Much has been written about Rohit Chopra’s tenure as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau). While many expected an aggressive enforcement posture, in part because of an aggressive hiring spree in enforcement, his tenure has been marked more by an aggressive use of guidance and exhortation. Recently released statistics bear this
CFPB Seeks Cert in Funding Dispute
As we previously predicted, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has asked the Supreme Court to reverse the recent Fifth Circuit decision finding that the agency’s funding is unconstitutional. In a petition for certiorari filed less than a month after the Fifth Circuit decision, the CFPB asks the Supreme Court to hear the case…
The Uncertain Future of the CFPB
In a consequential decision, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week ruled that the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) is unconstitutionally funded and that its promulgation of a Payday Lending Rule—and presumably all of its actions—are therefore invalid. Read our summary of the opinion and discussion of its likely implications
CFPB Takes Aim at Digital Marketing Providers with New Interpretive Rule
On August 10, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued an interpretive rule clarifying its position that digital marketers providing consumer financial services companies with customer targeting and advertisement delivery services are subject to the Consumer Financial Protection Act as “service providers.” Critically, the rule takes the position that tech companies offering such marketing…
Vindication for the CFPB But Lack of Guidance on True Lender Issues
In a ruling with important implications for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau or CFPB), the Ninth Circuit has revived the CFPB’s claims for substantial civil penalties and restitution in a lawsuit that was first filed some seven years ago. In a May 23, 2022 opinion, the court reversed and remanded a district court…
CFPB Reiterates ECOA Applies After Loan Origination
On May 9, 2022, the CFPB issued an Advisory Opinion outlining its position that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and its implementing regulation, Regulation B, extend beyond applicants seeking credit to include those who have received credit. The 16-page Advisory Opinion lays out the Bureau’s position that the statutory text, legislative purpose and judicial…
US CFPB Says Hiding Negative Reviews Violates UDAAP Rules
On March 22, 2022, the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a compliance bulletin on “Unfair and Deceptive Acts or Practices That Impede Consumer Reviews.” The bulletin announced that the CFPB would view practices that discourage or hide consumer reviews as unfair or deceptive practices under Sections 1031 and 1036 of the Consumer Financial…
CFPB Announces It Will Seek to Extend ECOA-Like Antidiscrimination Provisions Broadly to All Consumer Finance Activities
In an extraordinary announcement yesterday, the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) unveiled a broad expansion of its supervisory procedures to include examining supervised entities for discriminatory conduct that the agency alleges could constitute unfair practices in violation of the Dodd-Frank Act. Going forward, it appears that every exam for unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) is likely to include an assessment of a company’s antidiscrimination programs as applied to all aspects of all consumer financial products or services, regardless of whether that company extends any credit or would otherwise be subject to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). In recent months, the Bureau has been laser focused on issues of fair lending and racial equity in the consumer credit market, including redlining, pricing and algorithmic bias, among others. With this change, the CFPB will be broadening its racial equity focus to cover every aspect of the consumer financial services sector.
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CFPB Issues Revised Administrative Litigation Procedures, Signaling Possible Increase in In-House Adjudications
The upshot, for busy people:
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can sue companies in federal court or in its in-house administrative proceedings. Although the CFPB regularly announces settlements styled as administrative proceedings, it has rarely held administrative trials or other contested enforcement proceedings in that forum.
- On February 22, 2022, and without an accompanying press release, the CFPB published in the Federal Register a number of changes to its in-house adjudication procedures. Some changes are administrative—how to count days, etc. But others clarify and expand the powers Director Rohit Chopra has to shape proceedings, including to bifurcate remedial and liability determinations and to decide all dispositive motions.
- These procedural changes don’t alter any of the CFPB’s substantive rules. But these changes do signal that the agency may start bringing enforcement cases in-house, where Director Chopra will decide what does and does not violate the law.
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Court Dismisses Challenge to CFPB Payday Rule Repeal
A district court has dismissed a challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) repeal of the underwriting provisions of its 2017 payday rulemaking. The CFPB’s payday lending rule has a long and tortured history. First promulgated in 2017, the rule had two main prohibitions—a prohibition on making payday loans without assessing a borrower’s ability…