Last week ended with several new developments in the lawsuit challenging the CFPB’s final credit card late fee rule (Rule), both of which appear to reduce the likelihood that the Rule will be stayed before its May 14 effective date.

First, the CFPB filed a Petition for Panel Rehearing on April 18 and the Fifth Circuit has directed the plaintiffs to file a response by April 30. … Continue Reading

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) Director Rohit Chopra shared his insights at Consumer Bankers Association Live industry conference in Washington D.C. Reuters reported that Chopra told sideline reporters, “We are going to be looking into the credit card rewards market due to an increase in consumer complaints. What the marketing gurus and consultants are telling credit card issuers is that they should focus consumers’ attention on splashy rewards, but then withhold information from them when they’re paying lots of interest and could switch to a lower-rate card, even within the same bank.”… Continue Reading

On March 5, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued its final credit card late fee rule (the “Final Rule”). The timing for publication of the final rule was widely perceived as coordinated with the President’s State of the Union address, and in his March 7, 2024 address, President Joe Biden did briefly mention the Final Rule, citing the reduction of credit card late fees to $8 and adding “I’m saving American families $20 billion a year with all the junk fees I’m eliminating.”… Continue Reading

After targeting credit card late fees in its proposed rule, the CFPB has set its sights on further attacking credit card pricing through interest rates. The CFPB published a blog late last month stating that credit card interest rate margins are at an all-time high, with an average 14.3% margin in 2023 compared to 9.6% margin in 2013, and have fueled the profitability of revolving balances.… Continue Reading

In a new data spotlight issued last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) found that interest rates charged on credit cards issued by large banks are higher than interest rates charged on credit cards issued by smaller banks and credit unions. In a press release about the report, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra states that “the CFPB will be accelerating its efforts to ensure that consumers can access better rates that can save families billions of dollars per year.”… Continue Reading

On April 17, the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) issued a news release responding to the CFPB’s proposal to lower the credit card late fee safe harbor amount to $8.  The CFPB claims that, even though Congress banned excessive credit card late fees, credit card companies have exploited a regulatory loophole “to escape scrutiny for charging an otherwise illegal junk fee.” … Continue Reading

Nearly two months after it was issued on February 1, the CFPB’s proposal to make significant changes to the Regulation Z rules for credit card late fees was published in today’s Federal Register.  The changes include a substantial reduction in the safe harbor amounts and the elimination of the annual inflation adjustments. … Continue Reading

The CFPB has issued a proposal that would make significant changes to the current rules for credit card late fees, including substantially reducing the safe harbor late fee amounts that card issuers can charge and eliminating annual inflation adjustments.  After reviewing the legislative and regulatory history of the current rules, we look at the CFPB’s flawed rationale for reducing the safe harbor to a flat $8 for all late payments, identify the serious flaws in its economic analysis of the likely effects of the reduction, and discuss how the proposal relates to the Biden Administration’s junk fees initiative. … Continue Reading

A group of 17 Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee have sent a letter to CFPB Director Chopra regarding the CFPB’s credit card late fees proposal.

The concerns raised by the lawmakers in the letter include the following:

  • Commenting on the CFPB’s failure in 2022 to adjust the Regulation Z late fee safe harbor amounts for inflation, the lawmakers note that the CFPB “has yet to explain or justify why there was not an increase in the most recent annual adjustment announcement –a striking lack of transparency and accountability, and especially so in an era of outsized inflation.”
Continue Reading

We suspected something was afoot when December 2022 came and went without the CFPB announcing its annual inflation adjustments to the credit card late fee safe harbor amounts set forth in Regulation Z (which implements the Truth in Lending Act).  With the CFPB’s issuance yesterday of a proposal to substantially reduce the safe harbor amounts, eliminate the annual inflation adjustments, and make other significant changes to the Regulation Z rules for credit card late fees, we now know the reason for the CFPB’s inaction on the adjustments.… Continue Reading