|The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB or the Bureau) Fall 2015 Supervisory Highlights show the Bureau's recent priorities. Major focal points for the CFPB include consumer reporting, debt collection, mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, student loan servicing, and fair lending. In particular, the CFPB's attention to student lending and debt servicing has been borne out in recent enforcement activity. The Bureau's enforcement actions also suggest that the agency remains especially concerned about conduct that allegedly affects vulnerable consumer segments, such as servicemembers and that the Bureau will continue to scrutinize aggressively such conduct.|
CFPB Identifies Supervisory Issues in Consumer Reporting, Debt Collection, Mortgage Origination, Mortgage Servicing, Student Loan Servicing, and Fair Lending
On November 3, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its Fall 2015 Supervisory Highlights. The Bureau estimates that its supervisory activity between May 2015 and August 2015 resulted in restitution of approximately $107 million. The Bureau states that its supervisory efforts "led to or supported six recent public enforcement actions, resulting in $764.9 million being returned to consumers and $50.7 million in civil money penalties." In addition to monetary requirements, other corrective actions stemming from the CFPB's supervisory activity may include, among other things, correction of information submitted to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), creation and implementation of new policies and procedures, and cessation of particular practices.
CFPB Emphasizes Servicemember-Related Issues in a Recent Auto Lending Enforcement Action
On October 28, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized an administrative consent order against Security National Automotive Acceptance Company (SNAAC), an auto lender specializing in loans to servicemembers. The order addresses debt collection activity alleged to violate the prohibition on unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (UDAAP). The CFPB found that the lender's debt collection practices relied on unique elements of military life, including the requirement to remain current on debts, as well as the chain of command and promotion structure.
CFPB Takes Action against Alleged Student Financial Aid Company
On October 29, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a lawsuit initiated against a company and the company's owner for alleged fraud in student financial aid activity. The company operates under the names of Student Financial Resource Center and College Financial Advisory. Over the course of the company's operation, the CFPB alleges that the over 76,000 consumers were fraudulently charged roughly $4.7 million in fees.
CFPB Granted Default Judgment against Corinthian Colleges for Engaging in a Predatory Lending Scheme
On October 27, 2015, a federal district court entered a final default judgment against Corinthian Colleges, Inc. for engaging in deceptive lending practices and illegal debt collection practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed suit against Corinthian in September 2014, alleging that the company "induced students to enroll in its programs through false and misleading representations about its graduates' career opportunities," including falsely inflating job placement statistics. The CFPB further alleged that when students defaulted on their loans, "Corinthian took illegal aggressive action" to collect the debt, even while some students were still in school.
CFPB October 2015 Complaint Snapshot: Credit Cards
On October 27, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its October Complaint Snapshot. The Bureau accepts and publishes in its Consumer Complaints Database complaints regarding consumer financial products, including credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts, private student loans, vehicle and other consumer loans, credit reporting, money transfers, debt collection, and payday loans. The CFPB states that it "expects companies to respond to complaints and to describe the steps they have taken or plan to take to resolve the complaint within 15 days of receipt." The CFPB further expects companies to "close all but the most complicated complaints within 60 days."
CFPB Releases Final HMDA Rule
Less than two weeks after the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has unleashed another major rulemaking on the mortgage industry: its long-awaited final rule amending and expanding reporting requirements under Regulation C and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The 797-page final rule, released on October 15, 2015, revises and in many ways expands the breadth and scope of HMDA data collection requirements—which includes the addition of roughly 25 new data fields and the modification of an additional 12 data fields.