On July 20, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced the release of its Spring 2017 semiannual update of its rulemaking agenda, which is included in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (the “Unified Agenda”), published by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”). Submissions for the Spring 2017 update to the Unified Agenda were due March 31, 2017, so the information is already somewhat out of date. The CFPB’s updated rulemaking agenda is now available on the OIRA web site.
The Unified Agenda provides information on planned regulatory and deregulatory actions by Federal Government executive departments, agencies, and commissions, and, as set forth in a March 6, 2017 OIRA memorandum, is designed to “promote transparency and open government.” The Trump Administration articulated its intent to use the Unified Agenda to begin “fundamental regulatory reform,” reduce “unnecessary regulatory burden,” and amend and eliminate “ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete” regulations. The Unified Agenda defines five stages of rulemaking activity: (1) prerule stage; (2) proposed rule stage; (3) the final rule stage; (4) long-term actions not expected to occur within the 12 months after publication of the Unified Agenda; and (5) completed actions.
The CFPB’s Spring 2017 update lists 19 items on the Bureau’s regulatory agenda. All of the CFPB’s agenda items are in the final rule, proposed rule, or prerule stage. The CFPB has now issued final rules on four of the six agenda items it listed as falling within the final rule stage: (1) Arbitration; (2) Expedited Funds Availability Act (Regulation CC); (3) Amendments to Federal Mortgage Disclosure Requirements Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); and (4) Technical Corrections to the 2016 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z). The timetables for issuing final rules for the two remaining agenda items in the final rule stage — Amendments Relating to Disclosure of Records and Information and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)(Regulation P) — are September 2017 and November 2017, respectively.
Nine CFPB regulatory actions are in the proposed rule stage. Most notably, the CFPB’s agenda indicates that its initial review of comments on the proposed Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans rule (the “Payday Loan Rule”) was scheduled for completion in June 2017, but gives no estimated date for issuance of a final rule. Having received “more than one million comments” in response to the proposed rule, the CFPB may be hard-pressed to justify the issuance of a final Payday Loan Rule within a few months after completing its initial review of the comments if it is, in fact, “carefully considering” the extraordinary number of comments. Other estimated dates include the issuance of both a proposed Debt Collection Rule and a proposed rule for the Supervision of Larger Participants in Markets for Personal Loans by September 2017. Estimated dates included in the Unified Agenda, however, tend to slip.