At the end of March 2023, the CFPB issued its long-awaited final rule to implement Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 1071 amended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require financial institutions to collect and report certain data in connection with credit applications made by small businesses, including women- or minority-owned small businesses.  Although the final rule will be effective on August 29, 2023, it contains a tiered compliance date schedule, with an earliest compliance date of October 1, 2024 for financial institutions that originate the most covered credit transactions and later compliance dates for institutions with lower transaction volumes.

In Part II of this two-part episode, we first take a close look at the final rule’s tiered compliance dates and related volume thresholds and the CFPB’s grace period policy statement.  We next discuss our expectations for CFPB enforcement of the final rule, including the CFPB’s statement on supervisory and enforcement practices, how the collected data is likely to be analyzed and used, and the potential for data analysis to produce unwarranted conclusions.  We also look at the operational issues and challenges that lenders should consider in implementing the final rule and satisfying the requirement for lenders to have procedures that are “reasonably designed to collect applicant-provided data.”  We conclude with a discussion of the final rule’s implications for fair lending risk, including likely areas of CFPB scrutiny and the expected need for lenders to have additional data to explain lending disparities that may appear in exams.

Alan Kaplinsky, Senior Counsel in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, leads the conversation, joined by Michael Gordon, Of Counsel in the Group.

To listen to Part II of the episode, click here.

To listen to Part I of the episode, click here.