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CFPB’s Semi-Annual Report to Congress

CFPB’s Semi-Annual Report to Congress

This week, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra testified before the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee for his semi-annual report to Congress.

In both, Director Chopra focused his opening remarks on CFPB actions in the financial data space, including alluding to an upcoming proposed rule under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to restrict the use of certain sensitive data and a yesterday’s medical debt proposed rule. Director Chopra also spoke on “junk fees” and the CFPB’s recent actions in the credit card space.

Overall, many of the senators on both sides of the aisle had questions related to the medical debt proposal and junk fees, with a few other issues peppered in. Auto finance and installment lending did not come up. Notably, during the hearing, Senator Cynthia Lummis  (R-WY) asked Director Chopra why, in a recent rule, the estimation for the cost of examinations was so low. AFSA wrote to the CFPB on this issue, noting that while the Bureau thinks it costs supervised entities under $30,000 per exam, the real cost is no less than $200,000. Director Chopra pledged to follow-up with Senator Lummis on this issue.

Senator Katie Britt (R-AL) pressed Director Chopra on Section 1071 rulemaking, asking him to refrain from publishing identifiable information and promise to perform a more accurate cost analysis on compliance with the rule. Director Chopra committed to Senator Britt’s privacy question, but maintained that the CFPB had used the best data possible for the cost analysis. AFSA has engaged with the CFPB numerous times during its Section 1071 rulemaking process, and expressed concerns about the privacy issue and the compliance burden.

On the other side of the Capitol, members of the House Financial Services Committee pressed Director Chopra on several pertinent financial services issues. Medical debt and junk fees were once again on the mind of many members, along with the auto loan data collection pilot program and the nonbank registry related to enforcement.

Both Representatives Bryan Steil (R-WI) and Warren Davidson (R-OH) asked Director Chopra to address privacy concerns related to the auto loan data collection pilot. Given the breadth of data points proposed, Director Chopra was asked to guarantee that personal and private information will be protected in the collection efforts.

In his response, Director Chopra emphasized that the CFPB has not yet made a decision on pursuing this data collection, and is still soliciting comment. Representative Dan Meuser (R-PA) mentioned in his remarks the CFPB’s estimation that complying with the pilot program would only take 20 minutes per company, which AFSA had shown in comments is a laughably low estimate.

Representative Roger Williams (R-TX) laid out pertinent arguments against the recently finalized nonbank registry related to enforcement. Representative Rogers asked Director Chopra to  justify the need for additional CFPB supervision when state agencies already have robust enforcement mechanisms and called the proposed registry a “proposed registry is a solution in search of a problem”.

June 14th, 2024

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