The CFPB has issued its Spring 2020 Semi-Annual Report to Congress covering the period September 30, 2019 through March 31, 2020.

The report represents the CFPB’s fourth semi-annual report under Director Kraninger’s leadership and continues the practice of the prior three reports of not providing aggregate numbers for how much consumers obtained in consumer relief and how much was assessed in civil money penalties in supervisory and enforcement actions during the period covered by the report.

The new report indicates that the Bureau had 1,421 employees as of March 31, 2020, representing a decrease of 9 employees from the number of employees as of September 30, 2019 (1,430) and a decrease of 31 employees from the number of employees as of March 31, 2019 (1,452).

In addition to discussing ongoing or past developments that we have covered in previous blog posts, the report includes the following noteworthy information:

  • In October 2019, the Bureau created a Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law.  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.  In April 2020, the Bureau published a request for information seeking comments and information to assist the Taskforce.  In the report, Bureau states that in Fall 2020, the Taskforce intends to participate in a publicly available listening session with the Bureau’s four advisory committees and to engage with federal and state regulatory partners before delivering its final report in early 2021.
  • The Bureau’s Fair Lending Supervision program initiated 14 supervisory events during the period covered by the report, which is 2 fewer than the number of such events initiated during the period covered by the prior semi-annual report.  As compared with that period, however, it issued more matters requiring attention or memoranda of understanding.  In addition, the Bureau provided supervisory recommendations “pertaining to supervisory concerns related to weak or nonexistent fair lending policies and procedures, risk assessments, fair lending training, service provider oversight and/or consumer complaint response.”
  • During the period covered by the report, the Bureau filed one fair lending public enforcement action and referred four ECOA matters to the DOJ.  The referrals involved “redlining in mortgage origination based on race and/or national origin, discrimination in mortgage origination based on receipt of public assistance income, and discrimination in auto origination based on race and national origin.”  The report states that the Bureau “has a number of ongoing and newly opened fair lending investigations of institutions.”

With regard to the timing of a final debt collection rule, the report repeats the same information that was set forth in the Bureau’s Spring 2020 rulemaking agenda.  The report states that the Bureau expects to issue a final debt collection rule in October 2020.  In February 2020, the Bureau issued a supplemental proposal that would require debt collectors to make specified disclosures when collecting time-barred debts.  The proposal’s comment deadline was extended until August 4, 2020.  The report provides no information as to when the Bureau expects to finalize the supplemental proposal.