Read the latest on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
- CFPB Lays Out Options for Easing Repayment of Private Student Loan
Washington Post 09 May 2013
Based on feedback from nearly 30,000 borrowers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released a series of proposals to help millions of Americans repay their student loans more easily. The agency said that on-time borrowers should be able to refinance their debt at lower interest rates, while those who fall behind should be able to enter into income-based repayment plans...
- Card Add-on Products Stage a Comeback
Fox Business 08 May 2013
Credit card "add-on" products suffered from regulatory restrictions last year; but analysts say they could bounce back, with tighter marketing pitches and lower price...
- Bureau Issues Rule to Guide Fines for Violating Consumer Protection Laws
The Hill 06 May 2013
Financial regulators introduced a new set of guidelines for a civil penalty fund created to collect fines from violators of consumer protection laws. The new guidelines for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Civil Penalty Fund are set to take effect on May 7...
- Regulators Scrutinize Auto Lenders Over Add-Ons
Wall Street Journal 03 May 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued subpoenas to U.S. auto lenders over the sale of extended warranties and other financial products, expanding a civil probe that could put the brakes on the thriving vehicle-finance industry. Although such products are legal, regulators are investigating whether terms and costs -- which typically are built into the total purchase price -- are adequately disclosed...
- Small Banks Seek Exemption in U.S. Collection of Fee Data
Bloomberg 02 May 2013
The Independent Community Bankers of America has asked federal regulators to exempt them from what they call an unnecessary and onerous data-collection effort to spot how consumers may be fleeced by checking account overdraft fees and other charges...
- U.S. Consumer Bureau Revises Wire-Transfer Rule
Dow Jones Newswires 30 Apr 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has revised rules designed to protect consumers who send money overseas. In response to financial industry concerns over fee disclosures and other "costs and compliance challenges," the CFPB said it will now be optional to disclose foreign taxes as well as fees charged by banks that receive wire transfers...
- CFPB's Balancing Act: Protecting Consumers While Preserving Credit Access
American Banker 29 Apr 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may release final mortgage rules within the next few weeks, requiring lenders to underwrite loans that satisfy the "qualified mortgage" and ability-to-repay rules. Kelly Cochran -- the agency's assistant director for regulations -- has helped develop mortgage rules that address servicing, disclosures, loan originator compensation, high-cost mortgages, and appraisals...
- U.S. Consumer Bureau Tweaks Credit Card Rule for At-Home Parents
Reuters 29 Apr 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau confirmed that it has revised a requirement in the Credit CARD Act stipulating that companies verify repayment ability before approving applicants for credit cards...
- Tribes' Payday Loans Under Scrutiny
Los Angeles Times 29 Apr 2013
More Indian tribes are entering the payday loan business as a way to raise revenue for their reservations, but federal officials suspect that some tribes are paid to offer sovereign immunity that helps non-Indian payday lenders avoid state regulations. Tribes have largely avoided states' attempts to assert their authority over tribal lending operations, but the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may institute a new crackdown...
- Cordray Defends U.S. Consumer Bureau Data-Collection Plan
Bloomberg 23 Apr 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's data-gathering effort is not invasive, is important for regulatory purposes, and adopts techniques already common in the private sector, the agency’s head said on April 23. “The big banks know more about you than you know about yourself,” CFPB director Richard Cordray said at a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee....
- CFPB Confronts Alleged Anti-Bank Bias With New Office
American Banker 23 Apr 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it will establish an Office of Financial Institutions and Business Liaison headed by former Freddie Mac official Dan Smith to counter claims of bureau bias against banks and to address a perceived lack of transparency. The CFPB says the office is intended to "enhance collaboration and communication" with financial institutions, trade associations, and businesses...
- Low-Interest-Rate Environment Exposes Seniors to Fraudsters
Washington Post 19 Apr 2013
A growing number of senior citizens are being drawn into riskier investments -- some of which are outright scams -- as low interest rates wipe out their retirement savings. This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) called for financial advisers to be more transparent in the way they market themselves to seniors...
