CFPB Director announces indirect auto finance proxy methodology white paper …

On June 18, in an appearance before the House Financial Services Committee, CFPB Director Richard Cordray stated that later this summer the CFPB hopes to release a white paper on the proxy methodology it employs to identify alleged discrimination in indirect auto financing. The white paper follows repeated attempts by members of the Committee to force the CFPB to reveal more details about its approach to indirect auto finance enforcement. Director Cordray also revealed that the CFPB is working on a white paper regarding manufactured housing finance.

The hearing covered numerous additional topics, some of which overlapped with those addressed during Mr. Cordrays recent appearance before the Senate Banking Committee. Among the new issues raised before the House Committee, Mr. Cordray expressed openness to developing a limited advisory opinion process for the CFPB. In response to a question from Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Mr. Cordray explained that the CFPB regularly provides informal advisory opinions. He acknowledged other agencies use of advisory opinions and their potential benefit, and indicated that advisory opinions could be a useful tool for the CFPB on certain specific issues. Nevertheless, he resisted committing to the implementation of a formal advisory opinion process. The Committee recently approved, along party lines, legislation that would require the CFPB to establish an advisory opinion process.

In response to criticism from Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) about the pace of an anticipated Military Lending Act (MLA) rulemaking, Mr. Cordray promised that the Department of Defenses (DOD) proposal to revise the Military Lending Act regulations is nearly ready for submission to the OMB. The DOD recently released a report that previewed the forthcoming rulemaking.

Finally, Director Cordray also fielded a significant volume of questions regarding the CFPBs collection and use of data, a continuing area of focus for the Committees Republican majority.

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