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Compliance News

The latest compliance news items. Past months’ news items are found under the specific Compliance Topic page related to the news item.

Bank members-only content =

August | June | July

August

  • Trade Associations Weigh In on Changes to FTC's Safeguards Rule (8/12/19)
    As the Federal Trade Commission considers making changes to its standards for safeguarding customer information, ABA on Aug. 2 joined two other industry groups in a comment letter urging the commission to harmonize the changes with existing data protection rules. The association called on FTC to ensure that the updated rule—which would expand the requirements for companies under the FTC's jurisdiction that collect and share customer data—aligns with FFIEC interagency guidelines, IT examination handbook and other supplementary guidance. Contact Bill Boger (wboger@aba.com) for more information.
  • FHFA to Remove Language Preference Question From URLA (8/10/19)
    The FHFA has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make several changes to the Uniform Residential Loan Application, including the removal of a question asking applicants to indicate their preferred language. ABA has long opposed the inclusion of a language preference question on the loan application form, noting that such a question was likely to confuse or mislead borrowers, and it previously raised concerns about the legal implications for lenders.
  • CFPB Ombudsman Issues Mid-year Update (8/9/19)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued the 2019 Mid-year Update, a report that provides information on the CFPB Ombudsman's work during the first six months of FY2019. The report covers: inquiries received by the Ombudsman, information provided to consumers on defendant-administered redress, consumer complaints referred to the CFPB from other agencies, and updates on our Ombudsman Forum and Interactives programs.
  • CFPB: Alternative Data Could Increase Availability, Lower Cost of Credit (8/7/19)
    The use of alternative data in credit decisions could make a significant difference in the cost and availability of credit for consumers, according to a CFPB blog post. The blog post highlights data submitted to the CFPB regarding outcomes generated by an underwriting and pricing model incorporating alternative data—such as information about borrowers' education and employment history—created by the Upstart Network. Upstart has been operating under a no-action letter from the CFPB to develop and test the model since 2017. When comparing outcomes between a traditional model and the one that incorporated alternative data, Upstart found that using alternative data increased acceptance rates by 23% to 29% across all tested race, ethnicity and sex segments, while decreasing average APRs by 15% to 17%. Fair lending testing showed no disparities between the traditional model and the tested model with regard to the approval rates and APRs provided for minority, female and senior borrowers, the CFPB added.
  • ABA Staff Analysis: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Upcoming Expiration of the "GSE Patch" (8/2/19)
    ABA issued a Staff Analysis on the CFPB's advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) seeking feedback on the upcoming expiration of the temporary "GSE Patch." Our Staff Analysis of the ANPR includes a full listing of the information solicited by the CFPB. Comments to the ANPR are due by September 16. For more information or to provide input, contact Rod Alba.
  • ABA Staff Analysis: Proposed Rule on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (8/2/19)
    ABA issued a Staff Analysis on the CFPB's proposed rule to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The proposal restates the FDCPA's substantive provisions mostly in the order in which they appear in the statute itself. The Bureau’s stated intent is that the FDCPA rule, once finalized, will serve as the authoritative source for requirements under the FDCPA, so that "stakeholders need to consult only the regulation to view all relevant definitions and substantive provisions." Comments on the proposal have now been extended through September 18. Contact Diana Banks for more information or to provide input.
  • CFPB Announces 2020 Reg Z Dollar Thresholds (8/1/19)
    The CFPB announced 2020 changes in dollar thresholds for several Regulation Z provisions governed by the CARD Act, the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act and the Dodd-Frank Act. The thresholds are based on changes in the Consumer Price Index and take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

