As President Trump today signed a Congressional Review Act resolution invalidating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s 2013 guidance on indirect auto lending, CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney said the bureau would revisit its Equal Credit Opportunity Act regulations. “Given a recent Supreme Court decision distinguishing between anti-discrimination statutes that refer to the consequences of actions and those that refer only to the intent of the actor, and in light of the fact that the bureau is required by statute to enforce federal consumer financial laws consistently, the bureau will be reexamining the requirements of the ECOA,” Mulvaney said.
The CFPB’s 2013 indirect auto lending guidance sought to impose limits on how and what indirect lenders pay car dealers who provide financing and how much discretion dealers have to set loan terms and rates. Normally the CRA can only be used to invalidate regulatory actions issued within the previous 60 legislative days, but late last year, the Government Accountability Office formally ruled that the guidance constituted a rule, which — even though it was issued without notice and comment — was a general statement of policy with general applicability. (That ruling restarted the CRA clock.)
Mulvaney said the bureau would work with Congress and other agencies to identify additional guidance that might qualify for repeal under the CRA. “Today’s action also clarifies that a number of bureau guidance documents may be considered rules for purposes of the CRA, and therefore the bureau must submit them for review by Congress,” Mulvaney said. “The bureau welcomes such review, and will confer with congressional staff and federal agency partners to identify appropriate documents for submission.”