CFPB lays out next two years of priorities

CFPB laid out their policy priorities for the next two years

In a recent statement, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) laid out its policy priorities for the next two years, emphasizing the Bureau’s commitment to mitigating harm aimed at consumers by regulatory constraints.

“In a recent statement, the CFPB laid out their policy priorities for the next two years.”

“When we do our work well, we help to ensure that consumers are able to make the financial decisions they believe are best for themselves and their families in a fair marketplace—one where prices are clear up front, risks are visible, nothing is buried in fine print, and everyone plays by the rules,” writes the CFPB in a statement. “In a market that works, consumers should be able to make direct comparisons among financial products and services and no provider should be able to use unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices.”

Areas of focus
Their policy priorities broke down into several distinct areas, listed alphabetically, including:

  • Arbitration
  • Consumer reporting
  • Debt collection
  • Demand-side consumer behavior
  • Household balance sheets
  • Mortgages
  • Open-use credit
  • Small business lending
  • Student lending

In all areas, the CFPB gets into their justification for why they had chosen the area as a priority and specific intentions related to addressing for making it a near-term priority and indicates how it intends to use its tools over the next two years to reach its goal.

‘Rules of the road’
In regards to arbitration, the CFPB continues work that it has done to limit the ability for companies to write in class action waivers to consumer arbitration agreements. The CFPB also has announced intentions to begin exploring overdraft rulemaking, an area that the Bureau has largely been reluctant to enter before.

With regards to debt collection, the push for CFPB is to “establish clear rules of the road to ensure that debt collectors (both first-party and third-party) treat consumers with dignity and respect, obtain and retain the information necessary to substantiate the debts they collect on, and provide consumers with appropriate information about their rights and the debt collection process.” This is an effort to limit the harassment and selling of debt to outside collection agencies often conducted by major credit agencies.

Small business lending also saw a significant exploration in the press release, with the CFPB putting the emphasis on developing rules and infrastructure to guide lending and compliance. Particular attention has been paid to the ramifications of Dodd-Frank Section 1071, with the EEOA requiring financial institutions to collect consumer data related to gender, race, and ethnicity of those applying for credit.

Touched on in passing was the impending announcement of rules related to prepaid cards, which the CFPB says are forthcoming in spring. This is the long awaited follow-up to an 870-page proposal for prepaid cards (including 156 pages of actual proposed rules) that the CFPB unveiled in 2014.

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