The policy statement recognizes potential burdens for regulatory entities after they have completed the requirements of a consent order.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a policy statement on the process for early termination of administrative consent orders, recognizing burdens the orders can impose on regulated entities.
The policy statement outlines the early termination application process for entities subject to a consent order, which generally last five years, and the standards that the bureau intends to use when evaluating applications, according to a news release from the CFPB.
For a consent order to be terminated early, an entity should demonstrate that it meets certain threshold eligibility criteria, has fully complied with the terms of the consent order, and has a satisfactory compliance management system in applicable areas, the CFPB reports. These conditions are designed to minimize the risk of new violations of law by the company and to protect consumers.
The CFPB announced its plans to update the consent order process in December 2019, ACA International previously reported.
ACA is pleased that the bureau is poised to revise this burdensome and costly policy as many members and stakeholders have long raised concerns about the process.
According to the policy statement, which is applicable effective Oct. 8:
“In addition to reducing the burdens associated with consent orders when they are no longer necessary, this policy provides entities with an incentive to fully and promptly comply with bureau consent orders and to improve their compliance management systems to avoid additional violations. This policy also provides guidance to those subject to bureau consent orders regarding the circumstances in which the bureau may grant applications for early termination of a consent order.
Consent orders play an essential role in the bureau’s enforcement work by providing a public, enforceable mechanism to provide relief for consumers and to deter future violations, and the bureau believes that in most instances consent orders should run for their full negotiated terms. At the same time, the bureau recognizes that consent orders can impose burdens on the entities subject to them. For example, the reporting and record-keeping requirements imposed by consent orders can be costly and resource-intensive.”
Applications for early termination of consent orders should be submitted to the bureau point of contact specified in the consent order. In general, an application should demonstrate that the entity has satisfied all the conditions for granting early termination described in the policy statement, according to the CFPB news release. CFPB staff will review applications and make recommendations to the CFPB director about whether to terminate a consent order.
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