Today's Trends in Credit Regulation

CFPB Watch for Auto Dealers
By Michael A. Benoit

August in Washington, D.C., can be slow, as illustrated by this month's report.

"Know Before You Owe" E-Closings Project

On August 5, the CFPB published a report on its "Know Before You Owe" eClosing project, which found that borrowers can benefit from electronic closings when navigating the mortgage closing process. Specifically, the results of the pilot indicate that those who close their mortgages using an electronic platform are generally better off on measures of understanding, efficiency, and feeling empowered than borrowers who used just paper forms.

In April 2014, the CFPB released a report that outlined the major pain points associated with the closing process - the last step before consumers are contractually obligated on their loans. The report found that consumers felt like they did not have enough time to review the documents. Consumers also felt overwhelmed by the stack of complex paperwork. Finally, consumers complained about finding errors in the documents.

The CFPB identified electronic closings, also known as eClosings, as one solution to address some of these pain points. Electronic closings rely on technology for borrowers to view and sign mortgage closing documents electronically. The benefits can include faster delivery of the documents and embedded links to help consumers understand specific terms as they come across them.

The report, "Leveraging technology to empower mortgage consumers at closing," is available at:

FTC Interested in Debt Collection

On August 6, the FTC announced the panels for its September 29, 2015, Dallas meeting on debt collection. The FTC will host a similar meeting in Atlanta on November 18, 2015. The FTC's first such meeting with debt collection industry leaders and professionals was held in New York this past June. The participants will discuss enforcement actions, consumer complaints, compliance issues, and industry best practices. Both events are free and open to the public.

News from the Complaint Department

On August 25, the CFPB released its second monthly complaint report, which highlights trends in the complaint data the Bureau receives through its Consumer Complaint Database. The monthly report includes complaint data specific to certain companies, overall complaint volume and complaint volume by state, and other trends in the data. Each month, the report spotlights complaints about a particular issue and complaints from a particular geographic location. This month's report focuses on credit reporting complaints and complaints from consumers in Los Angeles.

Michael A. Benoit is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hudson Cook, LLP. Michael can be reached at 202.327.9705 or by email at

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