138

Document Sample
138 Powered By Docstoc
					     The Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau – What Schools
          Need to Know

                 APSCU 2012 Webinar

   Robert S. Lavet, Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC
   Jonathan S. Joshua, Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC

                            March 23, 2012
                           THE CFPB

BACKGROUND
  • Dodd Frank Act signed into law on July 21, 2010.
  • Under Title X of Dodd Frank, the Bureau of Consumer Financial
    Protection (“Bureau”), a unit within the Federal Reserve, assumed
    all consumer financial protection functions of the Federal Reserve,
    the OCC, the OTS , the FDIC and NCUA. Section 1061.
  • Designated transfer date was July 21, 2011.
  • Richard Cordray, former AG of Ohio, became Director on January 4,
    2012 through controversial recess appointment by President
    Obama.
  • Many employees transferred from other regulatory agencies
    (Federal Reserve, FTC, FDIC, etc.).


                                                                      2
                        THE CFPB, cont’d

CFPB Structure: Key Divisions
   •   Consumer Engagement and Education
   •   Supervision, Fair Lending and Enforcement
   •   Research, Markets and Regulation
   •   Office of General Counsel
   •   External Affairs




                                                   3
               CFPB POWERS

Rulemaking
Supervisory and Examination
Enforcement
Miscellaneous




                              4
                     CFPB POWERS – RULEMAKING

Rulemaking Authority
• Exclusive rulemaking authority over all Federal consumer
  financial law.
• Designated Federal consumer financial laws include TILA,
  ECOA, FCRA and the FDCPA.
• CFPB may enact rules to prohibit “unfair, deceptive, or
  abusive acts or practices.”
   – Expands the unfair and deceptive acts or practices doctrine under FTC
     Act by adding term “abusive.”
   – Defines “abusive” as an act or practice that:
       • materially interferes with ability of consumer to understand financial products.
       • Takes unreasonable advantage of:
            □ Lack of consumer understanding of risks, costs or conditions.
            □ Inability of consumer to protect interests.
            □ Reasonable reliance by consumer on a covered person to act in consumer’s interest.



                                                                                                   5
               CFPB POWERS - SUPERVISORY

Supervisory Authority
• Exclusive supervisory authority including examination
   authority over large depository institutions ($10B or more in
   assets) for compliance with federal consumer financial law.
    – Covers affiliates of large depository institutions and service providers
      to such entities.
• Authority over smaller insured depository institutions (assets
  less than $10B).
    – Can require reports but limited examination authority.
    – Primary authority over smaller depository institution compliance
      with federal consumer financial law.




                                                                             6
          CFPB POWERS - SUPERVISORY, cont’d

• Supervisory Authority over Non-Bank institutions:
   – Supervisory authority over certain non-bank institutions, who
     are defined through rulemaking as “larger participants” in a
     market for other financial products or services.
   – Supervisory authority based on complaints collected by CFPB
     that covered person is engaging in conduct that poses risks to
     consumers.
   – Supervisory authority over persons who “offer or provide” to a
     consumer “private education loans” as defined under TILA.




                                                                      7
              CFPB POWERS - ENFORCEMENT

CFPB Enforcement Powers:
  – May take enforcement action to prohibit unfair,
    deceptive or abusive acts or practices.
  – In taking enforcement action CFPB can:
     •   Issue subpoenas.
     •   Serve Civil Investigative Demands.
     •   Conduct hearings.
     •   Bring civil actions in state or federal courts against a covered
         person seeking civil penalty or other relief, including rescission,
         refund, disgorgement, civil penalties from $5000 to $1M per day.



                                                                               8
                CFPB POWERS – MISCELLANEOUS


Consumer Complaints:
   • Collect, investigate and report consumer complaints.
Monitor Markets for Consumer Financial Products and
Services.
   • Collect, research, monitor and publish information on markets for
     financial products and services to identify risks to consumers and
     markets.
   • Publish at least 1 report per year of significant findings of monitoring
     activities.




