Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda

8 min

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or the "Bureau") issued its Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda (the "Spring Agenda")—a biannual outline of the Bureau's rulemaking activities. This is the first regulatory agenda issued since the new director—Kathy Kraninger—took office in December 2018. The Spring Agenda builds on the Bureau's 2018 "Call for Evidence" initiative and includes a mixture of new projects, reviews and revisions of prior rulemaking, and implementation of statutory directives.

New Projects and Further Planning

GSE Patch
  • The regulatory provision extending qualified mortgage status to loans that are eligible to be purchased or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac while they operate under Federal conservatorship or receivership (the "GSE Patch") was previously set to expire in January 2021. It has long been anticipated that the Bureau would propose a permanent QM solution that replaces the GSE Patch in advance of that date.
  • On July 25, 2019, the Bureau issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) stating that the Bureau is planning to allow the GSE Patch to expire in January 2021 or after a short extension and seeking comments, pre-proposal, on what permanent solutions that do not rely on GSE purchase eligibility for QM status should replace the GSE Patch.
  • In advance of its forthcoming proposed rulemaking, the Bureau has asked for input on several key questions: (a) whether the permanent QM rule should retain a direct measure of consumer's personal finances, like a debt-to-income (DTI) or residual income (RI) threshold; (b) if so, whether the Bureau should retain the current 43% DTI threshold or replace it with a different standard; (c) whether the Bureau should retain, revise, or replace Appendix Q as the means of calculating debts and income; and (d) whether the Bureau should consider alternative standards that do not directly measure a consumer's financial capabilities, like credit score or loan-to-value (LTV) ratios.
  • The comment period is open and closes on September 16, 2019. A copy of the ANPR may be found here.
International Remittance Transfers
  • The exception in the Remittance Rule permitting insured banks and insured credit unions to estimate certain required disclosures and other potential remittance transfer issues is set to expire on July 21, 2020.
  • The Request for Information was issued on April 29, 2019. The comment period has closed.

Review and Revisions of Prior Rulemaking

The Bureau highlighted the following prior rulemakings under review in its Spring Agenda.

Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans
  • In February 2019, the Bureau issued two proposals relating to the reconsideration of the 2017 rule.
  • The proposals would rescind the mandated underwriting requirements for certain short-term and balloon-payment loans, while also delaying the compliance date for fifteen months.
  • Under the Spring Agenda, the CFPB expects to issue a final rule concerning the compliance date in summer 2019, followed by  a final determination on reconsideration.
Collection and Report of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data
  • In August 2017, the Bureau temporarily increased the threshold for collecting and reporting HMDA data with respect to open-end lines of credit, from 100 loans to 500 loans.
  • Under the Spring Agenda, the CFPB issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on May 13, 2019 to address the threshold for both open-end lines of credit and a similar 2015 HMDA rule of a 25-loan threshold for closed-end loans.
    • The Bureau is also planning to issue an NPRM to address the public disclosure of HMDA data.
Communication Practices and Consumer Disclosures in the Debt Collection Market
  • This is a follow-up of the CFPB's July 2016 outline concerning practices by companies classified as debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
  • The CFPB released its report on 2018 Administration of FDCPA on March 20, 2019.
  • The NPRM was issued on May 21, 2019. Comments are due by September 18, 2019.

Implementation of Statutory Directives

The CFPB highlighted the following rulemaking efforts to implement statutory directives mandated in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (EGRRCPA), as well as its continued efforts to implement section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing
  • The Bureau recently issued an ANPR focusing on implementing the Truth in Lending Act's (TILA) ability-to-pay requirements and general civil liability provisions for violations—already in place for residential mortgage loans—for PACE financing.
Clarifications to HMDA Amendments
  • On May 13, 2019, the CFPB issued an NPRM to incorporate the August 2018 interpretive and procedural rule into Regulation C, along with other EGRRCPA amendments, clarifying which loans and lines of credit count toward the EGRRCPA partial exemption thresholds and which data points are covered by the partial exemptions.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) Amendments
  • "[W]ithin this next year," CFPB plans to resume its pre-rulemaking activities to require financial institutions to collect, report, and make public certain information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.

CFPB Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda – Agency Rule List
(Including Pre-Rule, Proposed Rule, and Final Rule Activities)

Title

CFPB Activity

Agenda Stage of Rulemaking

Next Steps

RIN

Business Lending Data (Regulation B)

The Bureau is seeking to implement Dodd-Frank amendments to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which requires financial institutions to report information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.

