Read the latest on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
- CFPB Warns of Crackdown If Credit-Report Errors Aren't Fixed
Wall Street Journal 05 Sep 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Sept. 4 put financial firms on notice that they need to improve their responses to disputes over credit reports. The agency said lenders and debt collectors must conduct a thorough review of documents submitted by consumers to challenge any mistakes and disclose any errors to credit reporting firms
- More Banks Could Face Scrutiny Over Foreclosure Billing Practices
American Banker 28 Aug 2013
Federal and state regulators are more closely scrutinizing the practice of padding foreclosure expenses, warning mortgage servicers that they are liable for ensuring that fees charged by lawyers and third-party vendors are reasonable and accurate.
- Consumer Bureau: Too Few Use Loan Forgiveness
Associated Press 28 Aug 2013
More than 33 million U.S. workers qualify for student loan forgiveness because they work in public service fields. "We estimate that one in four working Americans has a job that meets the definition of public service under this program," confirmed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray.
- CFPB Slams Mortgage Servicers Over 'Sloppy' Tactics
American Banker 22 Aug 2013
Mortgage servicing issues persist, despite a renewed focus on these problems in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, finds a report issued Aug. 21 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Based on exams conducted between November and June, the agency specifically cited "sloppy" and "poor" practices related to mortgage transfers, payment processing, and loss mitigation procedures.
- U.S. Consumer Bureau Files Lawsuit Against Nevada Debt-Relief Firm
Reuters 20 Aug 2013
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking Morgan Drexen, a Nevada-based debt settlement company, to court for allegedly imposing improper fees and misleading the public about its services.
- Auto-Title Lenders Peel Into Ohio
Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH) 16 Aug 2013
TMX Finance, the biggest auto title lender in the country, is expanding into Ohio, where it plans to open 12 outlets. Payday loans were officially banned there in 2008, but the state unofficially allowed the lenders to continue. Car title lending is not specifically sanctioned; but, like with the payday lending industry, there are loopholes that allow them to operate under other statutes.
- CFPB Updates Exam Guide for QM, Mortgage Rules
American Banker 16 Aug 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Aug. 15 issued updated exam procedures for a number of mortgage rules set to take effect next year. The interim exam procedures cover far more details and rules related to mortgages than when the agency released its first round of exam guidance in June.
- Many Can't Pay Student Loans
Wall Street Journal 06 Aug 2013
About 40 percent of borrowers with direct federal student loans are repaying them, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that offers the first comprehensive snapshot of the lending program since the government created it in 2010.
- Consumer Protection Chief Puts Focus on Student Loans
USA Today 05 Aug 2013
U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Richard Cordray says the agency is trying to improve consumer decision-making on student loans. It has fielded 2,000 complaints related to private student loans just from Oct. 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013.
- Watchdog's Complaint Tracking Gets Results
USA Today 05 Aug 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's growing database of financial services complaints could help consumers rule out companies that show up too often, but CFPB director Richard Cordray believes other factors should be considered as well.
- Blog: Over a Million Are Denied Bank Accounts for Past Errors
New York Times 30 Jul 2013
Institutions like Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo insist that the use of databases that record individuals' banking mistakes, such as bounced checks or minor overdrafts, help them weed out risky customers and fight fraud.
- What CFPB Crackdown on Utah Lender Means for Loan Officer Compensation
American Banker 30 Jul 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has filed a federal complaint against Salt Lake City-based mortgage bank Castle & Cooke Mortgage for allegedly paying quarterly bonuses to loan originators who directed borrowers into higher-cost loans but lacked a written policy describing the bonuses, as required by new loan compensation rules
- Wells Fargo Halts Card Debt Sales as Scrutiny Mounts
American Banker 29 Jul 2013
Wells Fargo reportedly has ceased sales of its customers' unpaid consumer loans to third-party debt collection agencies. The bank's move follows JPMorgan Chase's more drastic decision to freeze most of its credit card debt-sales activities.
