The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued its latest monthly report summarizing complaints made by the public to the CFPB regarding bank account and service issues. The CFPB asserts that “many consumers are experiencing problems opening up and managing accounts, while other consumers found their accounts closed without explanation.”

According to the report, the three primary areas for complaints are as follows:

  1. Account opening: Consumers complain that they are unable to open accounts and are unable to determine why they are unable to do so.
  2. Access to funds: Consumers complain that their access to deposited funds is restricted.
  3. Disputing transactions: Consumers complain that it is difficult to dispute transactions and receive refunds or credits when a dispute is sustained.

The CFPB names the financial institutions that received the most complaints and provides many other metrics based on information in its Consumer Complaint Database.

On October 15, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the anticipated final rule amending Regulation C, 12 C.F.R. part 1003, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

HMDA and Regulation C have long required covered lenders to collect and report certain data about mortgage applications, which the federal government uses to assess a covered institution’s fair lending risk. The new rule, which is intended to implement amendments made to HMDA by the Dodd-Frank Act, makes several important changes to Regulation C. These changes include:

  • dramatically broadening the data that covered institutions must collect (around 25 new data points are added and around a dozen existing data points are modified);
  • effectively expanding the scope of covered non-depository institutions and slightly narrowing the scope of covered depository institutions through implementation of loan-volume thresholds for triggering application of Regulation C; and
  • modifying the scope of covered products.

The long-awaited and somewhat delayed TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule took effect on October 3. The new rule requires mortgage lenders to use a new, integrated disclosure form and comply with new rules regarding disclosures and timing of the same.

Because of industry pressures, the Integrated Disclosure Rule’s implementation was delayed by two months (the original effective date was August 1). Despite industry concerns regarding the ability to comply with the new rule and possible delays that the new rule would cause for mortgage closings after October 1, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) declined requests to further delay the rule. In a letter to the industry, CFPB Director Richard Cordray stated that the CFPB recognizes the “substantial resources” that the mortgage industry has had to dedicate to the conversion to the new disclosures, and in initial examinations, CFPB examiners will look for “good-faith efforts” to comply with the rule. According to Director Cordray, examiners will consider a mortgage lender’s

  • implementation plan, including actions to update policies and procedures;
  • training of appropriate staff; and
  • handling of early technical problems and other implementation challenges.

On September 29, four senators and 39 representatives sent a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray expressing concern about the CFPB’s proposed rulemaking for prepaid accounts. (Read our LawFlash discussing the proposed rule.)

The letter specifically identifies four areas of concern:

  • The broad coverage of the proposed rule, which encompasses person-to-person transfers and other transactions where consumers might not necessarily expect protections similar to credit cards and other traditional financial products.
  • The requirement of multiple disclosures, and the lack of usefulness of the long-form disclosure.
  • The implementation deadline—requesting 24 months from the final rule’s publication date instead of the proposed nine-month implementation period.
  • The effect of the overdraft provisions and whether consumers would be better served by overdrafts that allow for “micro-credit” but are exempt from the requirements of Regulation Z.