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MoFo Reenforcement

The Enforcement Blog

Financial Services Report – Spring 2019

Posted in Arbitration, CFPB, Credit Cards, Credit Reports, Electronic Payments, Enforcement Actions, Fair Lending, Investigations, Mobile Payments, Mortgage, Payday Lending, Preemption, Privacy, Regulatory Developments, State Regulators, Student Lending

In the words of Willie Wonka: “Wait a minute — strike that, reverse it!” As loyal readers will recall, in our last issue, we tried to stay current in referring to the CFPB by what Mick Mulvaney declared would be its new name: the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Well, what a difference a director makes. Shortly after Kathy Kraninger was confirmed by the Senate as the second Director of the agency, she scrapped the name change. We’ll wait to see what happens to the big “bcfp” sign in the lobby of the CFPB’s headquarters! Since Kraninger was confirmed we’ve seen the Bureau issue its first consent orders since former Director Cordray resigned. CFPB-watchers have noted that only one of these consent orders included restitution. A change in direction? A sub rosa recognition of self-reporting and self-remediation? We’ll have to wait and see.

This quarter also brought an about-face by the CFPB on part of the controversial small-dollar loan rule. Consumer advocates and industry trade groups alike are threatening suit on different parts of the proposed rule. Does that indicate it’s a good compromise? Again, we’ll have to wait and see.

Read on to catch up on these and other developments in Washington, D.C. and beyond.

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California Invites Comments on Agent of a Payee Exemption—Rulemaking to Follow

Posted in Regulatory Developments

The California Department of Business Oversight (“DBO”) has issued an Invitation for Comments relating to the scope of the “agent of a payee” exemption under the Money Transmission Act, Cal. Fin. Code § 2000 et seq. Comments are due on April 9. According to the DBO, it is seeking comments because it intends to develop regulations to “clarify the applicability” of the exemption.

Read our client alert.

CFPB Proposes Revisions to Small-Dollar Loan Rule

Posted in CFPB, Regulatory Developments

On February 6, 2019, amidst strong opposition from representatives of consumer groups and some members of Congress, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposed rule to revise its controversial November 2017 small-dollar loan rule (2017 Rule). The proposed rule would effectively rescind the 2017 Rule’s requirement that lenders determine a borrower’s ability to repay prior to extending small-dollar and certain other types of covered loans.

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CFPB Issues FAQs for the TRID Rule

Posted in CFPB, Regulatory Developments

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently posted a new compliance tool on its website – answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (“TRID Rule”). The FAQs were posted without advance notice or comment, signaling that perhaps the CFPB will dispense with lengthy processes when providing written guidance. What follows is a brief summary of the FAQs.

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CFPB Initiates Fourth Review of the Consumer Credit Card Market

Posted in CFPB, Credit Cards, Regulatory Developments

On January 31, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published a Request for Information regarding the consumer credit card market. In accordance with Section 502(a) of the CARD Act, the Bureau conducts a biennial review of the consumer credit card market by soliciting public comment and feedback. In the past, the Bureau has used these reviews to help set the Bureau’s priorities as they relate to the consumer credit card market.

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CFPB and New York Attorney General Announce Settlement with Retailer for Violations of TILA and CFPA

Posted in CFPB, Credit Cards, Regulatory Developments

On January 16, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the New York Attorney General announced a settlement with a retailer for alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 and the Truth in Lending Act, as well as New York State law arising out of the retailer’s sales practices for its store credit cards. As part of the settlements, the retailer is required to pay $10 million in civil money penalties to the CFPB and $1 million in civil money penalties to the State of New York.

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CFPB Announces Settlement for Violations of the EFTA and CFPA

Posted in CFPB, Regulatory Developments

On January 3, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a settlement with a federal savings bank for alleged violations of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and Regulation E, as well as alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA). This is the first CFPB enforcement action under Director Kathy Kraninger.

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Are You a Money Transmitter in Michigan? In California?

Posted in Regulatory Developments

The payments and money transmission regulatory landscape continues to evolve.  A key new development is that Michigan has affirmed by legislation that “agent of a payee” transactions meeting certain criteria are not subject to regulation under the state’s money transmission licensing law. However, the California Department of Business Oversight (the “DBO”), which regulates money transmission in California, continues to scrutinize the scope of what constitutes payee-agency activity exempt from money transmission licensing.  In light of these developments, businesses that rely on payee-agency exemptions should closely evaluate the structure of their arrangements to assess whether they come within specific state exemptions and whether any affirmative steps need to be taken to confirm compliance with specific regulators.

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Agencies Propose Conforming Amendments to Volcker Rule Regulations

Posted in Regulatory Developments

On December 18, 2018, five federal agencies released a proposed rule (“Proposed Rule”) to conform the regulations implementing the Volcker Rule to statutory modifications provided by Sections 203 and 204 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “Regulatory Relief Act”).  The Proposed Rule will not change the manner in which the Volcker Rule is currently administered, since the relevant provisions of the Regulatory Relief Act were effective upon enactment.  The agencies invite comment on the Proposed Rule within 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

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The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Proposes Revised No-Action Letter Policy and New Product Sandbox

Posted in CFPB, Regulatory Developments

On December 13, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection published in the Federal Register a proposed policy, which would modify its 2016 Policy on No-Action Letters and create a new “Product Sandbox” policy in an effort to encourage banks and financial services providers to test new financial products.

The alert discusses the Proposed Policy’s intention to fix several shortcomings of the 2016 Policy and encourage companies to test new financial products and services.

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