CFPB issues third annual Plain Writing Act compliance report


The CFPB has issued its third annual Plain Writing Act compliance report. Under the PWA, federal “executive agencies,” including the CFPB, are required to use plain language in documents that: are necessary for obtaining information about a federal government benefit or service or filing taxes; provide information about a federal government benefit or service; or explain to the public how to comply with a requirement that the federal government administers or enforces.

The report discusses the CFPB’s efforts to comply with the PWA and promote the use of plain writing in its communications. Those efforts include:

  • Adoption of plain language “as a core principal” for all of the CFPB’s printed and online consumer-facing content.
  • Although the PWA does not apply to regulations, making available plain language summaries of the CFPB’s proposed or final consumer protection regulations (with the CFPB citing to the summaries it has issued in connection with its mortgage and remittance transfer rules)
  • For technical or specialized documents that target a specific audience, publishing plain language summaries of such documents when the CFPB believes they will impact consumers’ behavior or understanding of their rights under federal consumer financial laws.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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