CFPB Extends Comment Period on ECOA/Reg B RFI to Dec. 1
Bowing to requests by the Mortgage Bankers Association and other industry trade groups, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday said it will provide an additional 60 days for public comment on its Request for Information on expanding access to credit through Regulation B, which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
“The extension for submission of comments provides interested parties with more time to conduct outreach to relevant constituencies and to address the many issues raised in the RFI,” The CFPB said.
The original deadline for submissions was October 2; the comment period will now close on December 1.
The RFI (https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_rfi_equal-credit-opportunity-act-regulation-b.pdf), issued July 30, seek public input on “how best to create a regulatory environment” that expands access to credit and ensures that all consumers and communities are protected from discrimination in all aspects of a credit transaction.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B make it unlawful for any creditor to discriminate against any applicant, with respect to any aspect of a credit transaction on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or age; because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
In an Aug. 10 letter to CFPB Kathy Kraninger, MBA and nearly a dozen industry trade groups said the 60-day deadline was inadequate to address nearly a dozen issues presented in the RFI.
“A 60-day comment period does not provide sufficient time to meaningfully address the ten important issue areas presented in the RFI,” the letter said. “Comment on each one of these issues is vital to achieving a fairer and more inclusive marketplace. In addition, the COVID-19 emergency and shutdowns make the 60-day comment period even more challenging for all of us. For these reasons, developing thoughtful comments on each issue to help the Bureau achieve those goals will take more time than has been allotted.”
The letter also noted in addition to the importance of addressing discrimination in financial markets now, the last comprehensive amendments to Regulation B occurred more than 15 years ago.
“We believe that consideration of how Regulation B might be changed or clarified to ensure more equity and fairness should be done through a process that affords a greater opportunity for thoughtful public participation,” the letter said.
The Bureau said the RFI will help it continue to explore ways to address regulatory compliance challenges while fulfilling the Bureau’s core mission to prevent unlawful discrimination and foster innovation.