In response to the global coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that it has postponed certain data collections from the financial services industry related to CFPB rules. This extension of flexibility to the financial services industry is intended to facilitate companies focusing their resources on consumers during this time.
CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger noted that “[a]s consumers seek temporary relief from lenders, the pandemic is impacting the operations of financial companies that are eager to help their customers during this unprecedented time.” Temporarily suspending reporting requirements is designed to help facilitate that customer focus.
To that end, the CFPB will not require quarterly information reporting by certain mortgage lenders as normally required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”) and Regulation C. Despite the postponed reporting, the CFPB noted that companies “should continue collecting and recording HMDA data in anticipation of making annual submissions.”
Likewise, the CFPB also has postponed reporting certain information relating to credit card and prepaid accounts under the Truth in Lending Act, Regulation E, and Regulation Z. This includes submission of the following reports:
- Annual submissions concerning agreements between credit card issuers and institutions of higher education;
- Quarterly submissions of consumer credit card agreements;
- Collection of certain credit card price and availability information; and
- Submission of prepaid account agreements and related information.
Note that the submission of these reports has only been postponed, not suspended. Accordingly, the CFPB will provide guidance at a later date regarding how and when to report the postponed submissions.
To the extent that reports are required by law, the CFPB has indicated that it does not intend to cite an examination or initiate an enforcement action for failure to submit such information when required by law.
Finally, the CFPB has indicated that it is cognizant of the “operational challenges confronted by institutions due to the pandemic,” and accordingly will work with financial services institutions to “minimize disruption and burden.” The CFPB stated that, when conducting examinations and other supervisory activities, it would “consider the circumstances that entities may face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be sensitive to good-faith efforts demonstrably designed to assist consumers.”