On September 16th several trade groups signed off on a request letter written to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray. This is the part that caught my attention:
We appreciate the Bureau offering oral guidance through webinars, and other channels. However, due to the complexity of the rule, we strongly recommend that the Bureau also provide reliable, written guidance on issues. Reliable, written guidance is essential for lenders, settlement service providers, insurers, investors and other secondary market entities, regulators, and ultimately, consumers themselves.
While the current CFPB webinars are useful in answering questions, it would be even more useful if the answers given were also provided in writing by the Bureau. While notice and comment rulemaking is a preferred approach, we think sufficient stakeholder input can be provided even in a nimble guidance process. For example, prior to or following such transcription, stakeholders could be afforded an opportunity for comment on the answers with final answers issued thereafter.
In sum, uniform written guidance developed with stakeholders’ input that can be relied upon will further fair competition and minimize the possibility of undue liability increasing costs. Most importantly, it will ensure that consumers will not be harmed by unnecessary confusion. The Bureau should memorialize its answers to questions on its public website along with other written guidance.
I concur! While I certainly don’t want 300+ questions and answers like we had for RESPA in 2010, we’ve got to have some sort of written guidance for what’s not addressed in the either the regulation, commentary or Small Entity Guide for the reasons stated in the excerpt above. I hope the CFPB honors the request.