Pre-rule

Bureau expects to resume pre-rulemaking activities within this next year.

3170-AA09

Higher-Priced Mortgage Loan Escrow Exemption

Pursuant to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (EGRRCPA), CFPB is conducting rulemaking to exempt from the escrow requirement loans made by certain creditors with assets of $10 billion or less and meeting other criteria.

This is similar to the Bureau's 2013 rule creating an exemption from the escrow requirement for creditors with under $2 billion in assets and meeting other criteria.

Pre-rule

Pre-rulemaking activities scheduled to begin in November.

3170-AA83

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing

Pursuant to EGRRCPA, CFPB plans to prescribe certain regulations relating to PACE financing, which would carry out the purposes of TILA's ability-to-repay (ATR) requirements, currently in place for residential mortgage loans, and apply TILA's general civil liability provision for violations of the ATR requirements the Bureau will prescribe for PACE financing.

Pre-rule

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued March 8, 2019. The comment period has closed.

3170-AA84

Remittance Transfers

The Bureau is contemplating its next steps after the July 21, 2010 expiration of the exception to disclosure requirements for international remittance transfers that permits insured depository institutions and insured credit unions in certain circumstances to estimate certain pricing information.

May include rulemaking to gather information related to the expiration of the exception and other potential remittance transfer issues.

Pre-rule

The Request for Information was issued on April 29, 2019. The comment period has closed.

3170-AA96

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (Regulation C)

As a part of its reconsideration of the 2015 final rule amending regulations implementing Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), the Bureau is considering adjustments to certain data points reported under HMDA that were added or revised by the 2015 final rule.

The Bureau's goal in gathering this information is to ensure that the data collection and reporting requirements established in the 2015 HMDA Rule appropriately balance the benefits and burdens associated with data collection and reporting.

Pre-rule

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued on May 8, 2019. The comment period has closed.

3170-AA97

Debt Collection Rule

The Bureau is addressing how to apply the 40-year-old Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to modern collection practices.

Proposed Rule

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued on May 21, 2019. Comments are due August 19, 2019.

3170-AA41

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (Regulation C)

As a part of its reconsideration of the 2015 final rule amending regulations implementing HMDA, the Bureau is following up on a previous temporary adjustment to the thresholds for collecting and reporting data with respect to open-end lines of credit, as well as the thresholds for collecting and reporting data with respect to closed-end mortgage loans.

This rulemaking will also incorporate an interpretive and procedural rule that the Bureau issued in August 2018 to clarify partial HMDA exemptions created by the EGRRCPA.

Proposed Rule

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued on May 13, 2019. The comment period has closed.

3170-AA76

Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans

The Bureau issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in February 2019 that proposed to rescind provisions of the rule concerning the underwriting of covered short-term and longer-term balloon payment loans, including payday and vehicle title loans, and related reporting and recordkeeping requirement.

Further information on the procedural history of this rule is available under related RIN 3170-AA40, which pertains to the final rule the Bureau issued in November 2017.

Proposed Rule

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued February 14, 2019. The comment period has closed.

3170-AA80

Public Release of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data

CFPB plans to commence a notice-and-comment rulemaking to enable the Bureau to adopt a more definitive approach to disclosing HMDA data to the public in future years after considering new information concerning the privacy risks and benefits of disclosure of the HMDA data.

Proposed Rule

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is scheduled to be issued "at a later date."

3170-AA85

The Expedited Funds Availability Act (Regulation CC)

CFPB plans on issuing a final rule (jointly with the Federal Reserve Board) implementing the statutory requirement to adjust for inflation the dollar amounts in the Expedited Funds Availability Act ("EFA Act") and reflect certain amendments to the statute by the EGRRCPA.

Final Rule

Final rule has been issued, and can be found here.

3170-AA31

Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans; Delay of Compliance Date

The Bureau issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in February 2019 that proposed to delay the compliance date for provisions of the rule concerning the underwriting of covered short-term and longer-term balloon payment loans for 15 months to allow the Bureau adequate opportunity to review comments on its main rulemaking and to make any changes to those provisions before affected entities bear additional costs and experience related market effects associated with implementing and complying with them.

Final Rule

Final rule will be issued in summer 2019, with a final determination on reconsideration following.

3170-AA95