July News

  • CFPB Reopens Comment Period on HMDA Proposal (7/31/19)
    The CFPB announced that the comment period for the HMDA proposal to increase the threshold for HMDA reporting has been re-opened with comments due on October 15.
  • CFPB Issues FAQs on Providing Loan Estimates (7/31/19)
    The CFPB issued frequently asked questions on TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures regarding providing loan estimates to consumers. The FAQs address corrected closing disclosures and the three business-day waiting period, model forms, construction loans, and providing loan estimates to consumers.
  • Senators Ask DOJ For Clarity On Website Accessibility Under ADA (7/31/19)
    A group of Republican senators last week wrote to Attorney General William Barr seeking an update on the Justice Department’s efforts to clarify compliance obligations for businesses with respect to website accessibility under Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • CFPB Seeks Feedback on 'QM Patch' Ahead of 2021 Expiration (7/29/19)
    The bureau issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking feedback on the upcoming expiration of the temporary “GSE patch,” which grants Qualified Mortgage status to loans eligible to be purchased or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The bureau noted that it is currently planning to allow the GSE patch to expire as scheduled in January 2021, “or after a short extension.” The bureau is seeking comments on possible changes to the ability-to-repay rule, including whether to revise the definition of a Qualified Mortgage. For more information, contact ABA's Rod Alba.
  • ABA, Trade Groups Urge FCC to Protect Lawful Bank Calls (7/29/19)
    In a comment letter, ABA and other trade groups urged the Federal Communications Commission to protect lawful calls placed by legitimate businesses from telephone companies’ call-blocking programs. The letter came as the FCC seeks to encourage the implementation of a framework for authenticating calls—called “SHAKEN/STIR”—by providing a safe harbor from liability for telephone companies that block calls that are not authenticated under the framework.
  • ABA Supports Fed Proposal to Extend Hours to Facilitate Same-Day ACH (7/19/19)
    ABA last week submitted comments in support of the Federal Reserve's recent proposal to modify the Federal Reserve Banks' National Settlement Service and Fedwire Funds Service to accommodate a third same-day ACH processing and settlement window. ABA offered support for the proposal with two recommended modifications to mitigate the risk of delayed Fedwire openings due to the shorter period between closing and reopening. For more information please contact Steve Kenneally.
  • CFPB Report: One in Four Consumers Have Debt in Third-Party Collections (7/19/19)
    A report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 28% of consumers have at least one debt in collections by a third-party debt collector. The report examined collections tradelines—information about a consumer account sent to a credit reporting company, generally on a regular basis—from 2004 to 2008.
  • CFPB Issues Advisory on Reporting Elder Financial Abuse (7/18/19)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released an advisory to financial institutions for reporting suspected elder financial exploitation. The document updates the CFPB's 2016 recommendations for preventing and responding to elder financial abuse, and urges financial institutions to report suspected exploitation to the appropriate local, state and federal authorities. In particular, the bureau recommends filing Suspicious Activity Reports in such cases. The recommendations reflect a recent study of 180,000 elder financial exploitation SARs that showed an average loss of $41,800 among adults over 70, with 7% losing over $100,000.
  • ABA Comments on the Review of Bureau Rules Pursuant to the RFA (7/15/19)
