Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Settles Lawsuit with Debt Collectors and Debt Buyers Encore Capital Group, Midland Funding, Midland Credit Management, and Asset Acceptance Capital Corp.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) filed a proposed stipulated final judgment and order to settle its lawsuit against Encore Capital Group, Inc., and its subsidiaries, Midland Funding, LLC; Midland Credit Management, Inc.; and Asset Acceptance Capital Corp. The companies, which are headquartered in San Diego, California, together comprise the largest debt collector and debt buyer in the United States. Encore and its subsidiaries are currently subject to a 2015 consent order with the Bureau based on the Bureau’s previous findings that they violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Bureau sued Encore and its subsidiaries on September 8 of this year, alleging that Encore and its subsidiaries violated the terms of this consent order and again violated the FDCPA and CFPA in their debt-collection practices. If entered by the court, the settlement will require Encore and its subsidiaries to pay consumer redress and a civil money penalty.
Director Kraninger's Remarks at the Financial Stability Oversight Council Meeting
Thank you, Secretary Mnuchin, for calling this meeting of the FSOC, particularly on this important topic. I appreciate the extensive efforts of the staff in conducting this review, and I support the statement on the secondary mortgage market.
Desmond Brown will serve as the Deputy Associate Director for the Consumer Education and Engagement Division. Brown has more than two decades' experience working with national and local organizations to increase financial well-being and economic opportunities for consumers. He first joined the Bureau as a program specialist for the Office of Financial Empowerment in 2012. He earned his Masters of Policy Management from Georgetown University, and his B.S. in Political Science from Southern Connecticut State University.
CFPB and State Regulators Launch American Consumer Financial Innovation Network
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau), working in partnership with multiple state regulators, launched the American Consumer Financial Innovation Network (ACFIN), a network to enhance coordination among federal and state regulators to facilitate financial innovation.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Qualified Mortgage ANPR
Washington, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) seeking information relating to the expiration of the temporary qualified mortgage provision applicable to certain mortgage loans eligible for purchase or guarantee by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in the Bureau’s Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (ATR/QM) Rule. This provision, also known as the GSE patch, is scheduled to expire no later than Jan. 10, 2021.
The ANPR states that the Bureau currently plans to allow the GSE Patch to expire in January 2021 or after a short extension, if necessary, to facilitate a smooth and orderly transition away from the GSE Patch.
In the ANPR, the Bureau solicits comments on possible amendments to the ATR/QM Rule, including whether to revise Regulation Z’s definition of a qualified mortgage in light of the GSE Patch’s scheduled expiration. The ANPR seeks information and comment on whether the definition of qualified mortgage should retain a direct measure of a consumer’s personal finances (for example, debt-to-income ratio), and whether the definition should include an alternative method for assessing financial capacity.
“Loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac make up a large portion of the U.S. mortgage market,” said CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. “The national mortgage market readjusting away from the Patch can facilitate a more transparent, level playing field that ultimately benefits consumers through stronger consumer protection. We want to hear all perspectives on how to move beyond the GSE Patch, the impact on credit, the role of the private mortgage market, and possible modifications to the definition of qualified mortgages and the rules governing the documentation of debt and income. The Bureau is committed to ensuring a smooth and orderly mortgage market throughout its consideration of these issues and any resulting transition away from the GSE Patch.”
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act amended the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to establish ability-to-repay requirements for most residential mortgage loans. TILA identifies factors a creditor must consider in making a reasonable and good faith assessment of a consumer’s ability to repay or ATR. TILA also defines a category of loans called qualified mortgages for which creditors may presume compliance with the ability-to-repay (ATR) requirements. The GSE Patch, adopted in the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule, expanded the definition of qualified mortgage to include certain mortgage loans eligible for purchase or guarantee by the GSEs, and in most cases these loans are granted a safe harbor from legal liability in connection with the ATR requirements. These Temporary GSE QM loans generally qualify for that safe harbor from legal liability even if their debt-to-income ratio exceeds the 43 percent threshold otherwise generally required for loans to obtain qualified mortgage status.
Earlier this year, the Bureau released an assessment of its Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule and found that GSE QM loans represent a “large and persistent” share of originations in the conforming mortgage market and that creditors generally offered a Temporary GSE QM loan even when a General QM loan could be originated.
A kinder, gentler CFPB? Bureau announces new enforcement rules
CFPB issues new policies on Civil Investigative Demands
Kathy Kraninger may be charting a different path as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau than that of her immediate predecessor, Mick Mulvaney, but one area where it appears Kraninger’s CFPB will be similar to Mulvaney’s is in the bureau’s friendlier attitude toward the companies it regulates.
