United States

CFPB releases its spring rulemaking agenda


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) published its Spring 2016 Rulemaking Agenda and a blog post providing an overview of its current initiatives.  The rulemaking agenda is published semi-annually and outlines the agency’s progress in planned activities in the final rule, proposed rule and prerule stages.

The final rule stage includes both old and new topics:

  • Civil penalty inflation adjustment rule – The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 is designed to ensure that civil monetary penalties (CMPs) retain their deterrent effect. As a result, each federal agency is required to publish an interim final rule to be effective Aug. 1, 2016, providing a catch-up adjustment in CMP amounts. The Bureau has published the interim final rule that adjusts the CMPs under its jurisdiction.

  • 2013 mortgage servicing rules – The Bureau expects to finalize the proposed rule issued in December 2015, providing clarifications of the applicability of parts of the rules to consumers in bankruptcy and successors in interest, enhancing the loss mitigation requirements and other changes in early summer.
  • Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFA) – The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) amended the EFA Act to provide joint rulemaking authority for Regulation CC (the implementing regulation for the EFA Act) to the Bureau and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Fed). The Fed’s proposal addressing the shift to fully electronic check collection and return from March 2011 remains outstanding. The Bureau indicates it will work with the Fed to issue a final rule covering those areas where the two agencies have joint authority. A final rule in the area might be expected around year end.

  • Prepaid accounts under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) – The proposed rule that would amend Reg. E and Reg. Z to include prepaid products as prepaid accounts was published in December 2014. This proposal required specific disclosures under Reg. E including an alternative for periodic statements, prepaid account agreements to be posted on the issuer’s website, prepaid accounts with overdraft or credit features to be subject to the Reg. Z credit card rules, issuers to obtain consumer approval before adding overdraft or credit features to prepaid accounts, minimum repayment periods and it prohibited requiring preauthorized electronic fund transfers to repay credit extended through prepaid accounts. The Bureau plans to issue a final rule in early summer.

Expect proposed rules in a variety of areas:

  • TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) – Expect a proposal in early summer to add new provisions and change existing ones to address uncertainty and confusion existing in this area.
  • Privacy and Regulation P – Although the rulemaking agenda estimated a proposal to eliminate the annual privacy notice required under Reg. P for financial institutions that meet certain conditions to bring it in line with recent amendments to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in early fall, that proposal was published July 1, 2016.