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With over two decades of consumer financial services experience in federal government, in-house, and private practice settings, and a specialty in fair lending regulatory compliance, Lori counsels clients in supervisory issues, examinations, investigations, and enforcement actions.

As discussed here, yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited (CFSA) v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) holding that the CFPB’s special funding structure does not violate the appropriations clause of the Constitution. Wasting no time, today the CFPB filed notices of the CFSA decision in cases nationwide, including in the case where several trade associations are challenging the CFPB’s final rule under § 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act (Final Rule), Texas Bankers Association, et al. v. CFPB.

On May 2, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released two sets of guidance addressing the applicability of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to two areas where, in the agency’s view, algorithmic processes and artificial intelligence (AI) pose particular concerns: tenant screening and advertising of housing opportunities through online platforms that use targeted ads. The purpose of HUD’s guidance is to make housing providers, tenant screening companies, advertisers, and online platforms aware that the FHA applies to tenant screening and housing advertising, including when algorithms and AI are used to perform those functions.

On April 24, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released a special edition of its Supervisory Highlights report focusing on examinations of the residential mortgage servicing market that were completed between April 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023. According to the report, the CFPB found instances of mortgage servicers charging illegal fees, such as prohibited property inspection fees, and sending deceptive notices to homeowners. Examiners also found servicers violating Regulation X’s loss mitigation rules.

On April 8, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released its Final Rule to revise existing regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This Final Rule clarifies the obligations of state and local governments to make web content and mobile applications accessible.

On March 29, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released its Consumer Response Annual Report, providing a high-level overview of the 1,657,600 consumer complaints received by the Bureau from January 1 through December 31, 2023. According to the report, the most-complained-about consumer financial product and service categories in 2023 were consumer reporting (79%), debt collection (7%), credit card (4%), checking or savings account (4%), and mortgage (2%). The CFPB’s 2023 Consumer Response Report found a continued increase in consumer reporting complaints, with more than one million of such complaints sent to the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRA). The CFPB encourages companies to consider how best to incorporate complaint information into their institutional processes to help ensure that problems are detected early and addressed quickly.

On March 18, Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), submitted comments to the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) regarding its oversight of The Appraisal Foundation. Director Chopra, who serves as a voting member of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and has been the designated executive sponsor for the ASC since 2022, highlighted several concerns about The Appraisal Foundation’s governance and conflict of interest policies.

In this episode of The Consumer Finance Podcast, host Chris Willis and guest Lori Sommerfield discuss the status of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Combatting Redlining Initiative. The initiative, which has been underway for over two years, involves all federal financial institution regulators, including the OCC, FDIC, Federal Reserve Board, CFPB and HUD, and has resulted in a significant number of redlining cases brought by the DOJ. The total monetary relief in connection with these settlements has reached $107 million, with the largest single redlining settlement at $31 million. The DOJ has brought 10 redlining enforcement actions, either on its own or in conjunction with other federal agencies, and there are currently about two dozen investigations pending.

As discussed here, in a recent letter, the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) outlined the agency’s supervisory priorities for 2024. In this post, we delve deeper into the area of consumer protection oversight.

We are pleased to share our annual review of regulatory and legal developments in the consumer financial services industry. With active federal and state legislatures, consumer financial services providers faced a challenging 2023. Courts across the country issued rulings that will have immediate and lasting impacts on the industry. Our team of more than 140 professionals has prepared this concise, yet thorough analysis of the most important issues and trends throughout our industry. We not only examined what happened in 2023, but also what to expect — and how to prepare — for the months ahead.