Financial Services/CFPB

GavelOn Monday, July 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued a final rule – the “Arbitration Agreements Rule” – regulating arbitration agreements in contracts for certain core consumer financial products and services. Venable has been monitoring the development of this rule, and our past coverage can be seen in a webinar and a blog post.

In prepared remarks, CFPB Director Richard Cordray explained the Bureau’s reasons for ultimately promulgating this regulation, and he stated that such clauses “force consumers either to give up or to go it alone – usually over relatively small amounts that may not be worth pursuing on one’s own. Including these clauses in contracts allows companies to sidestep the judicial system, avoid big refunds, and continue to pursue profitable practices that may violate the law and harm large numbers of consumers.”


Continue Reading CFPB Issues Final “Arbitration Agreements Rule:” New CFPB Rule Bans Class Action Bars in Arbitration Clauses

In this issue we discuss that under the cloud of speculation hanging over the CFPB they continue to launch supervisory examinations and enforcement investigations, and also held a public event on June 22 discussing the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

Also in this issue is commentary around a top state regulator issued a reminder to

student loan debtLots of folks were wondering whether at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) it was “School’s Out” with a shortage of Commissioners and a new administration in the White House. A recent case involving the telemarketing of student loan debt relief services makes clear that, at least in certain areas, school is still in session. The case also highlights the growing regulatory scrutiny on the student loan space.

In obtaining a temporary restraining order shutting down a group of related companies, the FTC alleged that in “many instances,” the companies failed to deliver any of the promised services. Specifically, according to the FTC, the defendants collected upfront and monthly fees in exchange for enrolling consumers in student loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment programs and to improve consumers’ credit scores. The FTC found that many consumers received no services and many went into further debt.


Continue Reading Student Loan Market in FTC’s Cross Hairs

cash and credit cardsA circuit split regarding the SEC’s administrative law judges, an internal CFPB playbook and memo on their examination process, and a recent field hearing on small business lending are at the forefront of the May 18 edition of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Digest.

In this issue, we highlight the circuit split between the Tenth Circuit

Members of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Practice, along with Paula-Rose Stark, a former attorney at the CFPB, now with Chain Bridge Partners, LLC, ‎recently discussed the current and evolving state of federal and state consumer financial protection law and policy. They outlined what you and your company need to know about what’s ahead and shared their experiences from the front lines, offering insights and strategies to help companies navigate the evolving legal and political landscape.

Topics included:

  • The impact of the current political climate on enforcement actions;
  • Interacting, negotiating, and litigating with the CFPB;
  • Tips for managing risk due to enforcement investigations and actions;
  • Crisis management strategies;
  • New administration: prospects for reform and leadership changes;
  • Examination: lessons learned and preparing for the future; and
  • CFPB, State Attorneys General, and other enforcement agency developments, and what’s next.


Continue Reading Consumer Finance Enforcement Activity in a New Administration

CFPB Enforcement Policies and Procedures Manual 2.0Despite facing significant legal challenges and a shifting political landscape, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is virtually unrestrained in its ability to launch investigations and threaten enforcement actions. We’ve obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request the most recent official CFPB Enforcement Policies and Procedures Manual Version 2.0. The Enforcement Policies

financial lawBusiness lending, negative option programs, and enterprise risk management are at the forefront of the April 13 edition of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Digest.

In this issue, we discuss CFPB Director Cordray’s recent appearance before Congress where he noted that the CFPB has started engaging in supervisory activity regarding small business lending.


Continue Reading Consumer Financial Services Update

Consumfinancial lawer data, UDAAP, debt collection, and fintech licensing are at the forefront of the March 30 edition of Venable’s Consumer Financial Services Digest.

In this issue, we discuss the importance of the Federal Trade Commission’s activities in the consumer finance world and the big changes on the horizon for credit reporting of public records data.


Continue Reading Consumer Financial Services Update

financial lawWith all eyes on the CFPB and its future fate, it’s easy to overlook the FTC’s activities in the consumer finance world. But that would be a mistake. The FTC, led by the Division of Financial Practices, continues to share enforcement jurisdiction with the CFPB over many industries touching consumer finance, including credit reporting, debt collection, and consumer lending; the major difference between the jurisdiction of the FTC and CFPB is that the FTC does not have authority over financial institutions regulated by federal banking regulators.

Importantly, as an independent agency with a bipartisan commission, the FTC is more insulated from the political trade winds that executive agencies confront. And, whereas the CFPB—also an independent agency—is a young agency born out of and directly caught up in the hyper partisanship that defines Washington, the FTC has a 100+ year track record. If the CFPB’s authority is significantly curtailed, we can expect the FTC to step up to partially fill the void.


Continue Reading FTC Remains on Consumer Finance Enforcement Beat

beluga whalesFrom the ABA Antitrust Section bi-annual Consumer Protection Conference in Atlanta, Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen made her first keynote address in her newly elevated roll. To the backdrop of playful beluga whales in the ballroom of the Atlanta Aquarium, she outlined three consumer protection priorities she will put in force during her time in the driver’s seat. All will likely be welcome news to our readers and some may even jump and twist for joy like these guys:
Continue Reading Chairman Ohlhausen Announces a Whale of an Agenda for Consumer Protection