The CFPB has published a request for information (RFI) in today’s Federal Register seeking comments and information to assist its Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law.  Comments on the RFI must be received by June 1, 2020.

The CFPB created the Taskforce in October 2019 to examine ways to harmonize and modernize federal consumer financial laws.  The Taskforce is charged with examining the existing legal and regulatory environment for consumers and financial services providers and making recommendations to the Bureau’s leadership for improving consumer financial laws and regulations, with a focus on harmonizing, modernizing, and updating the enumerated consumer credit laws, and their implementing regulations.

The RFI seeks information on which areas of the consumer financial services market are functioning well and which might benefit from regulatory changes, particularly those where a change in the rules would provide the greatest marginal benefits relative to the marginal costs.  It contains a series of questions about the markets for consumer financial products and services, with a special interest in the following markets: automobile financing (credit or lease); credit cards; credit repair; consumer reporting; first-party and third-party debt collection; debt settlement; deposit accounts (checking or savings); electronic payments; money transfers; mortgage origination and servicing; prepaid cards; small-dollar loans (installment, payday, vehicle title loans); student loans and servicing.

The questions are divided into the following sections:

  • Expanding access.  The questions explore potential obstacles to financial inclusion.  Question topics include short-term, small dollar credit, use of alternative data, and the disparate impact theory.
  • Consumer data.  The questions explore current and future-looking topics regarding the protection and use of consumer data.  Question topics include FCRA and GLBA protections of consumers’ personal information, FCRA provisions concerning information accuracy, state data breach laws, and use of consumer data by fintech companies.
  • Regulations.  The questions focus on the regulations that the CFPB writes and enforces.  Question topics include areas of significant regulatory ambiguity or uncertainty and the need  for regulatory changes to address new products and services.
  • Federal and state coordination. The questions focus on the costs and benefits of having multiple federal agencies with supervisory or enforcement authority with respect to financial institutions.  Question topics include the appropriateness of cooperation by the agencies in areas of shared jurisdiction, potential changes to shared-jurisdiction framework, and costs and benefits to consumers and financial institutions of overlapping enforcement authority.
  • Improving consumer protections. The questions address overall performance of consumer protection.  Question topics include effectiveness of disclosures and the CFPB’s determination of appropriate remedies for violations.