On September 28, 2022, the Department of Justice (”DOJ”) announced a settlement with Westlake Financial Services (“Westlake”), a Los Angeles-based indirect auto finance company specializing in subprime and near-subprime loans, resolving allegations that Westlake failed to fully provide interest rate benefits to eligible servicemembers as required under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”). … Continue Reading

On July 29, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a notification letter (the “joint letter”) to “remind” auto lenders and leasing companies of the protections provided to servicemembers and their dependents under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  The joint letter provides a very basic overview and reminder of the vehicle repossession protections, early vehicle lease termination rights, and interest rate cap available to eligible servicemembers under the SCRA.… Continue Reading

We discuss recent developments concerning fair lending and ancillary products, including the potential industry-wide implications of recent New York and Massachusetts consent orders and our expectations for future CFPB scrutiny in these areas.   We also discuss the CFPB’s recent report that looks at whether the variation in interest rates among subprime auto loans can be explained by differences in borrower creditworthiness and share our thoughts on how the report’s finding are likely to impact future CFPB activity.… Continue Reading

Last week, the FTC released two new reports about the agency’s findings from an April 2017 study of consumers’ experiences with the car buying process.  The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (BPC) authored a summary report called “Buckle Up: Navigating Auto Sales and Financing.”  The BPC, in partnership with the FTC’s Bureau of Economics, also published, “The Auto Buyer Study: Lessons from In-Depth Consumer Interviews and Related Research,” which provides a more detailed discussion of the April 2017 study underlying the FTC’s findings.… Continue Reading

This past Wednesday the House Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing titled “Examining Discrimination in the Automobile Loan and Insurance Industries.” As the Majority Staff’s Hearing Memo noted, auto loan debt is the third largest category of household debt, after mortgages and student loans, and Americans now owe $1.26 trillion in auto loan debt.… Continue Reading

This week, two House Financial Services Subcommittees will hold hearings.

Tomorrow afternoon at 2:00PM ET, the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee will convene a hearing entitled, “Ending the Debt Traps in the Payday and Small Dollar Credit Industry.”

On Wednesday, May 1 at 10:00AM ET, the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee will convene a hearing entitled, “Examining Discrimination in the Automobile Lending and Insurance Industries.”… Continue Reading

Yesterday, the CFPB released the Winter 2019 edition of its Supervisory Highlights.  The report discusses the Bureau’s examination findings in the areas of automobile loan servicing, deposits, mortgage loan servicing, and remittances.  In this blog post, we focus on the Bureau’s findings relating to auto loan servicing.  (We will discuss the Bureau’s other findings in a separate blog post.)… Continue Reading

If you’ve followed the status of the CFPB’s enforcement actions under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act related to auto dealer finance charge participation, you probably would have concluded that those cases are unlikely to resurface.  Not only did Congress override the CFPB’s Bulletin describing the underlying legal theory, but then the Bureau’s new leadership made a statement immediately thereafter describing the cases as an “overreach.”… Continue Reading

Yesterday afternoon, President Trump signed into law S.J. Res. 57, the joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that disapproves the CFPB’s Bulletin 2013-2 regarding “Indirect Auto Lending and Compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.”  The Government Accountability Office had determined that the Bulletin, which set forth the CFPB’s disparate impact theory of assignee liability for so-called auto dealer “markup” disparities, was a “rule” subject to override under the CRA.… Continue Reading

We previously reported that Congress might have the opportunity to disapprove the CFPB’s disparate impact theory of assignee liability for so-called auto dealer “markup” disparities because the CFPB Bulletin describing its theory was determined by the General Accountability Office (GAO) to be a “rule” subject to override under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). … Continue Reading