    ABA filed comments in support of the Bureau's plan for the review of rules which have or will have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities pursuant to §610(a) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). ABA recommended that, to the degree appropriate and possible, the timing of any §610 review be coordinated with any other review or assessment of a particular rule to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the review so that it is more likely to result in a single rulemaking process when regulatory amendments are necessary. ABA also urged the Bureau to ensure it assigns sufficient staff, especially economists, and allocates adequate resources to gather and analyze data when conducting its §610 reviews. Contact Nessa Feddis with questions.
  • ABA, MBA Support Making Single-Family Loan Sale Program Permanent (7/12/19)
    ABA joined the Mortgage Bankers Association in a comment letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development offering feedback on the Federal Housing Administration’s single-family loan sale program. The letter came in response to an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking as FHA looks to make the program permanent. Among other things, the groups recommended that FHA establish a regular schedule of loan sales; maintain consistent eligibility criteria across sales and lock qualified loans as of a specific date; and expand loan eligibility criteria. For more information, contact ABA's Rod Alba or Sharon Whitaker.
  • ARRC Releases White Paper on Using SOFR Average for ARM Products (7/12/19)
    The Alternative Reference Rates Committee released a white paper that shows how to use an average of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate to structure adjustable-rate mortgages in a way that’s comparable to current ARM loans.
  • FHFA Publishes Methodology for 'PMMS+' Index (7/9/19)
    The Federal House Finance Agency published in the Federal Register its methodology for calculating the new "PMMS+" index. The index will replace the agency’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey, which was used by many lenders to benchmark interest rates on various mortgage products. FHFA ceased publication of the MIRS index in May. The PMMS+ index is derived from Freddie Mac's 30-year FRM Primary Mortgage Market Survey, with adjustments made by FHFA. The agency is accepting comments on the methodology through Sept. 9, 2019.
  • ABA's Letter to CFPB on the Remittance RFI (7/2/19)
    ABA on June 28 filed two comment letters in response to the Bureau’s request for information (RFI) about remittances. The RFI was prompted by the upcoming expiration of a provision that lets depository institutions estimate certain fees and exchange rates when making disclosures to their customers. The ability to estimate will expire in July 2020 and cannot be extended by the Bureau and so the CFPB would like comment on alternative ways to ensure consumers continue to have access to remittances. Read the joint comment letter.
  • Agencies Issue Proposal on HVCRE Treatment of Single-Family Land Development Loans (7/1/19)
    In an effort to clarify their September 2018 proposal for high-volatility commercial real estate (HVCRE) acquisition, development or construction loans, the banking agencies have issued an additional proposal to address the treatment of loans financing the development of land for one-to-four-family residential properties. The agencies are seeking input on whether such loans should be excluded from the definition of HVCRE in their regulatory capital rule. For more information, contact ABA's Sharon Whitaker.
  • ABA: Overdraft Rule Empowers Consumers and Should Not Be Changed (7/1/19)
    Responding to a statutorily required review of the 2009 Overdraft Rule, ABA stated that the 'opt in' rule has empowered customers to make informed choices about seeking or declining overdraft protection services for debit card point-of-sale or ATM transactions. ABA recommended that the Bureau not make any changes to the rule. For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin.
  • CFPB Updates Compliance Guide for Payday Rule (7/1/19)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau updated its small entity compliance guide for its 2017 final rule governing short-term, small-dollar loans. The updated guide reflects the bureau’s finalization, on June 6, of its separate rule to delay the compliance date of the mandatory underwriting provisions in the 2017 rule. The bureau has proposed to rescind those underwriting provisions, while leaving in place the 2017 rule’s payment provisions. For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin.

