On June 30, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its Spring 2020 Agenda. The agenda lists the regulatory matters that the CFPB expects to focus on between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021. Those matters include:

  • final rule amending the CFPB’s Remittance Rule to provide tailored exceptions that permit certain insured institutions to disclose estimates instead of exact amounts to consumers in certain circumstances. The final rule also increases (from 100 remittance transfers to 500 remittance transfers annually) the safe harbor threshold under which a person is deemed not to be providing remittance transfers in the normal course of business and is therefore not subject to the Remittance Rule.
  • proposed rule to address the anticipated discontinuation of LIBOR, to facilitate compliance by open-end and closed-end creditors and to lessen the financial impact to consumers by providing examples of replacement indices that meet Regulation Z requirements.
  • Two proposed rules concerning possible amendments to the qualified mortgage provisions of Regulation Z.
    • One of these proposed rules would amend the definition of general qualified mortgages (QMs) to move away from the current 43 percent debt-to-income requirement and to instead establish a pricing threshold, for loans to qualify as QMs. General QM loans would still have to meet the statutory criteria for QM status, including restrictions related to loan features, up-front costs, and underwriting.
    • The second proposed rule would extend the expiration date for a temporary exemption to this category of QMs for a short period, known as the Patch, until the effective date of the proposed alternative or until either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or both, exit conservatorship, whichever comes first. This extension would help avoid any gap between the expiration of the temporary exemption and the effective date of the finalization of the broader rulemaking on the definition of general QMs.
  • A proposed rule to implement section 108 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (EGRRCPA), which requires the CFPB to conduct a rulemaking to exempt certain loans from the escrow requirements applicable to higher-priced mortgage loans if they are made by certain creditors with assets of $10 billion or less and that meet other criteria.
  • In September 2020, the CFPB plans action on section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which amended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require, subject to rules prescribed by the CFPB, financial institutions to collect, report, and make public certain information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.
    • In advance of an October convening of a panel under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, the CFPB will publicly release materials that the panel will discuss with representatives of small entities likely to be directly affected by the CFPB’s rule to implement section 1071.
  • In the fall of 2020, the CFPB plans to propose two new rules under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).
    • One of these proposed rules follows up on a May 2019 advance notice of proposed rulemaking concerning certain data points that are reported under the 2015 HMDA rule and coverage of certain business or commercial purpose loans.
    • The second addresses the public disclosure of HMDA data, in light of consumer privacy interests.
  • The CFPB expects to take final action in October 2020 with regard to the May 2019 proposed rule that would prescribe rules under Regulation F to govern the activities of debt collectors, as that term is defined under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
    • The CFPB’s proposed rule would, among other things, address communications in connection with debt collection; and interpret and apply prohibitions on harassment or abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices in debt collection.
    • At a later date, the CFPB also plans to take final action on its supplemental proposal issued in February 2020, which addressed time-barred debt disclosures.
    • The CFPB extended the deadline for comments on that proposal to August 4, 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The CFPB is considering issuing later this year a proposed rule proposing a new “seasoning” definition of QM. This definition would create an alternative pathway to QM safe-harbor status for certain mortgages when the borrower has consistently made timely payments for a period.
  • The CFPB is participating in interagency rulemaking processes with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency to develop regulations to implement the amendments made by the Dodd-Frank Act to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) concerning appraisals. The FIRREA amendments require implementing regulations for quality control standards for automated valuation models (AVMs).
  • Section 1022(d) of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFPB to conduct an assessment of each significant rule or order adopted by the CFPB under Federal consumer financial law and publish a report of each assessment not later than 5 years after the effective date of the subject rule or order.
    • The CFPB is conducting an assessment of its Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Rule and certain amendments. The CFPB will issue its TRID Rule assessment report no later than October 2020.

It looks like a busy year for all of us.