The CFPB: Practice Tips and “OMG!” Lessons from the 2016 NACTT Annual Conference

Don’t ignore this topic; it’s important for bankruptcy practitioners to know about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and educate their clients (whether consumers or creditors).  Here are a few tips we learned about the CFPB at the 2016 NACTT Conference a couple of weeks ago.

  1. Consumers, debtors’ attorneys, and creditors’ attorneys really need to know about the CFPB!
    • The CFPB has supervisory, regulatory, and enforcement authority over various consumer financial services and laws.
    • Activities and entities covered include: debt collection, credit reporting, mortgage servicers, private student loan lenders and servicers, payday lenders, and many others.
  2. The CFPB website (www.consumerfinance.gov) has lots of useful information.
    • Debtors’ attorneys might want to print out some of the brochures and give them to their clients.
    • Everyone should peruse the Consumer Complaint Database to see what some of the hot issues are (like collection of medical debts). Consumer complaints are very effective.
  3. Creditors’ attorneys need to follow CFPB enforcement actions. Consent orders may not be binding on other parties but they offer guidance on what conduct the CFPB finds improper or unlawful.
  4. Recent CFPB consent orders with debt buyers and sellers offer guidance on issues that might be grounds for objecting to claims in bankruptcy. For example, one consent order demonstrated how a debt buyer took collection action against consumers based on inaccurate account records.
  5. The CFPB is expected to issue new rules governing debt collection (and on July 28, 2016, announced its proposal. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-considers-proposal-overhaul-debt-collection-market/).
  6. In the long run, the quality of claims filed in bankruptcy cases should improve due to the actions of the CFPB in its oversight of the debt buying and selling industry.
  7. OMG!: Attorneys are not necessarily exempt from CFPB oversight and enforcement.

 

3 comments

  1. I hope to see some CFPB individual advocacy and quick wins on the individual and/or state level in the future. Otherwise, I am afraid they are simply doing the slow-paced strategic-level work that results in regulatory reform other federal agencies/employees are already getting paid to do . I think the debtor/consumer expectation is that CFPB take immediate legal action and solve their consumer complaint; stand up for the little guy! (We could use a little help down here!)

    Liked by 1 person

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