- CFPB Partners With New York City on Consumer Protection Program
American Banker 03 Apr 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on a nationwide expansion of his local Cities for Financial Empowerment program. As reported by the mayor, the campaign "has given tens of thousands of low-income New Yorkers professional, free, and confidential advice about managing their financial lives and helped protect consumers from those who try to take advantage of them when their financial lives are in crisis."
- Consumer Protection Chief Vows Predatory Loan Crackdown
USA Today 28 Mar 2013
Told by attendees at a public hearing in Iowa that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should dole out meaningful punishment against predatory lenders, director Richard Cordray promised to rise to the challenge. "We will not only be informing public policy, we will be making it when it falls under our jurisdiction," he pledged during the March 28 field meeting...
- Upper West Side Joins Boca in Most Credit Card Complaints
Bloomberg 27 Mar 2013
Since it began gathering consumer gripes about credit cards in July 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has received the highest volume of grievances from well-off communities in New York and Florida, based on an analysis of agency data. Of the top four zip codes contributing to the more than 18,500 complaints published as of March 18, two are on Manhattan's Upper West Side and two are in south Florida...
- Cordray Advances in Senate, But Big Fight Likely Ahead Over Confirmation
Columbus Dispatch (OH) 20 Mar 2013
The Senate Banking Committee this week gave Richard Cordray the green light to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and advanced his nomination to the full chamber. His confirmation for the position is anything but assured, however, with 43 GOP senators expected to oppose Cordray's nomination because they do not approve of the CFPB ...
- Consumer Bureau Said to Warn Banks of Auto Lending Suits
Bloomberg BusinessWeek 21 Feb 2013
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has told at least four banks that it may sue them over vehicle loans and interest-rate markups by auto dealers that appear discriminatory, according to insiders. At least four banks received letters from the CFPB last week giving them 15 days to provide an explanation. The letters indicate the bureau believes the banks may have violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, a 1974 law that bars discrimination in lending.
- CFPB Launches Plan to Help Lenders Comply With New Rules
American Banker 14 Feb 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is implementing a yearlong plan to help lenders satisfy a wave of new mortgage rules by the 2014 deadline. The agency on Wednesday reiterated plans to release "easy-to-understand summaries" of its regulations, including qualified mortgage and ability-to-repay rules, in print and video formats as well as "official interpretations" on rule adoption throughout the year. By summer, it projected, the bureau also will begin posting checklists to help mortgage lenders and servicers update their practices for compliance with the new rules. On the consumer end, the CFPB said it would launch a "broad-reaching consumer education campaign" on the new rules closer to next January's deadline. "Both consumers and industry will win when the new rules are understood, applied, and carried out evenly and effectively," said CFPB director Richard Cordray. "Mortgage borrowers, who have dealt with much heartache since the financial crisis, deserve this level of attentiveness."
- Regulators Open to Lending-Rule Changes
Wall Street Journal 14 Feb 2013
Top U.S. financial regulators say they are open to making big changes to a mortgage rule proposed nearly two years ago to ensure consumers can get home loans. At issue is a regulatory proposal from 2011 that outlines new standards for high-quality mortgages. These loans would be exempt from new requirements that banks keep some of the risk on their books when they sell mortgage-backed securities. In recent weeks, banking industry groups and lawmakers have started to push to make this rule conform to another rolled out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last month that are designed to ensure that consumers can afford to repay their mortgages.
- Consumer Watchdog Warns Mortgage Servicers on Transfers
Reuters 11 Feb 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Feb. 11 released a bulletin warning mortgage servicers that they must extend legal safeguards to customers when transferring their loans to another company and vowed to take enforcement action against those not in compliance. The volume of recent loan transfers is giving the bureau cause for concern about potential mortgage servicing transfer abuses, with director Richard Cordray emphasizing that "consumers should not be collateral damage in the mortgage servicing transfer process." Specifically, the CFPB is interested in what actions servicers have taken to ensure customers are given accurate information, whether document transfers are handled smoothly, and whether mortgage modifications are honored by the new servicers.