On September 3, the CFPB warned credit card companies against deceptively marketing interest-rate promotions, over concerns about companies luring in consumers with offers of reduced or zero interest for a specific purchase or balances transferred from another credit card and then hitting them with surprise interest charges. Release.
On December 19, CFPB and 49 states and the District of Columbia filed a proposed court order requiring Ocwen Financial Corporation, the fourth-largest mortgage servicer in the country, to provide $2 billion in principal reduction to underwater borrowers. Ocwen was previously charged with engaging in illegal and deceitful foreclosure practices and other violations. Press Release. Consent Order.
On December 24, the FDIC and CFPB announced a settlement with American Express Centurion Bank concerning charges of unfair and deceptive marketing practices related to credit card “add-on products” in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act. Together, the FDIC and CFPB will require restitution of no less than $40.9 million. The OCC and CFPB also announced actions against other American Express affiliated institutions for the same unfair and deceptive practices. Release. Order.
On December 12, the Fed, FDIC, CFPB, FHFA, NCUA and OCC issued a final rule that creates exemptions from certain appraisal requirements for certain higher-priced mortgage loans. The final rule provides that loans of $25,000 or less and certain “streamlined” refinancings are exempt from the Dodd-Frank Act appraisal requirements, which go into effect on January 18, 2014. Joint Release. Joint Final Rule.
On October 9, the Fed, CFPB, FDIC, NCUA and OCC issued a release encouraging financial institutions to work with borrowers affected by the government shutdown to provide workout arrangements. Joint Release.
On September 19, JPMorgan Chase entered into a consent Order of Assessment of a Civil Money Penalty with the Fed, the OCC, the SEC and the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom. The penalties issued by the agencies total approximately $920 million. The fine resulted from the deficiencies identified by the regulators in JPMorgan Chase’s risk management oversight, model validation, internal financial reporting and internal audit, and failure to elevate certain issues to the attention of the board of directors. In a separate action, the OCC and CFPB ordered JPMorgan Chase to refund $309 million for illegal credit card practices and to pay $80 million in civil penalties. Fed Release. CFPB Release. Fed Consent Order. OCC Consent Order.