Rescission of Statement of Policy on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act, 17695-17696 [2021-06967]

Download as PDF khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Specifically, the Statement provided that the Bureau, until further notice, did not intend to take supervisory or enforcement action against land developers subject to ILSA and Regulation J for: • Delays in filing annual reports of activity with the Bureau, which Regulation J requires within 30 days of the annual anniversary of the effective date of a developer’s initial statement of record (12 CFR 1010.310), provided that developers are making good faith efforts to file these reports within a reasonable time; and • Delays in filing financial statements with the Bureau, which Regulation J requires within120 days of the close of a developer’s fiscal year (12 CFR 1010.212(d)), provided that developers are making good faith efforts to file these reports within a reasonable time. The Bureau hereby rescinds, as of April 1, 2021, the Statement and provides guidance as to how land developers should now meet this obligation. The Statement expressed the Bureau’s recognition of the serious impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on consumers and on the operations of many entities, including land developers subject to ILSA. The Bureau issued the Statement to provide land developers with flexibility and reduce administrative burden. With regard to the filing of the noted annual reports of activity and financial statements, the Bureau believes that land developers have had sufficient time to adapt to the pandemic and should now be able to file annual reports of activity and financial statements without the flexibility afforded under the Statement. The Bureau notes that immediately following the stay-at-home orders issued by States and other jurisdictions, there was a drop-off in ILSA filings with the Bureau. As States and other jurisdictions have rescinded and modified stay-at-home orders over the course of the pandemic, the Bureau notes that land developers have resumed filing of annual reports of activity and financial statements without significant delays. In addition, because the Statement did not create binding legal obligations on the Bureau or create or confer any substantive rights on external parties, it did not create any reasonable reliance interests for industry participants. Additionally, the Bureau never intended the Statement to be permanent. The Bureau rescinds the Statement and reminds land developers subject to ILSA and Regulation J to resume: • Filing annual reports of activity with the Bureau, which Regulation J VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 requires within 30 days of the annual anniversary of the effective date of a developer’s initial statement of record (12 CFR 1010.310), and • Filing financial statements with the Bureau, which Regulation J requires within 120 days of the close of a developer’s fiscal year (12 CFR 1010.212(d)). The Bureau does not intend to take supervisory or enforcement action against land developers subject to ILSA for delays in filing annual reports of activity or financial statements with the Bureau, who make any such delayed submission by April 30, 2021 for the time period that the Statement was in effect beginning April 27, 2020 through April 30, 2021. Regulatory Requirements The Statement constituted a general statement of policy exempt from the notice and comment rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). It was intended to provide information regarding the Bureau’s general plans to exercise its supervisory and enforcement discretion and did not impose any legal requirements on external parties, nor did it create or confer any substantive rights on external parties that could be enforceable in any administrative or civil proceeding. This rescission likewise is a general statement of policy exempt from the notice and comment rulemaking requirements of the APA. It is intended to provide information regarding the Bureau’s general plans to exercise its supervision and enforcement discretion and does not impose any legal requirements on external parties or create or confer any substantive rights on external parties that could be enforceable in any administrative or civil proceedings. No notice of proposed rulemaking was originally required in issuing the Statement, and it is not required in issuing this rescission. The Regulatory Flexibility Act also does not require an initial or final regulatory flexibility analysis for this rescission. The Bureau has also determined that the rescission of the Statement does not impose any new or revise any existing recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements on covered entities or members of the public that would be collections of information requiring approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 17695 Dated: March 29, 2021. David Uejio, Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. [FR Doc. 2021–06968 Filed 4–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–AM–P BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1022 Rescission of Statement of Policy on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. ACTION: Rescission of statement of policy. AGENCY: The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is rescinding the Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act. DATES: This rescission is applicable on April 1, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mehul Madia, Division of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending, at (202) 435–7104. If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact CFPB_Accessibility@ cfpb.gov. SUMMARY: On April 1, 2020, the Bureau issued a statement entitled, ‘‘Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act’’ (Statement), regarding the Bureau’s exercise of its supervisory and enforcement discretion in enforcing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Regulation V.1 Specifically, the statement highlights furnishers’ responsibilities under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and informs consumer reporting agencies and furnishers of the Bureau’s flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during the COVID–19 pandemic regarding compliance with FCRA and Regulation V. As part of that flexible approach, the Bureau also stated that it intended to consider the circumstances that entities face as a result of the pandemic and their good faith efforts to comply with SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1 https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/ cfpb_credit-reporting-policy-statement_cares-act_ 2020-04.pdf. E:\FR\FM\06APR1.SGM 06APR1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES 17696 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Rules and Regulations their statutory and regulatory obligations. The Bureau hereby rescinds, as of April 1, 2021, the portion of the Statement that sets forth the Bureau’s flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during the pandemic regarding compliance with FCRA and Regulation V, and announces its intent to exercise its supervisory and enforcement authority consistent with the Dodd-Frank Act and FCRA and with the full authority afforded by Congress consistent with the statutory purpose and objectives of the Bureau. This rescission does not apply to the portion of the Statement that is under the heading ‘‘Furnishing Consumer Information Impacted by COVID–19.’’ The Statement expressed the Bureau’s recognition of the impact of the COVID– 19 pandemic on the operations of many consumer reporting agencies and furnishers, including staffing and related resource challenges confronting consumer reporting agencies and furnishers and their counsel. The Bureau has concluded that since release of this statement such circumstances have changed. Since March 2020 and over the course of the COVID–19 pandemic, consumer reporting agencies and furnishers, have adjusted operations by, for example, shifting to a remote mode of operation. As States and other jurisdictions have rescinded and modified stay-at-home orders over the course of the pandemic, the Bureau has learned that many entities have resumed some level of in-person operations and, in many instances combined with more robust remote capabilities, have demonstrated improved business continuity. With regard to the temporary flexibility announced in the Statement, the Bureau believes that consumer reporting agencies and furnishers have had sufficient time to adapt to the pandemic and should be able to regularly meet their obligations under FCRA and Regulation V. In addition, because the Statement did not create binding legal obligations on the Bureau or create or confer any substantive rights on external parties, it did not create any reasonable reliance interests for industry participants. The Bureau continues to encourage institutions to meet the financial services needs of their customers affected by the COVID–19 pandemic.2 2 See, e.g., Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus (Revised) (April 7, 2020); Joint Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Mortgage Servicing Rules in Response to the COVID–19 Emergency and the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 The COVID–19 pandemic is a national emergency that threatens the financial well-being of millions of Americans, with particularly dire effects to communities of color. As the pandemic continues to unfold, compliance with consumer law has never been more important. We thus expect that institutions will adhere to consumer protection requirements, in their interactions with consumers. The Bureau’s statutory purposes include ‘‘ensuring . . . that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.’’ 12 U.S.C. 5511(a). The information from consumer reports is used to make many kinds of important decisions, including whether a consumer can borrow money or how much he or she will pay in interest to finance a home, a car, or a higher education. Consumer reporting information is also commonly used for other purposes too, beyond credit, such as to determine if consumers can rent housing or obtain insurance and, if so, at what price. In short, accurate consumer reporting has a profound influence on the lives of consumers and whether they will be able to take advantage of certain opportunities. Declining to cite conduct that is a violation of FCRA, and Regulation V based on the articulated principles in the Statement may skew the consumer financial marketplace, to the detriment of market participants who do not act in violation. To fulfill its statutory mandate, the Bureau has made it a priority to direct its supervisory, enforcement, and other tools to the prevention of harm to consumers from unlawful acts and practices. It is therefore more important than ever that institutions adhere to consumer protection and consumer reporting requirements and that the Bureau use its supervisory and enforcement tools to the full extent and with the full flexibility afforded by Congress. Accordingly, the Bureau hereby rescinds as of April 1, 2021 the portion of the Statement that sets forth the Bureau’s flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during the pandemic regarding compliance with FCRA and Regulation V.3 Instead, in its CARES Act (April 3, 2020); Joint Press Release: Agencies provide additional information to encourage financial institutions to work with borrowers affected by COVID–19 (March 22, 2020); Joint Press Release: Agencies encourage financial institutions to meet financial needs of customers and members affected by coronavirus (March 9, 2020). 3 This rescission does not apply to the portion of the Statement that is under the heading ‘‘Furnishing Consumer Information Impacted by COVID–19.’’ The Bureau does not intend to cite in an PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 discretion, the Bureau intends to exercise its supervisory and enforcement authority consistent with the Dodd-Frank Act and with the full authority afforded by Congress consistent with the statutory purpose and objectives of the Bureau. Regulatory Requirements The Statement constituted a general statement of policy exempt from the notice and comment rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). It was intended to provide information regarding the Bureau’s general plans to exercise its supervisory and enforcement discretion and did not impose any legal requirements on external parties, nor did it create or confer any substantive rights on external parties that could be enforceable in any administrative or civil proceeding. This rescission likewise is a general statement of policy exempt from the notice and comment rulemaking requirements of the APA. It is intended to provide information regarding the Bureau’s general plans to exercise its supervision and enforcement discretion and does not impose any legal requirements on external parties or create or confer any substantive rights on external parties that could be enforceable in any administrative or civil proceedings. No notice of proposed rulemaking was originally required in issuing the Statement and it is not required in issuing this rescission. The Regulatory Flexibility Act also does not require an initial or final regulatory flexibility analysis for this rescission. The Bureau has also determined that the rescission of the Statement does not impose any new or revise any existing recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirements on covered entities or members of the public that would be collections of information requiring approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Dated: March 29, 2021. David Uejio, Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. [FR Doc. 2021–06967 Filed 4–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–AM–P examination or initiate an enforcement action against any entity that did not comply with the FCRA and Regulation V requirements as described in the Statement between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. E:\FR\FM\06APR1.SGM 06APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 64 (Tuesday, April 6, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 17695-17696]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-06967]