June News

  • Fed, CFPB Issue Final Rule for Reg CC Inflation Adjustment Calculation (6/25/19)
    The Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized changes to Regulation CC (the Expedited Funds Availability Act) to adopt a method for making inflationary adjustments to the dollar amounts in Regulation CC every five years pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act. The adjustments include, for example, an increase in the large dollar exception amount from $5,000 to $5,525. As recommended by ABA, the first adjustments will be effective July 1, 2020. For more information, contact ABA’s Nessa Feddis.
  • ABA Seeks Greater Clarity on Banks’ Ability to Serve Industrial Hemp Businesses (6/25/19)
    In a letter to financial regulatory agencies, ABA called for greater clarification on how banks may serve businesses dealing with hemp—a low-THC strain of marijuana that was removed from the Controlled Substances Act by Congress as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. Despite this legislative action, regulators have yet to issue a clear directive on distinguishing legal hemp and illegal marijuana, leaving many banks uncertain about whether they can legally serve these businesses, ABA noted. The association called for guidance on retail products containing hemp or hemp-derived CBD and the appropriate procedures for sourcing those products back to legal processors.
  • ABA Issues Staff Analysis of CFPB's Updated Rulemaking Agenda (6/18/19)
    ABA has created a members-only staff analysis summarizing recent updates to the CFPB's 2019 spring rulemaking agenda. Significantly, the bureau said it expects to issue a proposed rule in December on the public disclosure of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. It also intends to resume pre-rulemaking activities in January 2020 on implementing Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires the CFPB to collect data on small business lending. The analysis also includes updates on regulatory initiatives at the federal banking agencies, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Department of Labor. For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin.
  • FDIC Publication to Enhance Compliance Supervisory Transparency (6/14/19)The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a new publication, Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights to increase transparency regarding the FDIC's consumer compliance supervisory activities. The publication includes a high-level overview of consumer compliance issues identified during 2018 through the FDIC's supervision of state non-member banks and thrifts. 
  • Kraninger Outlines Supervisory Burden Reduction Efforts at ABA Conference (6/14/19)
    The federal banking agencies are working to reduce excessive supervisory burdens through automation and shared data submission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger said at ABA's Regulatory Compliance Conference in New Orleans. In her first-ever public remarks to an audience of financial services professionals, she specifically said that she is working to “automate many of the things that are perhaps the biggest pain points” and added that the FFIEC agencies are “working very closely on a joint data intake system.”
  • ABA Supports Proposed Changes to HMDA Reporting Thresholds (6/13/19)
    In a comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, ABA concurred with the CFPB's proposed increase to the threshold for closed-end mortgage loans, recommending that the new threshold be set at 100 and possibly higher (up from 25). ABA also urged the CFPB to remove any requirements related to reporting open-end transactions under HMDA, “as this data lacks value in advancing relevant legislative objectives while imposing very high compliance costs.” At a minimum, the association called for the permanent extension of the temporary coverage threshold of 500 open-end lines of credit. For more information, contact ABA’s Rod Alb.
  • Trade Groups Weigh In on Proposed Changes to Lender Certification Requirements (6/11/19)
    ABA joined three other financial and housing trade organizations in a comment letter to the Federal Housing Administration offering feedback on proposed changes to its single-family loan and lender-level certifications. FHA proposed the changes last month in an effort to encourage greater bank participation in the program. In the letter, the groups called on FHFA to either rescind the annual certification requirement or replace the current annual certifications with “a certification that reinforces the obligation of each mortgagee to establish and operate in accordance with a corporate risk management plan.” They added that such an approach “would more meaningfully foster compliance by each mortgagee with FHA requirements.” For more information, contact ABA’s Rod Alba.
  • FCC Releases Text of Call-Blocking Ruling (6/11/19)
    The Federal Communications Commissions has released the text of its ruling that permitted telephone companies to enroll customers automatically in a call-blocking program designed to identify unwanted calls. The final ruling included important changes to address the erroneous blocking of calls placed by banks and other legitimate businesses, and was effective immediately following the FCC’s vote. For more information, contact ABA’s Jonathan Thessin.
  • CFPB Extends Compliance Date of Underwriting Provisions in Payday Rule (6/7/19)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau extended the compliance date for the mandatory underwriting provisions of its final rule governing short-term, small-dollar loans, from Aug. 19, 2019, to Nov. 19, 2020. The CFPB has separately proposed to rescind those underwriting requirements. For more information, contact ABA’s Jonathan Thessin.
  • FCC Adopts Call-Blocking Declaratory Ruling (6/7/19)
    The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted a ruling permitting voice service providers to enroll customers automatically in a call-blocking program designed to identify unwanted calls. The ruling, which is effective immediately, requires that customers be able to opt out of the program. "Our members share the FCC’s goal of eliminating illegal, automated calls," said ABA EVP Virginia O'Neill. "Today's declaratory ruling advances that goal, while at the same time taking an initial step to prevent consumers from missing critically important and time-sensitive calls affecting their financial well-being, health and safety."
  • McWilliams: CRA Reform to Clarify Qualifying Activities, Lending Assessment (6/5/19)
    In remarks at a meeting of community development bankers, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams highlighted several ongoing initiatives at the agency to strengthen and sustain the nation’s community banks, including the highly anticipated reform of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations.

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