                                                                                9
                   CFPB AND SCHOOLS:
            SOURCE Of SUPERVISORY AUTHORITY
• CFPB has specific supervisory authority over any non-bank that offers or
  provide any “private educational loans” as defined in Section 140 of Truth
  in Lending Act (“TILA”). Section 1024(a)(1)(D).
• Schools that extend credit to their students may provide “private
  education loans” as defined in TILA and Regulation Z.
    – Schools that assess finance charges on extensions of credit are making
      “private education loans” unless term limited to 90 days or less.
    – Schools that do not assess finance charges but provide for repayment term of
      more than 12 months are making private education loans.
• “Merchant exemption” for sellers of goods and services who provide
  financing plans exclusively to their customers is trumped by specific
  authority over “private education lenders.” See Sections 1024 and 1027.



                                                                                 10
                  CFPB AND SCHOOLS:
            SCOPE Of SUPERVISORY AUTHORITY

CFPB Supervisory Authority over Schools that offer or make
Private Education Loans
   • CFPB may require reports and examinations to
       □ Assess compliance with Federal consumer financial law.
       □ Obtain information about activities and compliance systems or procedures.
       □ Detect and assess risks to consumers and to markets for consumer financial
         products and services.
   • CFPB Risk-Based Supervision Program
       □ Will exercise authority based on assessment of risks to consumers in relevant
         product and geographic markets.
       □ Will consider volume of transactions engaged in by school.
       □ Will consider extent to which schools are subject to oversight state regulations.




                                                                                             11
             CFPB AND SCHOOLS:
   SCOPE Of SUPERVISORY AUTHORITY, cont’d
• Other Requirements
   □ CFPB may pass rules to facilitate supervision of schools that make education loans.
   □ CFPB may require covered schools to generate, provide or retain certain records.
   □ May require background checks for principals, officers or directors, bonding or
     other financial requirements.
   □ Service providers to a school that makes private education loans also subject to
     CFPB authority.
• Coordination with State Agencies
   □ CFPB shall consult with state agencies regarding requirements where appropriate.
   □ CFPB may receive referrals from other federal agencies authorized to enforce
     Federal Consumer Financial Law.




                                                                                        12
     CFPB AND SCHOOLS THAT EXTEND CREDIT
   BUT DO NOT MAKE PRIVATE EDUCATION LOANS
   • Merchant exemption protects schools that only extend credit to their
     students where extension of credit not private education loan.
   • Entities that are covered by merchant exemption are not subject to
     the CFPB rulemaking, supervisory or enforcement authority unless
     exception applies.
Possible Exceptions to Merchant Exemption
   • Credit extended significantly exceeds market of educational services
     value.
   • School sells the debt owed by its customers except where debt is
     delinquent or in default.
   • School regularly extends credit and credit is subject to a finance
     charge.


                                                                            13
      CFPB AND SCHOOLS THAT EXTEND CREDIT
BUT DO NOT MAKE “PRIVATE EDUCATION LOANS,” cont’d

   • Some commentators arguing that schools extending credit
     but not making “private education loans” should be
     designated as larger participants in a financial market.
      • TICAS comments August 15, 2011.
   • What about schools that arrange for banks to make loans
     and then repurchase loans from originating banks.
   • Exception to merchant exemption could be broadly
     interpreted by CFPB.




                                                               14
         PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR SCHOOLS
              THAT EXTEND CREDIT

• If possible, fit credit extensions within exceptions to
  “private education loan” definition in Regulation Z.
• Review TILA disclosures for compliance.
   • If “private education loan” 3 sets of disclosures under Subpart F of
     Regulation Z.
• Review State Law Compliance.
   • If credit extensions are “loans” make sure you have required
     lender’s licenses.
   • If online school extends credit - may need licenses in multiple
     states.
   • If credit extensions are “credit sales” make sure forms comply with
     state retail installment laws.

