Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a Request for Information (RFI) regarding its rulemaking processes.

Download the complete RFI here. The 90-day comment period is expected to close approximately June 9, 2018.

Debt collection stakeholders have been engaged in the CFPB’s rulemaking process since 2013, when the Bureau first issued its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The Bureau makes it clear that it is not seeking comment on the content of any particular proposed or final rule, but is focused on process. Here is a summary of what they’re looking for:

Initial Outreach and Information Gathering

  1. Mechanisms used by the Bureau for gathering information, data, and feedback from stakeholders (i.e., industry, consumer advocates, and others) in advance of the steps outlined.
  2. Convening a SBREFA panel, when required, including the outline of the proposal under consideration and the analysis of potential impacts on small entities and regulatory alternatives that are released at the start of the SBREFA panel process; selection of and interaction with small entity representatives during the SBREFA panel process; the SBREFA panel report; and outreach to other stakeholders on the basis of public release of the outline of the proposal under consideration.
  3. Consultations with tribal governments in certain circumstances, which pursuant to Bureau policy may occur through meetings, telephone conferences, and other forms of communication and outreach prior to issuing an NPRM, as well as through a formal request for comment from tribal governments and tribal members in an NPRM.

 Notices of Proposed Rulemaking

  1. The content of the NPRM itself, including the background section; Section-by-section analysis of the proposed regulatory text and commentary; Impact analyses for the proposed rule, including the qualitative and quantitative analysis therein, and the data on which they rely; The proposed regulatory text and commentary, and, relatedly, the level of detail and the quantity of examples contained in proposed commentary.
  2. The Bureau’s issuance of the NPRM, including the Bureau’s general practice of releasing the NPRM on its website in advance of publication in the Federal Register, and supporting materials the Bureau may release simultaneously with an NPRM, such as a press release or blog post.
  3. Comment periods for NPRMs, including the length of the comment period and extensions of comment periods in certain circumstances, whether and in what circumstances the Bureau should provide “reply periods” for commenters to review and formally respond to other commenters’ comment letters, and whether and to what extent the Bureau should consider comments received after the close of the comment period.
  4. Mechanisms for encouraging additional feedback on all or part of a NPRM.
  5. The Bureau’s processing and posting of comments received to its electronic docket on
  6. Outreach and engagement by the Bureau during and after the comment period, including meetings with stakeholders, and disclosure of such communications under the Bureau’s ex parte policy.
  7. Consideration of new data, studies, and reports issued by other agencies or third parties after the NPRM is released.

Final Rules

  1. The content of the notice issuing the final rule, including each of the elements listed above in topic 4 (for NPRMs) as well as the Bureau’s explanation of its rationale for the final rule, the discussion in the section-by-section analysis about the final rule’s regulatory text and commentary, the summary of and response to comments received on the NPRM (including those specifically regarding the impact analyses), and the explanation of changes from the NPRM.
  2. The Bureau’s release of the final rule on its website in advance of publication in the Federal Register and supporting materials the Bureau may release simultaneously with a final rule, which may include a press release, consumer-facing blog post, remarks by the Bureau’s Director presented at a public event or press call, other high-level or summary material regarding the content of the final rule, and select regulatory implementation materials.

On January 17, 2018 CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney announced that he was issuing a "call for evidence" to ensure the Bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers. Since then a series of requests has been released about activities including:

Also expected soon are calls for evidence on these topics:

  • Bureau Rules Not Under §1022(d) Assessment
  • Inherited Rules
  • Guidance and Implementation Support
  • Consumer Education
  • Consumer Inquiries

insideARM Perspective

While this latest request for evidence isn’t meant to cover specific industry issues, it’s worth mentioning that last week the Consumer Lending Subcommittee of the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board met to discuss debt collection. Committee member input was predictable, but clearly identified the latest arguments.

As I mentioned in a recent perspective, this is a critical time for the ARM industry, from creditors to collection agencies, debt buyers, attorneys and service/technology providers. There has probably not been such an opportunity in decades for your voice to be heard and to make an impact. insideARM suggests one thing overall -- get involved.

Tags: CFPB