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Spring 2020 Rulemaking Agenda

July 01, 2020 / Source: CFPB

Spring 2020 Rulemaking Agenda

The Bureau has published its Spring 2020 Agenda as part of the Spring 2020 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions , which is coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. The agenda lists the regulatory matters that we expect to focus on between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.

Because the Unified Agenda planning process begins months before publication in the Federal Register, we set these goals for the Bureau before the COVID-19 pandemic emergency and resulting financial crisis. We have taken several steps in response to the COVID-19 emergency, even as we have continued to move forward with our other regulatory work, prioritizing activities intended to protect the stability of the financial sector and enhance its recovery once the public health crisis has passed, as well as protecting consumer financial well-being during and after the COVID-19 emergency.

The Spring 2020 Unified Agenda announces our plan to issue a number of proposed or final rules in May and June 2020. During those months, we issued:

  • final rule amending the Bureau’s Remittance Rule to provide tailored exceptions that permit certain insured institutions to disclose estimates instead of exact amounts to consumers in certain circumstances. The final rule also increases (from 100 remittance transfers to 500 remittance transfers annually) the safe harbor threshold under which a person is deemed not to be providing remittance transfers in the normal course of business and is therefore not subject to the Remittance Rule.
  • proposed rule to address the anticipated discontinuation of LIBOR, to facilitate compliance by open-end and closed-end creditors and to lessen the financial impact to consumers by providing examples of replacement indices that meet Regulation Z requirements.
  • Two proposed rules concerning possible amendments to the qualified mortgage provisions of Regulation Z. One of these proposed rules would amend the definition of general qualified mortgages (QMs) to move away from the current 43 percent debt-to-income requirement and to instead establish a pricing threshold, for loans to qualify as QMs. General QM loans would still have to meet the statutory criteria for QM status, including restrictions related to loan features, up-front costs, and underwriting. The second proposed rule would extend the expiration date for a temporary exemption to this category of QMs for a short period, known as the Patch, until the effective date of the proposed alternative or until either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or both, exit conservatorship, whichever comes first. This extension would help avoid any gap between the expiration of the temporary exemption and the effective date of the finalization of the broader rulemaking on the definition of general QMs.
  • An extension to August 4, 2020, for the public to file comments on a supplemental proposed rule related to time-barred debt disclosures; the proposed rule was published in early 2020 after completion of consumer testing.

In addition to continuing to move these and other pending regulations forward, we also have several other regulatory activities planned for the remainder of 2020 through the spring of 2021. Key among these are the following:

  • A proposed rule to implement section 108 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (EGRRCPA), which requires the Bureau to conduct a rulemaking to exempt certain loans from the escrow requirements applicable to higher-priced mortgage loans if they are made by certain creditors with assets of $10 billion or less and that meet other criteria.
  • In September 2020, we will take a significant step forward toward implementing section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which amended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require, subject to rules prescribed by the Bureau, financial institutions to collect, report, and make public certain information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. In advance of an October convening of a panel under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, the Bureau will publicly release materials that the panel will discuss with representatives of small entities likely to be directly affected by the Bureau’s rule to implement section 1071.
  • In the fall of 2020, we expect to propose two new rules under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). One of these proposed rules follows up on a May 2019 advance notice of proposed rulemaking concerning certain data points that are reported under the 2015 HMDA rule and coverage of certain business or commercial purpose loans. The second addresses the public disclosure of HMDA data, in light of consumer privacy interests.
  • The Bureau expects to take final action in October 2020 with regard to the May 2019 proposed rule that would prescribe rules under Regulation F to govern the activities of debt collectors, as that term is defined under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Bureau’s proposed rule would, among other things, address communications in connection with debt collection; and interpret and apply prohibitions on harassment or abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices in debt collection. At a later date, the Bureau also plans to take final action on its supplemental proposal issued in February 2020, which addressed time-barred debt disclosures. The Bureau extended the deadline for comments on that proposal to August 4, 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Finally, the Bureau is considering issuing later this year a proposed rule proposing a new “seasoning” definition of QM. This definition would create an alternative pathway to QM safe-harbor status for certain mortgages when the borrower has consistently made timely payments for a period.

In addition to these planned CFPB rulemakings, the Bureau is participating in interagency rulemaking processes with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency 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 FIRREA amendments require implementing regulations for quality control standards for automated valuation models (AVMs). The Agencies will work to develop a proposed rule to implement the Dodd-Frank Act’s AVM amendments to FIRREA.

We also are actively reviewing existing regulations. Section 1022(d) of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Bureau to conduct an assessment of each significant rule or order adopted by the Bureau under Federal consumer financial law and publish a report of each assessment not later than 5 years after the effective date of the subject rule or order. The Bureau is conducting an assessment of its Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Rule and certain amendments. The Bureau will issue its TRID Rule assessment report no later than October 2020. In addition, we expect to conduct an additional review pursuant to section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which requires the Bureau to consider the effect on small entities of certain rules it promulgates. Specifically, we anticipate conducting a review of Regulation Z rules that implement the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.

Finally, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, we will continue to monitor markets for consumer financial products and services to identify risks to consumers and the proper functioning of such markets. Our market monitoring work assists in identifying issues for potential future rulemaking work.

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