WASHINGTON (10/3/14)--The Credit Union National Association met with several Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) officials this week, bringing the credit union perspective on a number of key issues.
In fact in one of the high-level meetings, members of CUNA's consumer protection subcommittee met with David Silberman, CFPB associate director for research, markets and regulation.
During the meeting Wednesday with Silberman, CUNA raised several issues about the bureau's rules on international remittance transfers and mortgages.
"We're seeing some credit unions no longer providing international remittance transfers and exiting the mortgage market entirely or reducing their level of product offerings because of the regulatory burden imposed by CFPB rules impacting these products," Jared Ihrig, CUNA's associate general counsel for regulatory advocacy, noted to News Now after the meeting.
|Members of CUNA's consumer protection subcommittee, from left, Rick Wargo, general counsel, Pennsylvania Credit Union Association; Wayne Hood, senior vice president/general counsel, ORNL FCU, Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Faith Anderson, senior vice president/general counsel, American Airlines FCU, Fort Worth, Texas; Dave Willis, executive vice president/chief operating officer, Tinker FCU, Oklahoma City; Mike Long, executive vice president/chief credit officer, UW CU, Madison, Wis.; Tom O'Shea, president/CEO, Aspire FCU, Clark, N.J.; and Jared Ihrig, CUNA associate general counsel for regulatory advocacy. (CUNA Photo)|
CUNA also urged the bureau to issue additional written guidance relating to the upcoming Truth-in-Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (TILA-RESPA) rule that will become effective Aug. 1, 2015. CUNA and other stakeholders have raised many questions concerning the final rule where additional clarifications and answers would be helpful to credit unions as they work to implement the rule's requirements.
"CUNA and others have identified over 100 questions about the rule and presented them to the CFPB, and many of them appear to not be addressed in the final rule," Ihrig said. "Some of them have been covered in the webinars from the bureau, but we would like to see additional written guidance issued, which would greatly help credit unions continue their implementation process."
CUNA representatives also attended the CFPB's Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) meeting, which featured a discussion of overdraft rules and the bureau's consumer complaint process.
According to CUAC, the bureau has studied approximately 2 million accounts to observe overdraft practices and is interviewing more than 100 consumers about their practices as well. The council explored what the CFPB limits on overdraft protection might mean for credit union members, including the possibility that limits on that service could drive members to seek costly alternatives, such as payday lenders.
CFPB Director Richard Cordray said at the CUAC meeting that the bureau has not settled on any overdraft policy decisions yet, but that there is inconsistency in this area across the federal financial regulators, so it makes sense that the CFPB should examine this topic further. He added that the bureau is not seeking to ban such "courtesy" products and services, but that tweaks may be necessary with various aspects of overdraft protection.
During discussion of the consumer complaint process, the bureau estimates that it will receive approximately 275,000 to 300,000 complaints this year, and it estimates it will average about 500,000 per year, possibly attaining this level over the next two to three years. The biggest drivers of complaints are currently in the areas of debt collection and credit reporting.
Of the complaints the bureau receives, approximately 25% come from referrals from other regulators, 10% come by phone and 50% come from through website submissions. Complaints are also occasionally submitted by mail and fax.
According to the bureau, it is still studying its proposal to publish consumer complaint narrative data, a proposal about which CUNA has concerns (News Now Sept. 23).
CUNA warns the plan has potential "negative unintended consequences," particularly that complaints could include inaccuracies, exaggerations and even intentionally false information.