Semiannual report of CFPB activities through Q3 2019 published

A semiannual report of bureau activities from April 1 through Sept. 30, 2019, plus a look at areas of potential rule making was published Monday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and is likely to be addressed Thursday in a House committee hearing.

CFPB Director Kathleen (“Kathy”) Kraninger is due to testify on the bureau’s semiannual report during a 10 a.m. ET hearing Thursday of the House Financial Services Committee. [Kraninger also plays a role in regulation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), voting recently in support of a proposed Community Reinvestment Act rule revision that was led by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The Federal Reserve Board did not join in that proposed rulemaking.]

The CFPB semiannual report is largely a backward-looking document wrapping up activities and initiatives of the bureau during the middle six months of 2019. However, it also includes some information on plans for future rulemaking, such as:

  • A proposed rule in fiscal 2020 that would exempt from the higher-priced mortgage loan escrow requirement (Regulation Z, Truth in Lending Act) loans made by certain creditors with assets of $10 billion or less and meeting other criteria (as provided in the 2018 Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, or EGRRCPA).
  • A notice of proposed information collection related to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing (also under EGRRCPA, and following last year’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking; the bureau is considering next steps for a proposed rule).
  • A proposed, limited extension of the GSE patch under the Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act) qualified mortgage (QM) provisions in the ability-to-repay mortgage rules. The QM rules currently consider certain loans eligible for purchase or guarantee by two housing government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – as meeting the ATR requirements, but this “patch” is set by statute to expire Jan. 10, 2021. The bureau says it will allow this to expire but will issue a proposed rule to revise the general QM definition; it also plans to propose a “limited extension” of the expiration date only as needed for a smooth, orderly transition.
  • A proposed rule in July on various aspects of a 2015 final rule revising requirements under Regulation C (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, or HMDA). The bureau sought comments last May on the costs and benefits of collecting and reporting the data points in the 2015 rule and certain preexisting data points that the rule revised.
  • A proposed rule, also in July, regarding public release of HMDA data (following a December 2018 policy guidance on modifications affecting the release of loan-level HMDA data).

The bureau has also delayed the compliance deadline for its payday rule provisions (the Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans rule) until Nov. 19, 2020; a proposal was issued last February reconsidering the rule’s underwriting of covered short-term and longer-term balloon payment loans.

CFPB Semiannual Report (Fall 2019)