CFPB Finalizes Advisory Opinions Policy; Announces Two New Advisory Opinions

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued on Nov. 30 its final advisory opinions policy to publicly address regulatory uncertainty in the Bureau’s existing regulations and provide guidance to credit unions and other entities on outstanding regulatory uncertainty.  Under the final policy, credit unions and other entities seeking to comply with regulatory requirements can submit a request to the Bureau where uncertainty exists.

Under the final policy, the Bureau indicates that any person or entity can submit a request for an advisory opinion via email to advisoryopinion@cfpb.gov. The Bureau will review the submissions received, prioritize certain requests for response, and issue opinions with a description of the incoming request.

The Bureau may also decide to issue advisory opinions on its own initiative.  To increase transparency, the Bureau will publish all advisory opinions in the Federal Register and on its website

In addition to the final policy, the Bureau issued the following two advisory opinions:

  • Earned wage access (EWA) products. The Bureau has been asked whether EWA providers are offering or extending credit within the scope of Regulation Z. The advisory opinion aims to resolve regulatory uncertainty regarding the applicability of the definition of credit under Regulation Z and encourage further innovation in the EWA space. 
  • Education loan products. The Bureau’s advisory opinion clarifies that certain education loan products that refinance or consolidate a consumer’s pre-existing federal, or federal and private, education loans meet the definition of “private education loan” in the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z and are subject to the disclosure and other requirements in subpart F of Regulation Z.  Lender compliance with these requirements will enhance the protection of borrowers who have taken out private educational loans.

 

 

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