Bureau puts hold on data collections during crisis; will reschedule exams, enforcement actions ‘to minimize burden’

Data collections are postponed on such items on home mortgage disclosures and credit card and prepaid accounts until further notice to allow financial institutions firms time to focus on consumer needs during the coronavirus crisis, the federal consumer financial protection agency said Thursday.

The agency also announced it would work with financial institutions to reschedule examinations “and other supervisory activities,” including enforcement actions, to “minimize disruption and burden.”

In a release, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said it will not expect quarterly information reporting by certain mortgage lenders under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Regulation C, nor will it expect reporting under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Regulation Z, and Regulation E for credit card and prepaid accounts.

For HMDA reporting, the agency said, entities should continue collecting and recording HMDA data in anticipation of making annual submissions. “The Bureau will provide information on when and how institutions will be expected to commence what would have been new quarterly HMDA data submissions,” CFPB said.

For TILA reporting, the bureau said the delay includes the annual submissions concerning agreements between credit card issuers and institutions of higher education; quarterly submission of consumer credit card agreements; collection of certain credit card price and availability information; and submission of prepaid account agreements and related information.

In addition to those postponements, the bureau said, it was also delaying surveys that:

  • Seek information from financial institutions on the cost of compliance in connection with pending rulemaking on Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act;
  • Gather data from firms that provide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to consumers for the purposes of implementing Section 307 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

“To the extent the submission of this information is required by law, the Bureau is issuing policy statements indicating that it does not intend to cite in an examination or initiate an enforcement action against any entity for failure to submit such information when required,” the agency said. “The Bureau will notify entities at a later date of when and how to submit information under these requirements.”

In the meantime, CFPB said, entities should maintain records “sufficient to allow them to make delayed submissions pursuant to Bureau guidance.”

Regarding delaying exams and other actions, the agency said when it is conducting examinations and other supervisory activities — and in determining whether to take enforcement action – it will consider the circumstances that the entities may face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and “will be sensitive to good-faith efforts demonstrably designed to assist consumers.”

CFPB Provides Flexibility During COVID-19 Pandemic