CFPB issues innovation policies
The CFPB has issued three new policies to promote innovation and facilitate compliance: the No-Action Letter (NAL) Policy, Trial Disclosure Program (TDP) Policy, and Compliance Assistance Sandbox (CAS) Policy.
No-action letters provide increased regulatory certainty through a statement that the Bureau will not bring a supervisory or enforcement action against a company for providing a product or service under certain facts and circumstances. The Bureau has issued its first NAL under the new NAL Policy in response to a request by HUD on behalf of more than 1,600 housing counseling agencies (HCAs) that participate in HUD’s housing counseling program. The no-action letter essentially states that the Bureau will not take supervisory or enforcement action under RESPA against HUD-certified HCAs that have entered into certain fee-for-service arrangements with lenders for pre-purchasing of housing counseling services. The Bureau also released a No-Action Letter Template for mortgage lenders to apply for a NAL for any HUD-required MOU between the mortgage lender and a participating counseling agency under a Housing Counseling Funding Agreement.
Under the new TDP Policy, entities seeking to improve consumer disclosures may conduct in-market testing of alternative disclosures for a limited time upon permission by the Bureau.
The CAS Policy enables testing of a financial product or service where there is regulatory uncertainty. After the Bureau evaluates the product or service for compliance with relevant law, an approved applicant that complies in good faith with the terms of the approval will have a “safe harbor” from liability for specified conduct during the testing period. Approvals under the CAS Policy will provide protection from liability under the Truth in Lending Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, or the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.