                                                                        15
          PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR SCHOOLS
            THAT EXTEND CREDIT, cont’d
• If credit extensions are “credit sales” may have to file
  notification forms with certain states.
• If you assess finance charges – comply with applicable state
  usury laws.
• Consumer complaints.
    • Keep track of any complaints about credit extensions and keep records of
      responses.
• Avoid loan products “designed to fail.”
    • High anticipated default rates may provoke CFPB scrutiny as abusive
      product.
• Perform due diligence on service providers and monitor their
  performance and compliance.
    • Debt collectors
    • Loan servicers
                                                                             16
                      CFPB RFI NOV. 17, 2011 AND
                        INSTITUTIONAL LOANS
CFPB issued RFI seeking data and information on private student loans.
RFI questions grouped into four broad categories.

    •   Scope and use of private loans.
    •   Information and shopping for private loans.
    •   Institutional Loans.
    •   Repayment.


Institutional Loans Data Points
    •   Comparison with loans offered by non-school lenders.
    •   Funding for institutional loan programs.
    •   How are students deemed eligible.
    •   What types of schools offer institutional loans.




                                                                         17
               WHAT REGULATORS AND CONSUMER GROUPS SAY ABOUT
                INSTITUTIONAL LOANS MADE BY FOR-PROFIT SCHOOLS

CFPB Director Richard Cordray

CP: Are you concerned about for-profit colleges? 1
       –        Cordray: “We are concerned about for-profit colleges—and we’ve said this repeatedly—because we’re concerned
                in general in the consumer finance market that the normal market forces may not be working properly….

       –        There are also forces at work [in] for-profit colleges where there is no attention to ability to repay—because there
                are other incentives to making those loans.

       –        We’ve seen instances when some of the for-profit schools are anticipating as much as a 50 percent default rate on
                loans they make to students. They’re not telling the students that, but they are disclosing that information to their
                investors. So there is a lot of concern.”



The Institute for College Access (TICAS)2

       – “Given the abundant evidence that some for-profit schools are offering or arranging
         private loans to students whom they know will not be able to pay them, and which are
         non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, we urge the Bureau to act swiftly to stop it.”
1Interview   with Campus Progress, March 12, 2012.
2Comments     to CFPB RFI dated January 17, 2012

                                                                                                                                       18
                WHAT REGULATORS AND CONSUMER GROUPS SAY ABOUT
                 INSTITUTIONAL LOANS AT FOR-PROFIT SCHOOLS, cont’d


   National Consumer Law Center3

            – “Federal and state regulators should review institutional loan programs for possible
              violations of unfair and deceptive consumer protection laws.”

   National Consumer Law Center4
          “As documented in NCLS’s January 2011 report, the planned default rate on these school
          loan products are shockingly high.”…The CFPB should examine these loans closely for
          unfair, deceptive and abusive acts or practices (UDAAP).”

   AMERICANS FOR FINANCIAL REFORM 5
          “In its ongoing investigation of the for-profit college industry, the Senate Health, Education,
          Lender and Pensions Committee has found expected default or write-off rates for
          institutional (loans at for-profit colleges in the 40 to 80 percent range and institutional loan
          interest rates as high as 18 percent. Such predatory lending cries out for attention and action
          by the Bureau.”
3NCLS Report- Piling it On: The Growth of Proprietary School Loans and the
 Consequences for Students, January 2011.
4NCLS comments to CFPB RFI, January 17, 2012.
5Comments to CFPB dated, January 7, 2012.


                                                                                                        19
           CFPB REPORT ON PRIVATE LOANS

• CFPB and Department of Education must submit Report
  on private education loans and private educational
  lenders before July 21, 2012.
• CFPB Director and Secretary of Education to consult with
  FTC and Attorney General on report.




