CFPB Warns Credit Card Companies Against Deceptively Marketing Promotional Offers

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 chargesRelease.

CFPB, State Authorities Settle with Ocwen

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 ReleaseConsent Order.

FDIC and CFPB Settle with American Express Centurion Bank Charges of Unfair and Deceptive Practices

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.  ReleaseOrder.

Final Rules on Appraisal Exemptions for Higher-Priced Mortgages

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 ReleaseJoint Final Rule.