House passes bill to nullify CFPB indirect auto finance guidance

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Wednesday, by a vote of 332-96, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1737, the “Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act,” which would nullify the CFPB’s indirect auto finance guidance issued in March 2013 and require the CFPB to provide for a notice and comment period before issuing any new guidance on indirect auto finance. (The CFPB’s 2013 guidance targeted the practice of “dealer markups” and indicated that the CFPB intended to use a disparate impact theory to establish an indirect auto finance company’s ECOA liability for pricing disparities on a prohibited basis.)

The bill also includes requirements for the CFPB when proposing and issuing such guidance to (1) make publicly available “all studies, data, methodologies, analyses, and other information” it relied on, (2) consult with the Fed, FTC and DOJ, and (3) conduct a study of the guidance’s impact on consumers and “women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.”

Earlier this week, the White House issued a statement indicating that it strongly opposed passage of H.R. 1737. Nevertheless, the House vote indicates that the bill had bipartisan support.

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