CFPB rescinds 7 temporary COVID-related policy statements
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Wednesday it is rescinding seven policy statements issued last year that provided temporary flexibilities to financial institutions in consumer financial markets including mortgages, credit reporting, credit cards, and prepaid cards. The seven rescissions, effective April 1, provide guidance to financial institutions on complying with their legal and regulatory obligations.
The CFPB is also rescinding its 2018 bulletin on supervisory communications and replacing it with a revised bulletin describing its use of matters requiring attention (MRAs) to effectively convey supervisory expectations.
"It’s disappointing the CFPB chose to rescind several temporary COVID-19 policy statements while the pandemic continues to affect the finances of millions of consumers," said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. "This kind of unilateral action, taken without the benefit of notice or an opportunity to provide feedback, reduces flexibility and undermines the Bureau's own appeal for service providers to make sizeable accommodations for consumers. Regardless, credit unions will continue to assist members in need as they have done throughout the duration of the pandemic.”
The rescinded policy statements were issued between March 26 through June 3, 2020, and temporarily provided financial institutions with flexibilities regarding certain regulatory filings or compliance with consumer financial laws and regulations.
The rescinded policy statements and MRA Bulletin are:
- March 26, 2020 Statement on Bureau Supervisory and Enforcement Response to COVID-19 Pandemic. The rescission also withdraws the CFPB as a signatory to the Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus and the Interagency Statement on Appraisals and Evaluations for Real Estate Related Financial Transactions Affected by the Coronavirus;
- March 26, 2020 Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Quarterly Reporting Under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The rescission also instructs all financial institutions required to file quarterly to do so beginning with their 2021 first quarter data, due on or before May 31, 2021, for all covered loans and applications with a final action taken date between January 1 and March 31, 2021.
- March 26, 2020 Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding CFPB Information Collections for Credit Card and Prepaid Account Issuers. The rescission also provides guidance as to how entities should now meet the specified information collections requirements relating to credit card and prepaid accounts.
- April 1, 2020 Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act. The rescission leaves intact the section entitled “Furnishing Consumer Information Impacted by COVID-19” which articulates the CFPB’s support for furnishers’ voluntary efforts to provide payment relief and that the CFPB does not intend to cite in examinations or take enforcement actions against those who furnish information to consumer reporting agencies that accurately reflect the payment relief measures they are employing;
- April 27, 2020 Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Certain Filing Requirements Under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) and Regulation J. The rescission instructs land developers subject to ILSA and Regulation J to resume filing of annual reports of activity and financial statements as specified in Regulation J.
- May 13, 2020 Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Regulation Z Billing Error Resolution Timeframes in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic;
- June 3, 2020 Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding Electronic Credit Card Disclosures in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic; and
- Bulletin 2018-01: Changes to Types of Supervisory Communications. The rescinded bulletin is replaced by Bulletin 2021-01 announcing changes to how CFPB examiners articulate supervisory expectations. The new bulletin states that the CFPB will continue to rely on MRAs, explains the circumstances under which it will do so, and announces that the CFPB will discontinue use of Supervisory Recommendations.