Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

On April 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order effectively reversing the district court’s decision to transfer the lawsuit challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB or Bureau) credit card late fee rule from the Northern District of Texas to the District Court for the District of Columbia (D.D.C), finding that the Texas district court lacked jurisdiction to issue its order because the plaintiffs’ appeal of the effective denial of their motion for preliminary injunction was already pending before the appellate court.

According to a recent report by WebRecon, court filings under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) were down for the month of February while court filings under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) were up. Year-to-date everything is still up by double digits compared to 2023.

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 April 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order staying the district court’s decision to transfer the lawsuit challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) credit card late fee rule from the Northern District of Texas to the District Court for the District of Columbia (D.D.C). As discussed here, on March 28, 2024, the district court had transferred the case to D.D.C. finding an “attenuated nexus” to the Fort Worth Division since, according to the district court, only one of the six plaintiffs had even a remote tie to the division. The Fifth Circuit’s stay is in effect until 5:00 pm on Friday, April 5, 2024.

Can remittance transfer providers be held liable under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) when marketing about the speed and cost of their services? According to a March 27 Circular issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau), the answer to that question is yes, if the marketing is deceptive. Specifically, according to the CFPB, providers may be liable under the CFPA for deceptive marketing practices if they market: remittance transfers as being delivered within a certain time frame when transfers actually take longer; remittance transfers as “no fee” when in fact the provider charges fees; promotional fees or promotional exchange rates for remittance transfers without sufficiently clarifying when an offer is temporary; and remittance transfers as “free” if they are not in fact free.

Yesterday, the lawsuit challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB or Bureau) credit card late fee rule (Final Rule) was transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to the District Court for the District of Columbia (D.D.C.).

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.

As discussed here, earlier this month the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) finalized its credit card late fee rule (Final Rule). The Final Rule sets a safe harbor amount for late fees at $8 and eliminates the annual inflation adjustments to that safe harbor amount, for larger card issuers, among other changes. The announcement of the Final Rule on credit card late fees sparked immediate reaction. As discussed here, a collective of trade groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Longview Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, and Texas Association of Business (collectively, the trade groups) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenging the Final Rule and arguing that it should be invalidated because the CFPB’s funding mechanism violates the Appropriations Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Alternatively, the trade groups argue that the Final Rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act for various reasons. Concurrently with the complaint, the trade groups filed a motion for preliminary injunction requesting that the court enjoin the Bureau from implementing the Final Rule against their members until the conclusion of the case.

In a recent speech at the Financial Data Exchange Global Summit, Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), discussed the current state of open banking in the United States and emphasized the importance of standard-setting organizations in the transition. He noted that these organizations play a crucial role in ensuring that the system is open and interoperable but warned against the potential of standard-setting to be used in an anti-competitive manner to benefit dominant firms.