Category: Legislation

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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

CFPB Proposes Expanded Foreclosure Protections, New Servicer Obligations

On November 20, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposed rule expanding protections offered to borrowers who have defaulted on residential mortgages.  The proposed rule, if adopted following a 90 day comment period, would add to the agency’s mortgage servicing rules that became effective earlier this year.  A central part of the … Continue Reading

GAO Report: Only 48% of Dodd-Frank Rules Issued

According to a January 23, 2013 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), as of December 2012 federal regulators had finalized less than half of the new rules called for by the  Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.   The report is based on private and regulatory data, including interviews with regulatory … Continue Reading

Three State AGs Join Constitutional Challenge to Dodd-Frank

Oklahoma, South Carolina and Michigan have joined a lawsuit challenging the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.  The three states claim in the action that the Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA) provision in the act, which attempts to deal with troubled financial institutions, is a threat to financial stability.  The OLA allows the Treasury secretary to seize a financial firm if the secretary … Continue Reading

Perkins Coie Financial Services Bulletin: New Proposed Rules from OCC, Fed, FDIC, SEC and FSOC

Read the latest edition of the Perkins Coie Financial Services Bulletin, covering the following new proposed rules impacting the financial industry:  The OCC, Fed, FDIC and SEC issue Volker Rule Proposals The Financial Stability Oversight Council Takes Steps Towards Regulation of "Systemically Important" Nonbank Financial Companies The SEC Proposed Registration Rules for Security-Based Swap Dealers and … Continue Reading

The Financial Reform Act: New Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Is Established with Broad Rulemaking, Enforcement and Regulatory Authority

On June 30, 2010, the House of Representatives approved the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the Financial Reform Act, a comprehensive and expansive set of financial reforms widely thought to be the toughest changes to financial regulation in the United States since the Great Depression.  The Senate approved the Financial Reform … Continue Reading

President Signs Financial Reform Bill Including Increased Consumer Protections

On July 15, 2010 the U.S. Senate passed, and on July 21 the President signed, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Included in the new legislation are a number of provisions that will impact consumer lenders, and in particular, residential mortgage lenders: Lenders Must Ensure a Borrower’s Ability to Repay.  Establishes federal minimum underwriting standards for mortgages, including a requirement … Continue Reading

House-Senate Committee Complete Negotiations of Financial Reform Legislation

The 2,000 page Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is ready for its final test:  a full vote by the House and Senate.  The New York Times wrote on Friday (June 25, 2010): The deal between House and Senate negotiators, sealed just before sunrise on Friday, imposes new rules on some of the riskiest business practices and exotic … Continue Reading

Lawmakers Close to Deal on New Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

June 23, 2010:  The Los Angeles Times reports that Senate and House negotiators are close to reaching agreement on the creation of a new consumer protection agency as part of the financial services overhaul legislation working its way through Congress and expected to be presented to President Obama for signature within the coming weeks.  According to the report, lawmakers are working out a compromise … Continue Reading

Financial Reform Bill May Impact Financial Services Lawyers

The ABA and some state bar associations have asked for changes to the U.S. Senate’s version of financial services reform legislation because it contains broad language that may regulate attorneys’ practices.  According to a recent ABA Journal article, while the House version of the reform legislation includes a specific exemption for lawyers and their direct employees, the Senate version does … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Opinion: Loan Officers Must Be Paid Overtime

A March 24, 2010, ruling by the U.S. Department of Labor declared that commissioned loan officers are entitled to overtime pay.  The DOL ruling not only addresses the exempt status of loan officers, but also represents a change in the DOL’s process for issuing interpretive guidance:  Rather than issuing opinions in response to specific requests, the agency will issue "Administrator’s Interpretations" that provide general … Continue Reading

Financial Services Bulletin: Despite Heavy Snowfall, Financial Reform Moving Forward

Despite bad weather, Congress appears to be moving forward with financial services reform.  On Tuesday, February 9, House Financial Services Committee Chairman, Barney Frank issued a statement regarding the financial industry and the need for increased consumer protection in the U.S. financial industry.  A comprehensive update and Chairman Frank’s statement is available at Perkins Coie’s Update … Continue Reading

New Legislation Attempts to Increase Financial Services Regulation

On Wednesday, December 2, 2009, the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee passed two significant acts, the Financial Stability Improvement Act and the Federal Insurance Office Act, both of which are aimed at increasing federal regulation over the financial services industry.  Both bills have been referred to the full House for consideration.   A brief summary of the … Continue Reading

Financial Services Bulletin: Financial Reform Bills

With the recent flurry of legislative activity focused on reform of the regulatory framework for financial institutions and the financial markets, the Perkins Coie Financial Services Practice is pleased to bring you the Financial Services Bulletin.  This bulletin highlights recent legislative activity impacting financial services and financial institutions.  We plan to publish future bulletins as … Continue Reading

Creation of Consumer Financial Protection Agency One Step Closer with House Financial Services Committee Vote

In a 39-29 vote, on October 22, 2009 the House Financial Services Committee approved legislation (H.R. 3126) establishing an independent federal agency charged with overseeing financial products and services. Under the legislation, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) would be an independent agency headed by a Presidentially-appointed and Congressionally-approved Director appointed to a five year term.  The CFPA’s … Continue Reading

Fed Proposes Major TILA Changes for Mortgages and Home Equity Lines

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday proposed significant changes to Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) intended to improve the disclosures consumers receive in connection with closed-end mortgages and home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs). These changes, offered for public comment, reflect the result of consumer testing conducted as part of the Board’s comprehensive review of the … Continue Reading

New Federal Consumer Protection Agency on Hold

On July 21, 2009, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said that he will postpone a previously planned vote on legislation to create a new federal consumer protection agency until after the August recess.  The new agency  was included in the Obama administration’s June 2009 proposal to overhaul the financial sector as an oversight body … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Releases Proposed Financial Regulation Reforms

Today, the Obama administration unveiled its proposal for financial regulatory reform. The five policy objectives outlined in the proposal include: 1) promoting supervision and regulation of financial firms, 2) establishing supervision and regulation of financial markets, 3) increasing protections for financial consumers, 4) improving tools for managing financial crises, and 5) establishing international regulatory standards and … Continue Reading

Obama Administration to Propose Sweeping Financial Oversight Regs

On Wednesday, the Obama administration is expected to unveil a long-anticipated revamp of federal financial sector regulations. It is anticipated that the plan will call for sweeping changes to the oversight of financial markets, empowerment of federal regulators, and limits on the amount of risk that can be extended by financial companies. The proposed changes would also enable the government to … Continue Reading

Obama Signs Bill to Combat Mortgage and Financial Fraud, Creates Commission

In the wake of the subprime crisis and mortgage meltdown, on May 20, 2009, President Obama signed The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act ("FERA").  Among other provisions, the new law provides federal law enforcement with additional resources to combat mortgage and financial fraud, and authorizes federal prosecutors to prosecute anyone who fraudulently obtains funds under the American … Continue Reading