Category: Federal Agencies

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CFPB Issues Draft Rule Banning Arbitration Clauses Preventing Class Actions

On May 5, 2016, the Consumer Financial Services Bureau issued a proposed rule that would ban consumer financial services providers from including arbitration clauses in new contracts that prevent customers from filing or joining class actions. The proposed rule does not prevent companies from requiring consumers to arbitrate individual disputes. In a statement accompanying the … Continue Reading

FCC Issues 138-Page Order Addressing TCPA Questions

On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission issued its highly anticipated “TCPA Omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order” addressing a number of petitions and comments concerning interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. The Order addresses a wide variety of TCPA topics, including the meaning of certain statutory terms and the application of … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Third Fair Lending Report to Congress

On April 28, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released its third Fair Lending Report to Congress.  The report summarizes the CFPB’s fair lending activities during the 2014 calendar year.  The report largely focuses on the efforts of the CFPB’s Office of Fair Lending, which according to Director Cordray’s comments in the report “provides oversight and enforcement of … Continue Reading

SEC Brings First Enforcement Action Against Credit Ratings Agency

On January 21, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a settlement with a credit rating agency regarding its rating of certain commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). According to the announcement, the ratings agency agreed to pay the SEC more than $58 million to settlement the SEC’s charges, plus an additional $19 million to settle parallel cases announced … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues First Enforcement Action Under New Mortgage Servicing Rules

On September 29, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it had issued its first enforcement order under the agency’s new mortgage servicing rules that went into effect in January 2014.  The action claims that the servicer, a Michigan-based federal savings bank and loan servicer, did not comply with the agency’s servicing rules concerning loss mitigation efforts … Continue Reading

SEC Awards Whistleblower $30M Under Dodd-Frank Act, Sets Record

On September 22, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it expects to award more than $30 million to a whistleblower who provided information that led to a successful SEC fraud enforcement action.  The award is the highest whistleblower payment under the SEC’s three-year-old Dodd-Frank whistleblower program.  According to the SEC, the final … Continue Reading

CFPB, Banking Agencies Clarify Post Dodd-Frank Authority to Enforce UDAP Regulations

On August 22, 2014, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the National Credit Union Administration issued a statement attempting to clarify that the repeal of credit practices rules applicable to the depository institutions they … Continue Reading


On June 4, 2014, the Second Circuit issued a 28-page ruling holding that U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff had “abused” his discretion by rejecting a $285 million U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) settlement with Citigroup, Inc. because the bank neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.  The 2011 decision led to increased criticism of the … Continue Reading


On May 22, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its Spring 2014 Supervisory Highlights Report — its fourth such report since the agency’s founding.  The report includes a review of recent rulemaking, guidance, and enforcement activity.  The CFPB used its fourth report to focus on the importance of compliance management systems.  “In this … Continue Reading

CFPB to pay its employees affected by performance rating disparities

Following an internal review that found it consistently gave higher performance ratings to whites, younger employees and higher-paid workers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said that it will distribute additional pay to the negatively affected employees, according to a Wall Street Journal report.   The CFPB plans to distribute up to $5.5 million in additional pay to … Continue Reading

CFPB Reports 80% Increase In Consumer Complaints

On March 31, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report showing that the number of consumer complaints it received nearly doubled in 2013.  According to the CFPB’s 2013 Consumer Response Annual Report, the agency received 163,700 complaints in 2013, compared to approximately 91,000 in 2012. The majority of 2013 complaints concerned mortgages, … Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber asks CFPB to clarify auto-lending rules

A February 12, 2014 letter from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asks the agency to write new rules governing the auto-lending industry to eliminate ambiguity regarding fair lending and abusive practices standards.  The Chamber identified three areas of particular concern:  the test for disparate impact in indirect auto lending; the definition of abusive … Continue Reading

CFPB to Expand Debt Collection Rules

On November 6, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking announcing its intent to issue debt collection regulations that restrict how companies may contact consumers using mobile phones and other modern technologies.  The CFPB also announced that it intends to expand the types of firms that will be governed by … Continue Reading

CFPB Referral Results in DOJ Criminal Action

On May 7, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York  announced the filing of criminal mail and wire fraud charges against a debt settlement firm (Mission Settlement Agency), along with the firm’s owner and three  employees. The government alleges that the defendants engaged in a multi-million dollar scheme involving more than 1,200 customers who … Continue Reading

CFPB Releases Unverified Consumer Complaint Database

On March 28, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a database containing over 90,000 consumer complaints lodged with the agency.  According to the CFPB press release announcing the publication, the public may search the complaints through the CFPB’s website database portal.  The database includes more than 1 million data points covering 450 companies. The information … Continue Reading

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Plans to Increases Student Lending Oversight

On March 14, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had proposed a new regulation that, if it becomes final, will give the CFPB authority to directly supervise non-bank entities that service over one million student loans.  According to a article, the new rule would cover seven companies that combined service 70% of the … Continue Reading

$9B Foreclosure Settlement Finalized

On February 28, 2013, federal regulators announced the completion of a $9.3 billion deal with 13 banks that will end the foreclosure review settlement process in favor of cash payments and mortgage assistance.  According to Law360, the agreement will cover 4.2 million borrowers.  Each borrower is expected to receive compensation ranging from a few hundred dollars up … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Reg Z Ability-to-Repay. Qualified Mortgage Rules

On January 10, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  (CFPB) issued a final "Ability-to-Repay" rule amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act.  The new rule implements Sections 1411 and 1412 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which generally require creditors to make reasonable, good faith efforts to determine a consumer’s … Continue Reading

Federal Regulators Close to $10B Foreclosure Settlement, Replacing Independent Foreclosure Review

The New York Times  Jessica Silver-Greenberg reports that federal regulators, led by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are close to a $10 billion settlement with 14 banks that would address the government’s allegations of improper foreclosure practices.  The settlement would also scrap the existing Independent Foreclosure Review, which was included in 2011 … Continue Reading

CFPB, FTC Targeting “Misleading” Mortgage Ads

On November 19, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade   Commission (FTC) warned mortgage lenders and brokers about publishing "misleading" mortgage advertisements.  According to a CFPB press release, the two agencies have been working together to evaluate compliance with the 2011 Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule.  The rule prohibits companies from … Continue Reading

CFPB Files First Court Enforcement Action–Targets Loan Modification Law Firm

On July 23, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California unsealed  the first ever enforcement complaint filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  The complaint (PDF)alleges that a Los Angeles law firm charged borrowers advance fees for loan modification services and then did "little or nothing to assist consumers." Kent Markus, the … Continue Reading

CFPB Reviews Dodd-Frank Compliance Costs

On May 15, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a Notice and Request for Comment regarding its collection of data about industry compliance costs associated with Dodd-Frank rules and regulations promulgated by the CFPB. A number of Federal laws require agencies to consider the benefits, costs and impacts of rulemaking actions. … Furthermore, Section 1022(b)(2)(A) of … Continue Reading

Busy CFPB Studying Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

April 24, 2012– The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a study into mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer financial product contracts.  The CFPB is required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to submit a study to Congress regarding the use of arbitration clauses in credit agreements, including contracts for credit and debit cards, bank accounts … Continue Reading

ABA Urges Congress to Protect Privileged Information Given to CFPB

The American Bar Association (ABA) has sent letters to the United States Congress advocating for passage of legislation requiring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to protect privileged information that the agency receives from banks.  The letter from the ABA to Senate and House leaders raises the same concerns expressed by banks that now fall under the new bureau’s … Continue Reading