CFPB issues new RFIs, FFIEC releases new HMDA guide, and more in this issue of Consumer Financial Services Practice Digest

4 min

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CFPB Expands Call for Evidence with Additional RFIs

The CFPB has now issued six RFIs as part of Acting Director Mulvaney's Call for Evidence Regarding Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Functions, which we have previously covered. The RFIs provide industry participants a chance to comment on the CFPB's rules, policies, and practices regarding investigations, examinations, enforcement actions, and external engagement.

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FFIEC Releases New HMDA Guide

For the first time since 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council – a body of federal and state regulators including the CFPB – just released an updated "Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting It Right!" applicable to data collected in 2018 and due for reporting March 1, 2019. With this 2018 edition, the Guide now reflects the substantial changes to Regulation C made by the CFPB in October 2015, as well as the technical corrections and clarifying amendments made by the CFPB in August 2017. As Venable previously reported, the CFPB's October 2015 final rule implemented numerous changes to Regulation C affecting who must report, how to report, and what must be reported.

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Five Common Consumer Financial Services Legal and Regulatory Due Diligence Mistakes to Avoid in M&A

Under many federal and state laws, the owner or operator of a consumer financial services provider is responsible for complying with numerous statutes and regulations. The failure to comply with legal requirements can lead to injunctions, consumer refunds, fines, penalties, and, in some instances, void consumer agreements. Often that liability is strict—the consumer financial services company need not have intended to cause the violation to be liable for financial payments and conduct restrictions. When acquiring consumer financial products and services, such as deposit products, lending activities, money transmission, or a business that provides consumer financial products or services, one key to avoiding consumer financial services law liability is to understand the regulatory risk before buying the portfolio or business.

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NY DFS Issues Guidance Regarding Fraud in Virtual Currency Markets

The New York DFS has released guidance on the prevention of manipulation and fraud in virtual currency markets. Virtual currency business entities have been regulated by DFS since 2015, and six firms currently hold charters or licenses. Cryptocurrency is a new and quickly changing market, but it's subject to many of the same concerns that regulators apply to traditional markets, including fraud. In its guidance, DFS highlighted some of the fraud risks that are possible with cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Servicing Borrowers with Limited English Proficiency

From loss mitigation rules to a focus on "fair servicing," the interplay between mortgage servicing and fair lending laws such as the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act has increased steadily over the last several years. Along with this trend, regulators have increased awareness of the need to expand services to limited English proficiency persons.

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CFTC Issues Pump-and-Dump Virtual Currency and Token Customer Protection Advisory

The CFTC on Thursday, February 15, issued a Customer Protection Advisory warning of pump-and-dump market manipulation schemes in smaller, thinly traded virtual currencies and tokens. As the CFTC notes, pump-and-dump schemes have been around for quite some time, long before virtual currencies or tokens. Historically, these schemes involved the aggressive peddling of penny stocks under the false promise that the companies were on the verge of major breakthroughs or a major product release. When the share price reached a certain point, the schemers would dump their shares on the open market, causing the price to crash, and leaving investors with nearly worthless stock. The CFTC is warning that this same basic fraud is now occurring through the use of lesser-known virtual currencies and tokens with small market capitalizations and trading volumes. These virtual currencies and tokens are more easily manipulated because of their small size.

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Social Media Influencers - An Advertising Law Webcast

Advertisers increasingly turn to social media as a platform to have influencers speak positively about their products and services. Hear directly from the FTC regarding proper disclosures, claims, and other useful guidelines that marketers should keep top of mind.

To listen to the recording (and view the synced presentation), please click here.


March 7, 2018: "Ensuring Effective Compliance in Lead Generation," at the LeadsCon 2018 Las Vegas Conference

April 25-27, 2018: "Consumer Financial Services Legal and Regulatory Update," at the 2018 Financial Counseling Association of America

May 11, 2018: "Hot Topics in Financial Services Litigation and Enforcement," at ACI's Women Leaders in Financial Services Law and Compliance event