Category Archives: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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2018 Consumer Protection Priorities of State Attorneys General

general
Attorneys general (AGs) are not only lawyers for their states; they are enforcers, regulators, and even public policy advocates. With a broad consumer protection mandate, a state AG is able to reach a wide range of industries that have a consumer touch. When joining in multi-state actions, and even more so those with public policy … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Loses Motion For Reconsideration In Borders Case: Its Next Steps May Provide Insight Into The Mulvaney Enforcement Strategy

Borders
Following Borders & Borders PLC’s (Borders) successful summary judgment motion last summer, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) filed a motion for reconsideration with the federal district court in Kentucky, arguing that the court had misconstrued the affiliated business arrangements (ABAs) exemption under RESPA section 8(c)(4). Late last week, the court not only … Continue reading this entry

RESPA and UDAAP Enforcement Following The PHH Decision: What To Expect

Tolling
As anyone who is associated with the residential real estate settlement services industry can appreciate, resolution of the PHH case by the full bench of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals[1] has brought much-needed clarity and reason to fundamental issues under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). This includes clarifying that Section 8(c) of RESPA really is … Continue reading this entry

3 Enforcement Priorities For State AGs In 2018

Enforcement
2018 is, once again, an election year! State attorney general campaigns will be in full swing with 31 elections, of which 10 are open seats, including big-state races in Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and the most competitive per-capita primary in South Dakota. In addition, next year triggers up to three gubernatorial appointments among Alaska, Wyoming … Continue reading this entry

Settlement in Mortgage Discount Points Case Highlights Risk From Claimed Inconsistency Between Representations to Consumers and Actual Practices

Settlement
A recent settlement of deceptive practice allegations against Peoples Bank of Lawrence, Kansas, (Peoples) by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board of Governors) serves as a reminder that unfair or deceptive acts or practices (UDAP) claims may be triggered based on perceived inconsistencies between representations a consumer financial services institution makes … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Overreaches in Handling Alleged RESPA ABA Exemption Issues in Meridian

RESPA
On September 27, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the settlement of its Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) enforcement action against Meridian Title Corp. (Meridian), an Indiana-based title insurance agency, based on alleged title insurance referrals made to an underwriter partially owned by three of Meridian’s executives. The CFPB faulted Meridian for … Continue reading this entry

Business Groups File Federal Lawsuit to Challenge CFPB Arbitration Rule

CFPB
On September 29, 2017, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Association of Business, and various other national and Texas statewide business organizations and trade groups (together, Plaintiffs) filed a federal lawsuit in Dallas, Texas challenging the constitutionality of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule designed to prohibit providers of certain consumer financial products … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Loses Borders Case: the Court Construes RESPA’s Statutory ABA Exemption according to its Plain Language

RESPA
On July 12, 2017, a federal district court in Kentucky issued a summary judgment ruling for the defense in the ongoing Borders & Borders case1 brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau).  In this long-running case, the Bureau alleged that profit distributions paid to joint venture partners constituted illegal kickbacks in violation of … Continue reading this entry

What Real Estate Settlement Service and Other Consumer Financial Services Providers Need to Know About the CFPB’s Final Arbitration Rule

Borders
On July 10, 2017, in a surprise move, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued its long awaited final rule on arbitration (Final Arbitration Rule).  This rule-making has been a lightning rod issue for the Bureau, and its Final Arbitration Rule is likely to face serious political and legal challenges in the weeks … Continue reading this entry

District Court Rebuffs CFPB’s RESPA “Continuing Violations” Theory

Borders
On June 6, 2017, a federal district court in Menichino v. CitiBank[1] rejected an interpretation of the RESPA Section 8 statute of limitations espoused by the CFPB in captive reinsurance cases, instead concluding that RESPA’s limitations period runs from the date of the occurrence of the claimed violation, which is the date of the loan … Continue reading this entry

Fleeting Glimpse of RESPA Issues in PHH Argument as Court Focuses on Bureau Constitutionality

CFPB
Although the RESPA issues were addressed in the briefs filed by the parties in the PHH case, at oral argument this week the parties and the en banc D.C. Circuit focused heavily on whether the president’s authority is unconstitutionally limited by the broad powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“Bureau”) and the fact that … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Settlements: It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

CFPB settlements
On April 26, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) broke new ground by imposing a fine – in excess of a million dollars – against a consumer financial services company for allegedly violating the terms of its prior settlement with the CFPB.… Continue reading this entry

The CFPB's RESPA Consent Orders: Eight Key Takeaways

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) on January 31, 2017 issued consent orders settling enforcement claims that a major mortgage lender violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in connection with its marketing, desk rental, lead purchase and other agreements with hundreds of real estate brokers and other settlement service providers (the “Consent Orders”). … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Seeks Rehearing of D.C. Circuit Panel Ruling in PHH: What Now?

