washington d.c. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its Supervisory Highlights Report on violations of law identified during CFPB supervisory reviews during the second half of 2021. The report details key findings on consumer financial products and services.
“While most entities act in good faith to comply with the law, CFPB reviewers identify violations of law that result in actual harm,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said. “We will continue to review companies to proactively identify and mitigate harmful practices before they become widespread.”
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the CFPB has the power to oversee large banks, savings banks and credit unions with assets exceeding $10 billion. dollars and their affiliates, as well as certain non-bank institutions, including mortgage companies, private corporations, student lenders, and payday lenders. The CFPB’s supervisory authority also covers large entities in certain markets, including consumer reporting, student loan servicing, debt collection, auto finance, international money transfers and other non-financial entities. banks that pose risks to consumers.
Surveillance reviews examine whether businesses are complying with federal consumer finance law. When CFPB examiners find issues, they share their findings with companies to help them remedy the violations. Typically, companies take action to address issues identified during reviews. For more serious violations or where companies fail to correct the violations, the CFPB opens investigations for possible enforcement action.
Today’s report highlights the results of reviews of practices in the markets for automotive servicing, consumer reporting, credit cards, debt collection, deposits, mortgage origination , prepaid accounts and remittances.
Unjustified automatic repossessions by repairers
As described in a recent compliance bulletin, reviews found that some repairers engaged in unfair acts or practices in repossessing vehicles, even after consumers took intentional steps to prevent repossessions.
The timing of autofills is usually a surprise to consumers. They often lose personal property when the vehicle is repossessed or are unable to keep their jobs due to lack of transportation. They also incur other significant costs, including the cost of finding alternate transportation, the cost of repossessing, and negative marks on their credit reports.
In some reviews, reviewers found auto repairers engaged in unfair omissions to obtain refunds for borrowers for add-on products that no longer offered benefits. In other cases, they’ve found auto repairers misleading consumers about their final payment amounts after their normal payments were delayed due to financial hardship — largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Failure of Credit Reporting Companies to Conduct Reasonable Investigations of Disputed Debts
The credit reporting companies that collect and assess consumer information – as well as the entities, such as banks and providers, that provide credit information – play a critical role in people’s ability to access credit. Credit reporting companies are required to comply with several regulations to ensure that their reports are fair and accurate.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, when a person disputes a debt on their credit report, credit reporting companies must make a reasonable inquiry into the accuracy of the information. Reviewers found, however, that credit reporting companies generally did not conduct these investigations in a timely manner, nor did they review and review all relevant evidence submitted by consumers.
The CFPB released a report in March that highlighted how the credit reporting system is being used to coerce families and individuals into paying medical bills that may not be accurate, are disputed or aren’t even due. Federal law requires credit reporting companies to ensure that medical bills reported on consumer credit reports are accurate. If medical bill providers contaminate the credit reporting system with inaccurate information, the CFPB expects credit reporting companies to limit their access to the system.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that implements and enforces federal consumer finance law and ensures that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent and competitive. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.