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BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION

12 CFR Part 1022


Rescission of Statement of Policy on Supervisory and Enforcement 
Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in 
Light of the CARES Act

AGENCY: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION: Rescission of statement of policy.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is 
rescinding the Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices 
Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of 
the CARES Act.

DATES: This rescission is applicable on April 1, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mehul Madia, Division of Supervision, 
Enforcement, and Fair Lending, at (202) 435-7104. If you require this 
document in an alternative electronic format, please contact 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 1, 2020, the Bureau issued a 
statement entitled, ``Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement 
Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in 
Light of the CARES Act'' (Statement), regarding the Bureau's exercise 
of its supervisory and enforcement discretion in enforcing the Fair 
Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Regulation V.\1\ Specifically, the 
statement highlights furnishers' responsibilities under the Coronavirus 
Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and informs consumer 
reporting agencies and furnishers of the Bureau's flexible supervisory 
and enforcement approach during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding 
compliance with FCRA and Regulation V. As part of that flexible 
approach, the Bureau also stated that it intended to consider the 
circumstances that entities face as a result of the pandemic and their 
good faith efforts to comply with

[[Page 17696]]

their statutory and regulatory obligations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_credit-reporting-policy-statement_cares-act_2020-04.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Bureau hereby rescinds, as of April 1, 2021, the portion of the 
Statement that sets forth the Bureau's flexible supervisory and 
enforcement approach during the pandemic regarding compliance with FCRA 
and Regulation V, and announces its intent to exercise its supervisory 
and enforcement authority consistent with the Dodd-Frank Act and FCRA 
and with the full authority afforded by Congress consistent with the 
statutory purpose and objectives of the Bureau. This rescission does 
not apply to the portion of the Statement that is under the heading 
``Furnishing Consumer Information Impacted by COVID-19.''
    The Statement expressed the Bureau's recognition of the impact of 
the COVID-19 pandemic on the operations of many consumer reporting 
agencies and furnishers, including staffing and related resource 
challenges confronting consumer reporting agencies and furnishers and 
their counsel. The Bureau has concluded that since release of this 
statement such circumstances have changed. Since March 2020 and over 
the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer reporting agencies and 
furnishers, have adjusted operations by, for example, shifting to a 
remote mode of operation. As States and other jurisdictions have 
rescinded and modified stay-at-home orders over the course of the 
pandemic, the Bureau has learned that many entities have resumed some 
level of in-person operations and, in many instances combined with more 
robust remote capabilities, have demonstrated improved business 
continuity.
    With regard to the temporary flexibility announced in the 
Statement, the Bureau believes that consumer reporting agencies and 
furnishers have had sufficient time to adapt to the pandemic and should 
be able to regularly meet their obligations under FCRA and Regulation 
V. In addition, because the Statement did not create binding legal 
obligations on the Bureau or create or confer any substantive rights on 
external parties, it did not create any reasonable reliance interests 
for industry participants.
    The Bureau continues to encourage institutions to meet the 
financial services needs of their customers affected by the COVID-19 
pandemic.\2\ The COVID-19 pandemic is a national emergency that 
threatens the financial well-being of millions of Americans, with 
particularly dire effects to communities of color. As the pandemic 
continues to unfold, compliance with consumer law has never been more 
important. We thus expect that institutions will adhere to consumer 
protection requirements, in their interactions with consumers. The 
Bureau's statutory purposes include ``ensuring . . . that markets for 
consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and 
competitive.'' 12 U.S.C. 5511(a). The information from consumer reports 