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) Friday filed a petition in the closely-watched PHH case, seeking to undo a ruling by a panel of judges for the D.C. Circuit Court that was highly critical of the Bureau’s interpretation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).  The Bureau also seeks to challenge a ruling in … Continue reading this entry

Five Key Takeaways From the D.C. Circuit’s PHH Decision

The legal challenge by PHH Corp. (PHH) to a June 4, 2015, decision by the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) in connection with the Bureau’s enforcement proceeding against PHH has captivated the real estate settlement services industry. The attention is justified. Director Cordray’s ruling against PHH, which was the first appeal from a … Continue reading this entry

PHH v. CFPB: "What is a Kickback?"

On April 12, 2016, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in PHH Corporation’s (PHH) milestone legal battle with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau). During the argument, the Bureau had a lot to worry about: whether the agency’s unusual structure, headed by a single director who has … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Director’s Divisive View of RESPA Limitations Period Central to Ongoing UDAAP Action

In the ongoing Integrity Advance enforcement action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”), the Office of Enforcement this January filed a brief arguing that its claims for alleged unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (“UDAAP”) in a payday lending case are not subject to the three-year statute of limitations (“SoL”) set forth … Continue reading this entry

A Response to the CFPB’S Recent Compliance Bulletin on MSAs

On October 8, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued a Compliance Bulletin on RESPA Compliance and Marketing Services Agreements (“MSAs”)(“Compliance Bulletin”).  The Compliance Bulletin’s message that MSA participants face “substantial risks” under RESPA has reverberated and caused buzz since it was issued. This response discusses some of the more puzzling and … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Extends TRID Effective Date to October 1

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced that it would provide mortgage lenders with additional time to prepare for the highly anticipated TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (“TRID”). Since the issuance of TRID’s final regulations in November 2013, mortgage lenders have been frantically preparing for its effective date of August 1, 2015. Generally speaking, TRID will consolidate … Continue reading this entry

CFPB Director Cordray Issues First-Ever Agency Appellate Decision in RESPA Case

The Director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Richard Cordray, issued a decision yesterday in the first appeal of a Bureau administrative enforcement action. Cordray’s decision upholds in part, and reverses in part, a 2014 Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decision which held that PHH Corp. (“PHH”) violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act … Continue reading this entry

A Bit of Grace

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has finally agreed to bend under the strain of numerous requests from financial industry participants and 255 bi-partisan House members and 41 senators, who requested that the CFPB delay the implementation of the new Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosures (TRID) requirements.  Although … Continue reading this entry

Recent Settlements of Joint UDAAP Enforcement Between State and Federal Regulators

RESPA
The Dodd-Frank Act (“Dodd-Frank”) granted to state attorneys general and state regulators much of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) UDAAP authority. In particular, Dodd-Frank gives state attorneys authority to enforce the UDAAP prohibition in the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) against non-banks and state-chartered financial institutions under their jurisdiction, as well as CFPB regulations … Continue reading this entry

UDAAP Council Weekly UDAAP Standards Report - 12/10/2014

Every week, courts around the United States issue decisions addressing aspects of civil UDAAP claims. In an effort to illuminate the UDAAP standards, below is a sampling of some of this week’s UDAAP decisions on the meaning of unfair, deceptive, and abusive. Unfair A mortgagee was not liable under Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) regulations … Continue reading this entry

31 State Attorneys General Elected to Office

RESPA
Of the 50-state Attorneys General (AGs), 43 are elected. In 2014, 31 AGs were on the ballot of which 11 were open seats. Unofficial results are in, so meet the new Attorneys General. Arizona: AG-elect Mark Brvovich (R), former Department of Gaming Director Arkansas: AG-elect Leslie Rutledge (R), former Republican National Committee counsel Colorado: AG-elect … Continue reading this entry