CFPB Seeks Comments on Pilot Advisory Opinion Program

Comments on the program would provide clarity on how to improve compliance to regulated entities and there will be the opportunity for public comments on the proposed program are due Aug. 21.

7/27/2020 11:00 AM

CFPBNewsAdvocacy
CFPB Seeks Comments on Pilot Advisory Opinion Program

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched a pilot advisory opinion (AO) program to publicly address regulatory uncertainty in the bureau’s existing regulations and is now seeking comments through Aug. 21, 2020.

“The pilot AO program will allow entities seeking to comply with regulatory requirements to submit a request where uncertainty exists. The bureau will then select topics based on the program’s priorities and make the responses available to the public,” the CFPB reports in a news release.

Comments are invited on:

  • Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility
  • The accuracy of the bureau's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions used
  • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

ACA International has advocated for clear guidance from the CFPB and appreciates the opportunities the pilot program will present for members and the accounts receivable management industry. In comments to the CFPB, ACA has expressed full support of the bureau’s desire to provide clear guidance, interpretation and explanation regarding the bureau’s expectations of regulated entities like ACA members.

ACA has also supported legislation in this area.

The CFPB’s improvements to the guidance processes, with the goal to provide clear rules to regulated entities, include “issuing more robust compliance aids and frequently asked questions as well as providing clarifications to individual entities. This pilot advisory program builds on those efforts, recognizing that the public widely would benefit from a process that provides clarifications broadly and not just to requesting individuals or entities,” according to the news release.

The pilot program will focus on four key priorities:

  • Consumers are provided with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions;
  • Identify outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations in order to reduce regulatory burdens;
  • Consistency in enforcement of federal consumer financial law in order to promote fair competition; and
  • Ensuring markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.

“Additionally, initial factors weighing for the appropriateness of an AO include: that the interpretive issue has been noted during prior bureau examinations as one that might benefit from additional regulatory clarity; that the issue is one of substantive importance or impact or one whose clarification would provide significant benefit; and/or that the issue concerns an ambiguity that the bureau has not previously addressed through an interpretive rule or other authoritative source,” according to the CFPB. “There will be a strong presumption against appropriateness of an AO for issues that are the subject of an ongoing investigation or enforcement action or the subject of an ongoing or planned rulemaking.”

If deemed appropriate, the bureau will issue an advisory opinion based on its summary of the facts presented that would be applicable to other entities in situations with similar facts and circumstances. The advisory opinions would be posted on the bureau’s website and published in the Federal Register.  

In addition to the pilot, the bureau also announced that the public can comment on the proposed AO program. Following the conclusion of the pilot, the proposed AO program will be fully implemented after the bureau’s review of comments received.

How to submit comments:

Written comments on the proposed advisory opinion program are encouraged and must be received on or before Aug. 21, 2020.

Comments on the proposed program, identified by Docket No. [CFPB-2020-0019], may be submitted by any of the following methods listed on the Federal Register:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: 2020-RFC-AdvisoryOpinions@cfpb.gov.  Include Docket No. [CFPB-2020-0019] in the subject line of the email.
  • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment Intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552. Please note that due to circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the bureau discourages the submission of comments by hand delivery, mail, or courier.

Requests for advisory opinions may be submitted via email to advisoryopinion@cfpb.gov.

For more information on how the ACA Licensing staff can assist with your licensing needs, please contact us at Licensing@acainternational.org  or call (952) 926-6547.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

CFPB Seeks Comments on Pilot Advisory Opinion Program

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched a pilot advisory opinion (AO) program to publicly address regulatory uncertainty in the bureau’s existing regulations and is now seeking comments through Aug. 21, 2020.

“The pilot AO program will allow entities seeking to comply with regulatory requirements to submit a request where uncertainty exists. The bureau will then select topics based on the program’s priorities and make the responses available to the public,” the CFPB reports in a news release.

Comments are invited on:

  • Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the bureau, including whether the information will have practical utility
  • The accuracy of the bureau's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions used
  • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

ACA International has advocated for clear guidance from the CFPB and appreciates the opportunities the pilot program will present for members and the accounts receivable management industry. In comments to the CFPB, ACA has expressed full support of the bureau’s desire to provide clear guidance, interpretation and explanation regarding the bureau’s expectations of regulated entities like ACA members.

ACA has also supported legislation in this area.

The CFPB’s improvements to the guidance processes, with the goal to provide clear rules to regulated entities, include “issuing more robust compliance aids and frequently asked questions as well as providing clarifications to individual entities. This pilot advisory program builds on those efforts, recognizing that the public widely would benefit from a process that provides clarifications broadly and not just to requesting individuals or entities,” according to the news release.

The pilot program will focus on four key priorities:

  • Consumers are provided with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions;
  • Identify outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations in order to reduce regulatory burdens;
  • Consistency in enforcement of federal consumer financial law in order to promote fair competition; and
  • Ensuring markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.

“Additionally, initial factors weighing for the appropriateness of an AO include: that the interpretive issue has been noted during prior bureau examinations as one that might benefit from additional regulatory clarity; that the issue is one of substantive importance or impact or one whose clarification would provide significant benefit; and/or that the issue concerns an ambiguity that the bureau has not previously addressed through an interpretive rule or other authoritative source,” according to the CFPB. “There will be a strong presumption against appropriateness of an AO for issues that are the subject of an ongoing investigation or enforcement action or the subject of an ongoing or planned rulemaking.”

If deemed appropriate, the bureau will issue an advisory opinion based on its summary of the facts presented that would be applicable to other entities in situations with similar facts and circumstances. The advisory opinions would be posted on the bureau’s website and published in the Federal Register.  

In addition to the pilot, the bureau also announced that the public can comment on the proposed AO program. Following the conclusion of the pilot, the proposed AO program will be fully implemented after the bureau’s review of comments received.

How to submit comments:

Written comments on the proposed advisory opinion program are encouraged and must be received on or before Aug. 21, 2020.

Comments on the proposed program, identified by Docket No. [CFPB-2020-0019], may be submitted by any of the following methods listed on the Federal Register:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: 2020-RFC-AdvisoryOpinions@cfpb.gov.  Include Docket No. [CFPB-2020-0019] in the subject line of the email.
  • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment Intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552. Please note that due to circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the bureau discourages the submission of comments by hand delivery, mail, or courier.

Requests for advisory opinions may be submitted via email to advisoryopinion@cfpb.gov.

For more information on how the ACA Licensing staff can assist with your licensing needs, please contact us at Licensing@acainternational.org  or call (952) 926-6547.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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