the CFPB under Mulvaney, albeit the extent to which any proposed rule goes is still uncertain.
  4. Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (Reg C): The HMDA Final Rule of October 2015 went into effect on January 1, 2018, however, on December 21, 2017, the CFPB announced plans to “open a rulemaking to reconsider various aspects of the 2015 HMDA rule.” The Semi-annual report reiterates this intention, indicating that the institutional and transactional coverage tests along with the rule’s discretionary data points will be a part of this reconsideration process. While financial institutions likely welcome possible changes to the coverage tests, covered institutions have already invested heavily to enable themselves to gather the HMDA Final Rule’s new slate of data points, making fuzzy the potential benefit of changes to this aspect of the rule.

In the next post in this Series, Inside CFPB’s Semi-annual Report, I’ll tackle the upcoming Final Rules indicated by the CFPB.

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