To that end, the CFPB announced Tuesday that it is making changes to its policies on Civil Investigative Demands, the tool the bureau uses to issue investigational subpoenas to companies when probing potential violations of law.
Bureau Acting Director Mulvaney Statement on the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) Acting Director Mick Mulvaney issued the following statement after President Donald Trump signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act into law:
“I applaud my former colleagues in Congress for coming together to pass the most significant financial reform legislation in recent history. This new law will improve consumers’ access to credit, reduce regulatory burdens on credit unions and community banks, and fuel economic growth and job creation across the nation.
“As Acting Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, I am pleased to see the long-overdue reforms to the regulations governing mortgage lending. These changes will allow community banks and credit unions to focus on making prudent loans to prospective homebuyers without being tied up in expensive and excessive red tape. I stand ready to work with Congress and the rest of the Administration to implement these new reforms that will promote a brighter, more prosperous future.”
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Announces Settlement With Wells Fargo For Auto-Loan Administration and Mortgage Practices
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) announced a settlement with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in a coordinated action with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). As described in the consent order, the Bureau found that Wells Fargo violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) in the way it administered a mandatory insurance program related to its auto loans. The Bureau also found that Wells Fargo violated the CFPA in how it charged certain borrowers for mortgage interest rate-lock extensions. Under the terms of the consent orders, Wells Fargo will remediate harmed consumers and undertake certain
The bureau announced back in January that it is issuing a “call for evidence to ensure the bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.” It announced it will publish requests for public comment on the bureau’s enforcement, supervision, rulemaking, market monitoring, and education activities.
These “Requests for Information” will “provide an opportunity...
Acting Director Mulvaney Announces Call for Evidence Regarding Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Functions
Seeks Public Input on Ways to Better Fulfill Statutory Obligations
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today announced that it is issuing a call for evidence to ensure the Bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers. In coming weeks, the Bureau will be publishing in the Federal Register a series of Requests for Information (RFIs) seeking comment on enforcement, supervision, rulemaking, market monitoring, and education activities. These RFIs will provide an opportunity for the public to submit feedback and suggest ways to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities.
"In this New Year, and under new leadership, it is natural for the Bureau to critically examine its policies and practices to ensure they align with the Bureau’s statutory mandate. Moving forward, the Bureau will consistently seek out constructive feedback and welcome ideas for improvement," said Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. "Much can be done to facilitate greater consumer choice and efficient markets, ...
The holidays can put a financial burden even on the savviest of shoppers and savers. But like most things, taking time to plan can help you avoid the stress that comes with overspending. Before you hit the mall or shop for Black Friday deals, keep reading to learn how to make a holiday spending plan that works for you.
More than one out of every 12 people over the age of five in the U.S. are limited English proficient (LEP), meaning that they speak English less than very well, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey One-Year Estimates. LEP consumers may find it difficult to access financial products and services.
Today, we are releasing a report to share some current practices and raise awareness about issues that many LEP consumers face when participating in the financial marketplace.
CFPB releases principles to protect consumer financial data
Principles cover consumer-authorized financial data sharing
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a set of principles to better protect consumers when they authorize third party companies to access their financial data to provide certain financial products and services.
However, the CBFB clarified that these principles do not establish binding requirements or obligations relevant to the bureau’s exercise...
Technology is transforming everything; it is changing the way we communicate, the way we access goods and services, and even the way we purchase homes. Soon, more and more consumers may increasingly find themselves being offered technology that allows them to access, sign, and submit mortgage closing documents online. We believe that “eClosing” can leverage technology in the mortgage closing process by providing consumers with more time to review closing disclosures and transform the way consumers relate to the overwhelming process of closing on a home.
When we asked consumers what they felt were the biggest issues...
Senate to soon vote to rescind new CFPB arbitration rule
Sen. Brown won't back down without a fight
With the Republican push for healthcare reform seemingly over for this year, it appears the Senate will likely vote on revoking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s controversial arbitration rule soon.
According to an article in Reuters by Lisa Lambert and Pete Schroeder, “Once Republican lawmakers either pass or abandon their latest effort to redo healthcare...
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a list of common mistakes following the first round of mortgage origination examinations for compliance with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule.
Referred to by the CFPB as Know Before You Owe, the bureau reported the findings in its summer edition of its Supervisory Highlights.
While the CFPB failed to provide a formal hold-harmless period, the bureau did state that it would be sensitive during these early examinations.
In the report, the bureau noted that supervised entities “were able to effectively implement and comply with the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule changes.”
However, the CFPB did compile a list of most common mistakes relating to the content and timing of Loan Estimates and Closing Disclosures:
Your credit reports and scores have a major impact on your financial opportunities. Our resources can help you better understand your credit reports and scores, learn how to correct inaccuracies, and improve your credit record over time.