The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently released its Summer 2017 Supervisory Highlights, which summarizes the agency’s supervisory activities during the first half of this year.
Looking to the numbers. From January through June, the CFPB’s nonpublic supervisory activities led to restitution payments that totaled approximately $14 million, and public enforcement actions that netted an additional $1.15 million in consumer remediation and $1.75 million in civil money penalties.
Those numbers are down sharply from the same period in 2016. In fact, from January through April of last year, the CFPB’s nonpublic supervisory activities led to restitution payments that totaled approximately $24.6 million, and public enforcement actions that netted an additional $5 million in consumer remediation and $3 million in civil money penalties.
Looking to the details. In a press release, the CFPB noted that the Supervisory Highlights “shares information that companies can use to comply with federal consumer finance laws.” For business, though, Supervisory Highlights is perhaps most valuable for revealing the agency’s supervisory priorities.
Indeed, as we have noted before on this blog, the CFPB employs a risk-based approach to supervision. As such, the CFPB concentrates its supervisory efforts on institutions and product lines that it believes pose the greatest risk to consumers. Supervisory Highlights provides a window into that approach.
The Supervisory Highlights indicates that the CFPB continues to focus its supervisory efforts specifically on:
- Banks that the CFPB believes may be deceiving consumers about checking account fees and overdraft coverage, including by inaccurately describing when fees will be waived or inaccurately describing the features of their overdraft coverage offerings.
- Credit card companies that the CFPB believes may be deceiving consumers about the cost and availability of pay-by-phone options, including by failing to disclose cost-free pay-by-phone options and instead mentioning only expedited fee-based pay-by-phone options.
- Auto lenders that the CFPB believes may be wrongly repossessing vehicles, particularly when repossessions have been cancelled, accounts were no longer delinquent, and sufficient payments had been made to avoid repossession.
- Debt collectors that the CFPB believes may be improperly communicating about debt, including by discussing borrowers’ debts with third parties without debtors’ consent, attempting to collect debts from the wrong parties, and calling borrowers at work despite requests not to do so.
- Mortgage companies that the CFPB believes may be failing to follow the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rules, including by overcharging closing fees and wrongly charging application fees before consumers had agreed to the transaction.
- Mortgage services that may be failing to follow the CFPB’s servicing rules, including by failing to review borrowers’ initial loss mitigation application to determine what documents were missing, failing to disclose available forbearance options, and failing to exercise reasonable diligence in collecting information to complete a borrowers’ forbearance applications.