CFPB Publishes Spring 2021 Rulemaking Agenda

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The CFPB recently published its latest semiannual agenda of planned rulemaking activities as part of the Executive Branch’s Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.  The agenda lists the regulatory actions that the Bureau reasonably anticipates that it will consider during the period from May 1, 2021, to April 30, 2022.  This is the first rulemaking agenda published by the Bureau during the Biden Administration.

The new agenda lists two items as in the “final rule stage”:

  • Debt collection.  Due in part to the “societal disruption” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in April 2021, the CFPB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would extend by 60 days the effective date of Part I and Part II of its final debt collection rule.  Both Parts of the debt collection rule are scheduled to take effect on November 30, 2021. 
  • LIBOR.  In June 2020, the CFPB proposed amendments to Regulation Z to address the anticipated expiration of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR)—a commonly-used index for calculating the interest rate on variable-rate consumer credit products.  The Bureau expects to issue a final rule in January 2022.

There are three items recognized in the agenda as in the “proposed rule stage”:

  • Business Lending Data (Regulation B).  The Bureau plans to issue an NPRM for a rule implementing Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act.  The rule will be intended to “facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws as well as enable communities, governmental entities, and creditors to identify business and community development needs and opportunities of women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.”  The Bureau expects to issue this NPRM by September 2021.
  • Amendments to FIRREA Concerning Appraisals (Automated Valuation Models).  As part of an interagency rulemaking, the CFPB, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the OCC, the FDIC, the NCUA, and the FHFA (collectively, the Agencies) plan “to develop regulations to implement the amendments made by” the Dodd-Frank Act to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) concerning appraisals.  The Bureau estimates that the agencies will issue an NPRM in December 2021.
  • Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Relief.  In April 2021, the Bureau issued an NRPM to amend Regulation X to address the COVID-19 national emergency.  The proposed rule “aims to ensure that mortgage borrowers are evaluated for loss mitigation before servicers initiate the foreclosure process and to avert, to the extent possible, a foreclosure crisis when the COVID-19 forbearances end.”  The comment period on the NPRM closed on May 10, 2021, and the Bureau estimates that it will issue a final rule in July 2021.

The items identified in the agenda as in the “pre-rule stage” are:

The Bureau identifies the following issues as “long-term actions”:

  • Potential amendments to Mortgage Servicing Rules, including changes to loss mitigation-related provisions which would aim “to address actions required of servicers working with borrowers affected by natural disasters or other emergencies.”
  • Artificial Intelligence and concerns regarding use in the credit process, including “risks of unlawful discrimination and lack of transparency.” 

The next agenda will be published in Fall 2021, and the CFPB will update the Spring 2021 agenda through Fall 2022.

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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