                                                             20
         CFPB REPORT ON PRIVATE LOANS, cont’d

• Report to examine:
     – characteristics of borrowers.
            –   including type of institution of higher education they attend.
     – growth and changes in market.
     – characteristics of lenders.
            –   including whether creditors are for-profit institutions of high education.
     –   terms, conditions and pricing of private education loans.
     –   underwriting criteria including use of CDR.
     –   Adequacy of existing information and data to assess fair lending compliance.
     –   statutory or legislative recommendations to improve consumer protection.

• Information from RFI will be used in developing the Report.
• Predictions on Content of Report.




                                                                                             21
           CFPB STUDENT LOAN OMBUDSMAN

• Private Education Loan Ombudsman established within CFPB.
   – Rohit Chopra appointed – former McKinsey consultant.
   – Ombudsman to receive, review and attempt to resolve complaints
     from private education loan borrowers in collaboration with
     Department of Education, schools, lenders, and other participants in
     private education loan programs.
   – Establish MOU with Department of Education Loan Ombudsman.
   – Compile and analyze data on borrower complaints.
   – Submit annual report to Treasury Secretary and Secretary of
     Education.




                                                                            22
         STUDENT LOAN COMPLAINT SYSTEM

•   On March 1st, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) expanded its
    online consumer complaint program to accept complaints about private student
    loans. See, http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/




                                                                                   23
STUDENT LOAN COMPLAINT SYSTEM, cont’d




                                        24
   STUDENT LOAN COMPLAINT SYSTEM, cont’d

• Complaints about federal loans are referred to the Department of
  Education’s online complaint system.
• For private student loans, the complaining student enters a free-form
  description of the complaint and is then asked to categorize the complaint
  as relating to: “Getting a Loan,” “Repaying your loan,” or “Problems when
  you are unable to pay.”




                                                                           25
       STUDENT LOAN COMPLAINT SYSTEM, cont’d

•   Some of the items included in these categories are troubling. For example, in the complaint category
    related to “getting a loan,” students are invited to complain about “financial aid services” and “recruiting,”
    although such issues aren’t directly related to getting a loan and even though the CFPB has no jurisdiction
    over such school functions.




                                                                                                               26
    STUDENT LOAN COMPLAINT SYSTEM, cont’d

•   The complaint form also asks the student if the issue involves discrimination – students may
    allege discrimination simply due to the prominence of that option and because students may
    believe that discrimination claims will be taken more seriously.




                                                                                              27
    STUDENT LOAN COMPLAINT SYSTEM, cont’d

•   Even if a complaint relates solely to a private student loan lender and is not about
    a school, the CFPB nevertheless requires complaining students to enter the name
    and location of the school:




                                                                                       28
       STUDENT LOAN COMPLAINT SYSTEM, cont’d

•   The CFPB then prompts the complaining student to enter a free-form description “what
    would be a fair resolution of your issue?”
•   Allowing a free-form response may raise students’ expectations and make it harder to resolve
    complaints on any other terms.




                                                                                              29
  STUDENT LOAN COMPLAINT SYSTEM, cont’d

• Complaints are currently being shared with the Federal Trade
  Commission and state Attorneys General.
• The CFPB is developing a mandatory complaint resolution
  system for the major student loan providers and loan
  servicing companies.
• Schools without access to the CFPB’s dispute resolution
  system will be unable to find out about the nature or volume
  of student complaints or to inform the CFPB if the complaints
  lack merit or are resolved.




                                                              30
                         Thank You

Robert S. Lavet
Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC
Rob.Lavet@ppsv.com
202-872-6747

Jonathan S. Joshua
Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC
Jonathan.Joshua@ppsv.com
202-872-6745


                                     31
                    DISCLAIMER
This presentation is for informational purposes only and does
not provide legal services or advice. Use of this information
does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should
not act, or refrain from acting, on the basis of information
contained herein without seeking additional legal counsel
regarding your own situation.




                                                            32

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:15
posted:4/8/2012
language:
pages:32