is used to make many kinds of important decisions, including whether a 
consumer can borrow money or how much he or she will pay in interest to 
finance a home, a car, or a higher education. Consumer reporting 
information is also commonly used for other purposes too, beyond 
credit, such as to determine if consumers can rent housing or obtain 
insurance and, if so, at what price. In short, accurate consumer 
reporting has a profound influence on the lives of consumers and 
whether they will be able to take advantage of certain opportunities. 
Declining to cite conduct that is a violation of FCRA, and Regulation V 
based on the articulated principles in the Statement may skew the 
consumer financial marketplace, to the detriment of market participants 
who do not act in violation. To fulfill its statutory mandate, the 
Bureau has made it a priority to direct its supervisory, enforcement, 
and other tools to the prevention of harm to consumers from unlawful 
acts and practices.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See, e.g., Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and 
Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected 
by the Coronavirus (Revised) (April 7, 2020); Joint Statement on 
Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Mortgage 
Servicing Rules in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency and the CARES 
Act (April 3, 2020); Joint Press Release: Agencies provide 
additional information to encourage financial institutions to work 
with borrowers affected by COVID-19 (March 22, 2020); Joint Press 
Release: Agencies encourage financial institutions to meet financial 
needs of customers and members affected by coronavirus (March 9, 
2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is therefore more important than ever that institutions adhere 
to consumer protection and consumer reporting requirements and that the 
Bureau use its supervisory and enforcement tools to the full extent and 
with the full flexibility afforded by Congress. Accordingly, the Bureau 
hereby rescinds as of April 1, 2021 the portion of the Statement that 
sets forth the Bureau's flexible supervisory and enforcement approach 
during the pandemic regarding compliance with FCRA and Regulation V.\3\ 
Instead, in its discretion, the Bureau intends to exercise its 
supervisory and enforcement authority consistent with the Dodd-Frank 
Act and with the full authority afforded by Congress consistent with 
the statutory purpose and objectives of the Bureau.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ This rescission does not apply to the portion of the 
Statement that is under the heading ``Furnishing Consumer 
Information Impacted by COVID-19.'' The Bureau does not intend to 
cite in an examination or initiate an enforcement action against any 
entity that did not comply with the FCRA and Regulation V 
requirements as described in the Statement between April 1, 2020, 
and March 31, 2021.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Regulatory Requirements

    The Statement constituted a general statement of policy exempt from 
the notice and comment rulemaking requirements of the Administrative 
Procedure Act (APA). It was intended to provide information regarding 
the Bureau's general plans to exercise its supervisory and enforcement 
discretion and did not impose any legal requirements on external 
parties, nor did it create or confer any substantive rights on external 
parties that could be enforceable in any administrative or civil 
proceeding. This rescission likewise is a general statement of policy 
exempt from the notice and comment rulemaking requirements of the APA. 
It is intended to provide information regarding the Bureau's general 
plans to exercise its supervision and enforcement discretion and does 
not impose any legal requirements on external parties or create or 
confer any substantive rights on external parties that could be 
enforceable in any administrative or civil proceedings. No notice of 
proposed rulemaking was originally required in issuing the Statement 
and it is not required in issuing this rescission. The Regulatory 
Flexibility Act also does not require an initial or final regulatory 
flexibility analysis for this rescission. The Bureau has also 
determined that the rescission of the Statement does not impose any new 
or revise any existing recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure 
requirements on covered entities or members of the public that would be 
collections of information requiring approval by the Office of 
Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    Dated: March 29, 2021.
David Uejio,
Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2021-06967 Filed 4-5-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P