CFPB Announces Flexibility for Financial Companies During COVID-19 Pandemic

Mar 31, 2020Federal Regulation, News

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced that it will provide flexibility for financial companies, allowing them to work with customers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. This includes making changes to the Bureau’s supervisory activities and postponing some data collections from the industry on Bureau-related rules.

The Bureau has “released prior guidance encouraging financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers and other customers affected by COVID-19 to meet their financial needs,” said Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. “We will continue to issue additional guidance and policies to facilitate the ongoing collaborative relationship between companies and their customers during this time.”

One such area where the CFPB is providing flexibility is by not expecting the reporting of certain credit card and prepaid account information under the Truth in Lending Act, Regulation Z and Regulation E. This includes submissions about consumers’ credit card agreements, as well as prepaid account agreements and related information.

The Bureau will also not expect quarterly reporting by mortgage lenders required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Regulation C. Mortgage lenders should still collect data for annual submissions, but the CFPB will provide further instructions on when to submit at a later date.

Due to operational challenges, the CFPB will work with financial institutions on scheduling examinations and will be conscious of good-faith efforts to assist consumers. Data collections and surveys were postponed as well, and financial institutions will not have to undergo any enforcement action by the Bureau.

“The pandemic is impacting the operations of financial companies that are eager to help their customers during this unprecedented time. Our actions today are temporary and targeted to support customers by allowing financial companies to focus their resources on assisting consumers,” said Director Kraninger.

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