Without a doubt, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act makes broad and comprehensive changes to the nation's financial system regulatory structure that has ripple effects across industries. Designed to promote financial stability and transparency, the law aims to protect consumers from abusive and deceptive practices and established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to oversee and regulate consumer financial products and services. Kelley Drye’s integrated consumer financial protection team advises clients on new regulations, what the changes mean for their businesses and how the CFPB enforces the laws. Our firm has been actively engaged in enforcement actions before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and CFPB on behalf of financial firms, and in advocacy before the CFPB on rulemaking and examination issues on behalf of debt collection and debt buying firms.
The firm is watching closely the progression of the CFPB’s various rulemaking priorities, including the arbitration rule, supervision into the credit reporting market, increasing transparency in the student loan servicing market, and expanding the reach and scope of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In addition, the CFPB will continue to rely on its authority to bring enforcement actions against financial institutions within its jurisdiction for alleged “unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices” (UDAAP). Much of the agency’s UDAAP enforcement follows the concepts the FTC has applied for decades. The FTC has transferred authority to the CFPB for consumer financial products and services, and the CFPB takes guidance from the FTC’s “unfair and deceptive acts and practices” jurisprudence. The two agencies share rulemaking and enforcement authority with respect to certain financial institutions, and the CFPB draws heavily from FTC jurisprudence for entities offering consumer financial products and services.
Kelley Drye is uniquely positioned to counsel on how the CFPB interprets and enforces regulations, given our attorneys' extensive experience working with and at the FTC. We are proud to count among our group former leaders at the FTC, including a director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, an assistant director and several FTC attorney advisors. This collective experience and historical perspective on FTC rulings gives us unique insight into the future of the agency and its enforcement activity.
On behalf of our clients, we pay particular attention to Dodd-Frank Title X regulations in the following areas:
Unfair and deceptive practices. Rules identifying unlawful, unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices in connection with any transaction for a consumer financial product or service.
Clear and accurate disclosures. Rules to ensure that the features of any consumer financial product or service are fully, accurately and effectively disclosed to consumers in a manner that permits consumers to understand the costs, benefits and risks associated with the product or service.
Single mortgage loan disclosure. Rules that combine certain disclosures required under the Truth In Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act into a single integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions.
Mortgage loan practices. Rules relating to unfair or deceptive acts or practices regarding mortgage loans, which may include unfair or deceptive acts or practices involving loan modification, foreclosure rescue services and reverse mortgages.
Debt collection. Rules with respect to the collection of debt by debt collectors.
Arbitration Provisions. Rules regarding the use of arbitration provisions between companies and consumers for financial products and services.
Kelley Drye draws on the experience of practitioners in the areas of consumer protection and advertising, corporate law, finance, government relations and public policy, and litigation in order to track developments at the CFPB, monitor regulations as they unfold, and advise clients on how best to react. Together with attorneys and advisors in the firm’s Government Relations and Public Policy group, we submit comments on proposed rulemaking and conduct informal meetings with regulators on behalf of our clients to ensure their voices are heard.
Outside the scope of the CFPB, Kelley Drye’s consumer financial protection attorneys offer a range of services for financial institutions and non-financial services providers, including finance companies, traditional and online merchants and telecommunications companies. If a business has any financial interaction with consumers, it may be subject to a host of statutes, some of which include the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Federal E-SIGN Act, the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, state and federal Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and federal and state consumer disclosure and notice requirements. We help companies minimize advertising and privacy risks, providing practical advice on fair credit best practices, data security, information sharing, payment programs and permissible cross-marketing practices.
Drawing on our deep bench of nationally known litigators, Kelley Drye offers experience in rigorous investigation, dispute resolution and litigation in responding to state and federal regulators, managing Attorney General and federal investigations, and litigating matters ranging from white collar criminal defense to defense of major national class actions.