On June 4, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a Consumer Financial Protection Circular 2024-03 (“Circular”) warning that the use of unlawful or unenforceable terms and conditions in contracts for consumer financial products or services may violate the prohibition on deceptive acts or practices in the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”).… Continue Reading

On April 17th, the CFPB issued a consent order to a for-profit training school alleging numerous violations of law related to its use if income share agreements (“ISAs”). According to the Bureau, BloomTech, Inc. (“BloomTech”) and the company’s founder and CEO engaged in deceptive and abusive acts or practices, violated the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and Regulation Z, and violated the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) Holder Rule.… Continue Reading

Our special guest is Jeff Sovern, Professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.  In March 2022, the CFPB announced that it had revised its exam manual to instruct its examiners to apply the “unfairness” standard under the Consumer Financial Protection Act to conduct considered to be discriminatory, whether or not it is covered by federal laws that expressly prohibit discrimination. … Continue Reading

On March 19, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) published a blog touting letters it has sent to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State Senate leaders, and New York State Assembly leaders to highlight the importance of a ban on abusive or unfair conduct that is being considered in pending New York legislation.… Continue Reading

On February 29, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued Consumer Financial Protection Circular 2024-01, Preferencing and steering practices by digital intermediaries for consumer financial products or services. The Circular advised that: “[o]perators of digital comparison-shopping tools can violate the [Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA)] prohibition on abusive acts or practices if they distort the shopping experience by steering consumers to certain products or services based on remuneration to the operator;” and “lead generators can violate the prohibition on abusive practices if they steer consumers to one participating financial services provider instead of another based on compensation received.”… Continue Reading

On January 24, 2024, a week after issuing its proposed rulemaking for overdraft services, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued its proposed rulemaking on non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees.

NSF Fee Proposal

Banks typically charge NSF fees when an item is submitted for payment against a consumer’s account and returned unpaid due to insufficient funds.… Continue Reading

Throughout the past few years, the CFPB has sought input from a range of stakeholders, including community-based organizations and financial institutions, for feedback about how it can improve consumer financial products and services for consumers with limited English proficiency (LEP).  As a part of these efforts, the CFPB has taken the following actions: in 2020, it published a Request for Information regarding challenges faced by LEP consumers and hosted a roundtable to discuss these challenges with stakeholders; in 2021, it published a statement providing compliance principles and guidelines on assisting LEP consumers. … Continue Reading

Earlier this month, the CFPB filed a notice with the Texas federal district court that it is appealing to the Fifth Circuit the district court’s order granting summary judgment to a group of trade associations in their lawsuit against the CFPB challenging the changes made to its UDAAP Exam Manual in March 2022. … Continue Reading

In September 2023, the CFPB updated its UDAAP Examination Manual to remove the changes it made in March 2022 which provided that unfair acts or practices encompassed discriminatory conduct, even in circumstances to which federal fair lending laws, such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, did not apply.

It has been suggested that this update means the CFPB has retreated from its position that discriminatory conduct can be the basis of a UDAAP violation. … Continue Reading

The CFPB  recently issued a policy statement in which it provided a framework for determining what constitutes abusive conduct under the CFPA.  After reviewing the definition of abusive in the CFPA and the historical background of the adoption of an abusive standard in the CFPA, we examine how the policy statement addresses each element of the abusive standard and share our observations as to the policy statement’s implications. … Continue Reading