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The Umbrella Gets Bigger: CFPB to Begin Regulating Auto Finance Companies

October 21, 2014 | by

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), one of the federal government’s primary regulatory enforcement agencies under the Dodd-Frank Act, recently announced that it will expand the scope of its enforcement umbrella to begin overseeing larger non-bank auto finance businesses. This move comes on the heels of a report the CFPB released earlier in 2014 identifying discrimination by banks in their automobile-lending practices; the report calculates that CFPB action will result in $56 million to redress discrimination committed against 190,000 consumers. This expansion of CFPB’s enforcement umbrella marks the first time that non-bank auto lenders will be regulated at the federal level. The CFPB estimates that “larger participants” of the non-bank auto finance market provided financing to more than 6 million consumers in 2013, and originated 90% of non-bank auto loans and auto leases. In addition to its concerns over discriminatory lending in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the CFPB also intends to focus on deceptive marketing tactics, improper credit reporting practices that violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and illegal debt collection efforts including vehicle repossession while loans are current or payment arrangements are in place. You can read the CFPB’s official announcement here; the proposed rulemaking is here, and the 60-day period for public comment ends December 8, 2014.

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