As we reported in an earlier posting, it has taken considerable effort to locate the memoranda of understanding (MOUs) that the CFPB has put in place with various other federal agencies. More of those MOUs recently surfaced through, we believe, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. One of the newly uncovered MOUs is between CFPB and FinCEN and gives the CFPB direct electronic access to Bank Secrecy Act information collected in FinCEN’s Currency and Banking Retrieval System.
We have also seen the CFPB’s MOUs with the OCC and the NCUA concerning how the CFPB and those agencies will allocate responsibility for handling consumer complaints, refer complaints to each other, share complaint-related data, and maintain the confidentiality of such data. According to the rollout schedules in the two MOUs, the CFPB was to begin handling credit card complaints on July 21, 2011 and deposit product-related complaints (including complaints involving overdraft credit lines and fees) on October 3, 2011. The schedules also indicate that on December 1, 2011, the CFPB will begin handling complaints involving residential mortgages and on March 1, 2012, it will begin handling complaints involving any other financial product or service, such as auto and student loans and noncustomer check cashing. (Although the two MOUs are substantially the same, we find it interesting that in its MOU with the OCC, the CFPB agrees to reimburse the OCC for its actual costs in handling complaints between the designated transfer date (July 21, 2011) and the date the CFPB takes over that responsibility.)
Another MOU we have now seen is one between the CFPB and the Fed that sets out the process and procedures for identifying the Fed employees to be transferred to the CFPB within 90 days of July 21. A fifth MOU between the CFPB and HUD deals with the transfer of ownership from HUD to the CFPB of documents related to the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) and the handling of ILSA-related FOIA requests. While everyone enjoys solving a good mystery, we see no reason why it continues to be a challenge to find the MOUs.