Debt Collection and Deceptive Practices Top CFPB Enforcement Targets


CFPB Enforcement Issues 2016

Debt collection violations and deceptive advertising and communications continue to be the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s top targets in 2016.

Two of the CFPB’s most frequently targeted issues from 2013 – 2015, illegal fees and loan servicing misconduct, were not a large focus in the first half of 2016. Similarly, the CFPB has not brought an action this year for credit scoring/report violations, which is a change from 2015 when the agency brought six such actions.

The CFPB has continued to increase its attention on the collection of fraudulent debts, a trend that began in 2015. Prior to 2015, only two enforcement actions involved the collection of fraudulent debts, yet in 2015, the CFPB brought five such actions. In the first half of 2016, the CFPB brought another five actions involving this issue.

Not surprisingly, given its attention to the issues above, the CFPB has continued to concentrate its enforcement efforts on banks and debt collection companies during the first half of 2016.

CFPB Enforcement Institutions 2016

What is noteworthy is that the CFPB has yet to issue an enforcement action against a mortgage company this year, despite targeting those institutions 13 times last year.

Finally, the number of enforcement actions involving individuals in the first half of 2016 is on pace with 2014 and 2015 numbers.

CFPB Enforcement Individuals 2016

Since 2013, when individuals have been targeted in enforcement actions, the majority of such actions have involved UDAAP violations. This trend continued in the first half of 2016, as UDAAP violations were alleged in 85.7 percent of enforcement actions involving individuals, up from 62.5 percent in 2015 and 71.4 percent in 2014.

The above data was derived from our Bloomberg Law CFPB Enforcement Tracker.

For more on the latest trends in CFPB Enforcement, please see our Semi-Annual Update.