- U.S. Regulators Moving Cautiously on Mortgage Reforms
Reuters 29 Jul 2013
U.S. bank regulators are carefully crafting various rules to put a stop to reckless underwriting and other mortgage market abuses, claiming they are cognizant of arguments from an alliance of both banks and consumer groups that excessively strict regulations could hinder credit availability.
- Consumers Rack Up $14.3 Billion in 'Gray' Charges
USA Today 25 Jul 2013
A new study commissioned by BillGuard reveals that U.S. consumers are individually paying hundreds of dollars in extra charges every year for services they never wanted or intended to sign up for.
- Senator Presses Consumer Bureau on Installment Lender World Finance
ProPublica 25 Jul 2013
The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a July 24 hearing that examined how high-cost financial products such as payday loans affect seniors. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) questioned a top official from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on how to address and prevent abuses by installment lenders.
- 'Consumer Mortgage Choice Act' Takes Away Consumers' Choices
American Banker 22 Jul 2013
Americans still have not fully recovered from the foreclosure crisis, yet some members of Congress already want to dilute new consumer protection rules for mortgage products, write Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The proposed Consumer Mortgage Choice Act would undermine the Dodd-Frank Act’s ability-to-repay stipulation requiring lenders to assess whether a borrower can afford a mortgage before extending credit to that individual.
- American Voters Favor Strong Oversight of Wall Street, Says Survey
Financial Advisor Magazine 18 Jul 2012
A national survey commissioned by AARP, the Center for Responsible Lending, Americans for Financial Reform, and the National Council of La Raza has found that three out of four U.S. voters firmly back federal reforms proposed two years ago to crack down on Wall Street after the 2008 financial crisis. The poll comes as the Dodd-Frank Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), turns two years old. Two-thirds of respondents support a state's right to pass even stronger consumer protections, without preemption by federal law. Respondents also supported establishment of the CFPB by a 40-point margin. Support for the Dodd-Frank Act tended to cross party lines: Republicans were in favor by a 20-point margin, independents by 50 points, and Democrats by 83 points. Gary Kalman, director of federal policy for the Center for Responsible Lending, said that bipartisan support is not surprising. "Who hasn't been hurt by the economic downturn?" he asked. "People get that common sense oversight could have prevented it." The survey of 803 randomly selected respondents was conducted by Lake Research Partners July 5-10.
- Watchdog Agency Works Toward Clarity in Mortgage Lending
Louisville Courier-Journal 18 Jul 2012
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently introduced a proposal on simplified mortgage disclosures. CFPB director Richard Cordray said consumers should really do their homework when consider a home loan. The agency is now seeking further review of the proposal as well as consumer testing before the disclosures could be required. As a result, the new "Loan Estimate" and "Closing Disclosure" forms may not actually be implemented until 2014. The proposed changes would show consumers their interest rates, monthly payments, loan amounts, and closing costs on the first page. Additionally, consumers would see how rates or payments could potentially change. "If consumers have a clearer understand of what the risks are in these products and what the actual pricing is, it's more likely they will end up with a sensible deal that they can maintain over the long term," said Cordray. The agency, seeking public comment on both disclosure forms, is holding a series of town hall events around the country.
- Capital One to Refund $150 Million to Credit Card Customers
Los Angeles Times 18 Jul 2012
In the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's first major enforcement action since the agency went live last July, it has ordered Capital One Bank to refund $140 million to credit card consumers for questionable marketing of add-on products. At the same time, the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency hit Capital One with its own $10 million consent order tied to unfair billing practices from May 2002 to June 2011, for total refunds of $150 million. Additionally, Capital One must pay $60 million combined in civil penalties for the practices. CFPB director Richard Cordray said the bank's call center operators tricked customers with low credit scores or credit limits into buying "products they didn't understand, didn't want, or in some cases, couldn't even use" -- such as payment protection and credit monitoring -- when they activated their credit cards. As part of the consent orders, Capital One has agreed to refund the full amount of add-on products, plus interest, to customers who enrolled in them or tried unsuccessfully to cancel them on or after Aug. 1, 2010. Finance charges and other associated fees will be refunded as well. "We are putting companies on notice that these deceptive practices are against the law and will not be tolerated," Cordray declared.