The CFPB has now taken two more significant steps towards issuing a proposed arbitration rule.

On October 20, 2015, the CFPB convened its Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel to review the proposals it is considering for regulating the use of arbitration agreements in certain consumer financial services contracts.  (The panel members are the CFPB, the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.)  On October 28, the panel met with small entity representatives (SERs) to discuss the proposals and the issues on which it asked the SERs to provide input.

The next step will be for the panel to issue its report to the CFPB on the input received from the SERs, which will be due by December 19.  This report will not become public until the CFPB issues its proposed rule.  Based on prior experience with other SBREFA panels, we would  expect the proposed rule to be issued during the first quarter of next year.