On December 2, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement highlighting its updated rulemaking agenda for Fall 2016. The Bureau specifically mentioned a number of supervisory and developmental initiatives scheduled for implementation in the coming months.
In the area of mortgages, the CFPB expects to finalize proposed tweaks to the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule in March 2017. The rule combines several federal disclosures that consumers receive in connection with applying for and closing on a mortgage loan under the Truth in Lending Act ("TILA") and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"). The Bureau also intends to implement new mortgage reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act ("HMDA").
New rulemaking activity is in the works to define larger participants of certain markets for consumer financial products and services. The updated agenda indicates that the Bureau expects its next larger participant rule to focus on supervision of the consumer installment loan and vehicle title loan markets. The CFPB is also considering whether required registration of these or other non-depository lenders would facilitate market supervision, as suggested by industry groups and consumer advocates.
The Bureau expects to issue in February 2017 its final rule on arbitration clauses in consumer financial agreements. The proposed rule, as we previewed here, would prohibit covered providers of certain consumer financial products and services from using arbitration agreements to prevent consumers from filing or participating in class actions. Under the proposal, companies can still include arbitration clauses in their contracts, but these clauses must state explicitly that they cannot be used to stop consumers from taking part in class action law suits.
Comments on a proposed rule to address payday loans, vehicle title loans, and similar credit products are currently before the Bureau. According to the CFPB, certain practices can result in these products "becoming debt traps for consumers," and a new rule to address these issues may be forthcoming.
Also in the pipeline is a proposed rule to regulate debt collection practices. The Bureau convened a panel to consult with small businesses that are considered "debt collectors" under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") and has been analyzing results of a consumer survey regarding debt collection. The CFPB plans to publish a report summarizing its findings in the coming months.
The updated agenda notes long-term projects as well, including the Bureau's research on consumer checking overdraft practices and a potential modification of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require financial institutions to report information concerning credit applications made by small businesses and those owned by women and minorities. In addition, the Bureau may address the areas of student loan servicing and credit reporting.
The Fall 2016 agenda lists other regulations in the final rule stage, including the civil penalty inflation adjustment rule and amendments relating to disclosure of records and information. The updated agenda is available here.
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