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CFPB’s semiannual regulatory agenda: an ambitious picture

Posted in CFPB Rulemaking

The semiannual regulatory agenda posted by the CFPB last week on its website indicates that the CFPB has potentially ambitious future rulemaking plans.  The agenda identifies the regulatory matters the CFPB “reasonably anticipates” having under consideration during the period from May 1, 2013 to May 1, 2014.  The information in the agenda is described as current as of
May 10, 2013.  It is part of the Spring 2013 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which is coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

In its blog post on the agenda, the CFPB indicates that it is “now beginning to consider whether regulations may be appropriate to address concerns raised about debt collection…and payday and deposit advance products.”  In information submitted to the OMB, the CFPB has identified such rules as being in the “prerule stage” and indicates that rulemaking “might include disclosures or address acts or practices in connection with” debt collection activities or such products.  

Also identified as being in the “prerule stage” is a rule revising Regulation P, which implements the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.  The CFPB noted that it has received comments suggesting that the requirement to provide an annual privacy notice should be eliminated where  there has been no change in a company’s privacy policy.

The only other rule identified as being in the “prerule stage” is one dealing with Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.  According to the CFPB, it “expects to begin developing proposed regulations concerning the data to be collected and appropriate format, procedures, information safeguards, and privacy protections for information compiled and reported under HMDA.” 

Curiously, one of the rules identified by the CFPB’s agenda as being in the “proposed rule stage” is a rule defining who is a “larger participant” in “certain markets for consumer financial products or services.”  Although no information is provided as to the markets involved, this could mean the CFPB is moving forward with a” larger participant” rule for the auto finance industry.  Since the CFPB issued its guidance on disparate impact analysis of auto dealer rate participation, rumors have escalated that the CFPB plans to issue such a rule.  According to the timetable for the rule, the CFPB expects to issue a proposal in November 2013 and finalize the rule in May 2014. 

Another rule identified as being in the “proposed rule stage” is a rule on prepaid cards which, according to the rule’s timetable, the CFPB plans to propose by the end of 2013.  The other rules identified as being in this stage include rules dealing with TILA and FIRREA  requirements for appraisals, appraisal management companies and automated valuation models. 

The CFPB also has identified several items as “long-term actions.”  According to the OMB, these are items “under development but for which the agency does not expect to have a regulatory action within the 12 months after publication of this edition of the Unified Agenda.”

One such item is rules to implement the Dodd-Frank amendments to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act that require financial institutions to collect and maintain certain data in connection with credit applications made by women- or minority-owned businesses and small businesses.  (In its semiannual regulatory agenda issued in January 2013, the CFPB had also identified such rules as a “long-term action.”)

Two other “long-term actions” are the “creation of a registry” for certain nonbanks and the proposal of permanent rules governing alternative mortgage transactions made under the Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act (which would govern such transactions made by federally chartered housing creditors in addition to state housing creditors).

To explain its previously limited rulemaking outside of the mortgage area, the CFPB regularly pointed to the demands that the mortgage-related rulemaking mandated by Dodd-Frank placed on its resources.  The near completion of such mortgage-related rulemaking presumably leaves much of the CFPB’s staff free to move forward on new rulemaking initiatives.