The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking comments and information from interested parties to assist the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law (Taskforce). The Taskforce is an independent body within the Bureau and reports to the Bureau's Director. The Taskforce is charged with developing recommendations on harmonizing, modernizing, and updating the Federal consumer financial laws, as well as identifying gaps in knowledge that should be addressed through research, ways to improve consumer understanding of markets and products, and potential conflicts or inconsistencies in existing regulations and guidance.
Taskforce webpage https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/taskforce-federal-consumer-financial-law/
The five Taskforce members, including one economist: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_taskforce-biographies.pdf
Comments should be received by June 1, 2020.
The Taskforce is charged with (1) examining the existing legal and regulatory environment facing consumers and providers of consumer financial products and services; and (2) reporting its recommendations for ways to improve and strengthen Federal consumer financial laws, including recommendations for resolving conflicting requirements or inconsistencies, reducing unwarranted regulatory burdens in light of market or technological developments, improving consumer understanding of markets and products and services, and identifying gaps in knowledge that the Bureau should address through future research. Where possible and within time constraints, the Taskforce's report may include recommendations relating to the 18 enumerated consumer laws and titles X and XIV of the Dodd-Frank Act, including those provisions relating to unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. The Taskforce's recommendations may include actions that the Bureau could carry out using its current authorities and actions that would require legislation to implement.
The Taskforce is considering what recommendations might promote the welfare of consumers in connection with the market for consumer financial products and services. The Taskforce seeks input from the public at this time to help identify areas of consumer protection on which it should focus its research and analysis during the balance of its one-year appointment. This Request for Information will be one of multiple opportunities for the public to provide feedback directly to the Taskforce and thus to help inform its recommendations.
The Taskforce is seeking information from interested parties on which areas of the consumer financial services markets are functioning well—that is, which areas are fair, transparent, and competitive—and which might benefit from regulatory changes that could facilitate competition and materially increase consumer welfare. To that end, this Request for Information asks a series of questions about the market for consumer financial products and services, with a special interest in the below markets (though respondents should feel free to suggest others):
Automobile financing (credit or lease)
Debt collection by third parties (collection agencies)
Debt collection by creditors (in-house collections)
Deposit accounts (checking or savings)
Mortgage origination and servicing
Small-dollar loans (installment, payday, vehicle title loans)
Student loans and student loan servicing
As articulated more specifically in the 23 questions in this RFI, the Taskforce is interested in information about how well financial markets are functioning for consumers. Efficient markets offer consumers a wide selection of products and services that meet their financial needs at competitive prices. Consumers can capture those benefits when they have truthful information about the prices and features of the products and services they seek. By contrast, markets that perform poorly are less likely to deliver products and services or offer them at prices commensurate with cost, risk, and other relevant considerations. Unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices deprive consumers of the benefits that transparent and efficient markets can deliver. The Bureau, through its enforcement of laws and regulations prohibiting such behavior, strives to rid markets of these impediments. It is important, therefore, that the policies, laws, and rules effectively target the problems they are intended to address.
Question topic areas:
A. Expanding access (Q1-Q6)
B. Consumer Data (Q7-Q10)
C. The Regulations (Q11-Q14)
D. Federal and State Coordination (Q15-Q18)
E. Improving Consumer Protection (Q19-Q23)