House Democrats Raise Concerns about CFPB Auto Lending Enforcement

Posted on May 30th, 2013 in Consumer Finance, Federal Issues By BuckleySandler

On May 28, a group of 13 Democratic Members of the House Financial Services Committee sent a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray seeking “any and all background information about . . . [the CFPB’s] investigation into alleged practices within the auto lending industry.” As has been reported, earlier this year the CFPB issued guidance to bank and nonbank indirect auto lenders about compliance with federal fair lending requirements, and the CFPB has spent the past several months implementing that guidance through supervision and examination of lenders. In particular, the CFPB is focused on the practice by which auto dealers “mark up” the indirect lender’s risk-based buy rate and receive compensation based on the increased interest revenues. In their letter to Director Cordray, the Members of Congress remind the Director that vehicle ownership can be critical to a consumer’s ability to obtain and maintain employment and find affordable housing, and raise concerns about the impact of the CFPB’s auto lending enforcement activity on consumers’ access to affordable credit for vehicle purchase. The Members ask the Director to provide specific information about allegations stemming from investigations of auto lenders and the methodology the CFPB is employing to determine whether fair lending violations exists. They also seek additional information about the CFPB’s compliance expectations for indirect auto lenders with regard to dealer compensation policies. The letter asks the CFPB to respond by June 7, 2013.

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