In addition to our own criticism of the CFPB’s April 2013 White Paper on payday and deposit advance loans, the paper has drawn well-deserved fire from industry.  As we reported, that fire included a June 2013 petition to the CFPB filed by the Community Financial Services Association (CFSA), a national payday lending trade group, seeking the White Paper’s retraction.  First and foremost, the petition disputed the White Paper’s claim that its loan samples were “representative.”  

In August 2013, the CFPB responded with a letter denying the petition, although it asserted that it had posted a clarification on its website regarding “the manner in which lenders electronically initiate repayment from borrowers’ accounts.”  In September 2013, the CFSA sent a letter to the CFPB appealing from all aspects of the CFPB’s response except the asserted clarification.  Such aspects include the CFPB’s “continued assertion of the objective and useful nature of the Bureau’s sampling methodology.” 

In a letter dated November 18 signed by David Silberman, the CFPB’s Associate Director for Research, Markets, and Regulation, the CFPB summarily denied the CFSA’s appeal “in  its entirety.”  According to Mr. Silberman, the CFPB’s August response “addressed every argument raised in support of” the CFSA’s retraction request and “provided clarification of the methodology used to analyze borrower behavior as reflected in the refined data set.”