The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has rescinded seven policy statements issued last year that provided temporary flexibilities to financial institutions in consumer financial markets. Effective April 1, the statements provide guidance on complying with their legal and regulatory obligations.
The rescinded policy statements temporarily provided financial institutions with flexibilities regarding regulatory filings, or compliance with consumer financial laws and regulations.
With the rescissions, the CFPB is providing notice that it intends to exercise its supervisory and enforcement authority provided under the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFPB is also rescinding its 2018 bulletin on supervisory communications, and replacing it with a revised bulletin.
“We are now over a year into the disruptive and deadly COVID-19 crisis. The virus has affected industry as well as consumers, but individuals and families have been hardest-hit by the pandemic’s health and economic impacts,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “Providing regulatory flexibility to companies should not come at the expense of consumers. Because many financial institutions have developed more robust remote capabilities and demonstrated improved operations, it is no longer prudent to maintain these flexibilities. The CFPB’s first priority, today and always, is protecting consumers from harm.”
The rescinded policy statements include:
- Statement on Bureau Supervisory and Enforcement Response to COVID-19 Pandemic (originally issued March 26, 2020): The rescission withdraws the CFPB as a signatory to the Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus (April 7, 2020) and the Interagency Statement on Appraisals and Evaluations for Real Estate Related Financial Transactions Affected by the Coronavirus (April 14, 2020).
- Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Quarterly Reporting Under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (originally issued March 26, 2020): The rescission instructs all financial institutions required to file quarterly to do so beginning with their 2021 first quarter data, due on or before May 31, 2021, for all covered loans and applications with a final action taken date between January 1 and March 31, 2021.
- Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding CFPB Information Collections for Credit Card and Prepaid Account Issuers (originally issued March 26, 2020): The rescission provides guidance as to how entities should now meet the specified information collections requirements relating to credit card and prepaid accounts.
- Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act (originally issued April 1, 2020): The rescission leaves intact the section entitled “Furnishing Consumer Information Impacted by COVID-19” which articulates the CFPB’s support for furnishers’ voluntary efforts to provide payment relief and that the CFPB does not intend to cite in examinations or take enforcement actions against those who furnish information to consumer reporting agencies that accurately reflect the payment relief measures they are employing.
- Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Certain Filing Requirements Under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) and Regulation J (originally issued April 27, 2020): The rescission instructs land developers subject to ILSA and Regulation J to resume filing of annual reports of activity and financial statements as specified in Regulation J.
- Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Regulation Z Billing Error Resolution Timeframes in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic (originally issued May 13, 2020)
- Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Electronic Credit Card Disclosures in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic (originally issued June 3, 2020)
- Bulletin 2018-01: Changes to Types of Supervisory Communications: The rescinded bulletin is replaced by Bulletin 2021-01 announcing changes to how CFPB examiners articulate supervisory expectations. The new bulletin states that the CFPB will continue to rely on Matters Requiring Attention (MRAs), explains the circumstances under which it will do so, and announces that the CFPB will discontinue use of Supervisory Recommendations.