Regulatory Agenda Provides CFPB 2017 Rulemaking Plan

4 min

Ever since the election, consumer financial services companies have been asking, "What's next?" As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) works its way through court challenges, and an evolving political landscape, companies have been waiting for signs from the CFPB about its rulemaking plans for the upcoming year.

Against this uncertain backdrop, on December 2, 2016, the CFPB released its semi-annual update to its Unified Rulemaking Agenda (URA). The fall 2016 agenda summarizes the CFPB's pending and expected rulemakings and provides banks and nonbanks, and their service providers, a useful guide for understanding the CFPB's rulemaking direction and related priorities. It is important to note that the preamble to the URA states that it is current as of October 19, 2016. It remains to be seen whether the outcome of the November election will change the CFPB's plans or alter its ability to accomplish this agenda.

Here are a few of the highlights:

RULEMAKING INITIATIVES

Arbitration

The Bureau issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in May 2016 concerning the use of arbitration clauses in consumer financial agreements. The comment period for the NPRM ended on August 22, 2016. The Bureau is in the process of reviewing comments, and the agenda indicates that the CFPB intends to release a final rule in February 2017.

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Payday, Auto Title, and Similar Lending Products

The Bureau released a NPRM in June 2016 to cover payday loans, vehicle title loans, and other, similar credit products. The comment period for the NPRM ended on October 7, 2016, and the period for a related Request for Information ended on November 7, 2016. The Bureau is in the process of reviewing comments, and the agenda does not indicate a target date for issuing a final rule.

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Confidential Supervisory Information

In August 2016, the CFPB released an NPRM that addresses the protection and disclosure of confidential information "that the Bureau obtains in connection with the exercise of its authorities under Federal consumer financial law." The comment period for the NPRM ended on October 24, 2016. The agenda indicates that the CFPB intends to release a final rule in April 2017.

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Debt Collection

The Bureau is engaged in developing proposed rules to regulate debt collection practices. Building on the Bureau's November 2013 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Bureau released materials in July 2016 in advance of convening a panel under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA). The CFPB has also been analyzing the results of a survey to obtain information from consumers about their experiences with debt collection and plans to publish a report on the survey in coming months. The agenda indicates that pre-rule activities are planned for February 2017.

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IMPLEMENTATION AND SUPERVISORY INITIATIVES

Know Before You Owe Mortgage Disclosure Rule

In July 2016, the CFPB released an NPRM proposing clarifications and further regulatory guidance to facilitate implementation of its Know Before You Owe mortgage rule, otherwise known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule or TRID. The comment period for the NPRM ended on October 18, 2016. The Bureau is in the process of reviewing comments, and the agenda indicates that the CFPB intends to release a final rule in March 2017.

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Mortgage Rules

The CFPB is working to facilitate the implementation of new requirements, including follow-up rulemaking where warranted, for regulations issued as directed by the Dodd-Frank Act to implement certain protections for mortgage originations and servicing; to integrate various federal mortgage disclosures; and to amend mortgage reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The Bureau is especially focused on follow-up rulemaking under the HMDA, with a NPRM planned for release in March 2017.

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Supervision of Consumer Installment and Vehicle Title Loans; Registration of Non-Depository Lenders

The CFPB expects that its next larger participant rulemaking will focus on the markets for consumer installment loans and vehicle title loans for purposes of supervision. The Bureau is also considering whether rules to require registration of these or other non-depository lenders would facilitate supervision, as has been suggested to the Bureau. The agenda indicates that further pre-rule activities are planned for May 2017. The pre-rule activities were first announced in the Bureau's fall 2015 agenda. In its spring 2016 agenda, the CFPB had planned pre-rule activities for December 2016.

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OTHER PROJECTS AND LONG-TERM INITIATIVES
The agenda also notes that the Bureau has been engaged in research and other early work on other topics, such as checking overdraft (January 2017), business lending information collection (March 2017), and implementation of other Dodd-Frank Act provisions. As for long-term initiatives, the Bureau identified in a blog post potential rulemakings related to student loan servicing and credit reporting. The Bureau indicates that it has been monitoring both markets for trends and developments through its supervisory, enforcement, and research efforts.
UPCOMING EVENT
January 24, 2017: "Consumer Financial Services 2017 Outlook," a Venable Webinar and CLE Session - Jonathan Pompan, Allyson Baker, Andy Arculin, Andrew Bigart, Meredith Boylan, Alexandra Megaris