CDBA Submits Comment Letter to CFPB

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On March 19, 2013 the Community Development Bankers Association (CDBA) submitted formal comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to the Bureau’s proposed amendments to the Ability to Repay Standards under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z), as published in the Federal Register on January 10, 2013.

In summary, CDBA supports the CFPB's recognition of the important contribution made by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in serving underserved urban and rural markets. We fully appreciate the CFPB for recognizing the regulatory burden that could be imposed upon mission‐focused lenders. We urge the CFPB to proceed with the proposed exemption for CDFIs and other proposed exempted organizations from the Ability to Repay Standards under the Truth in Lending Act. CDBA believes the CFPB's proposed exemptions are a reasonable approach, which balance the protection of consumers with the need for an appropriate level of regulation of the mortgage market. While most CDFI banks are already exempt from the Ability to Repay Standards under other small or rural bank exemptions, not all meet the qualifications for these exemptions. All CDFIs are focused on serving the toughest most credit starved communities and should be exempt from the Ability to Repay Standards under the Truth in Lending Act. We urge the CFPB to be inclusive of all CDFIs under this exemption.

We do, however, urge the agency to address some drafting discrepancies that create confusion about how the CDFI exemption is to be applied. Specifically, the rule contains inconsistencies as to which CDFIs are covered by the proposed § 1026.43(a)(3)(v) exemption. On balance, it appears that the intent of the exemption is to apply to all organizations that are certified CDFIs. Yet, the language in some parts of the proposed rule are inclusive of all CDFIs, while others only reference a narrower group of “nonprofit” CDFIs or “nonprofit creditors.” To date, there are nearly 1,000 organizations that have been certified by the U.S. Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. While the large majority of those entities are nonprofit organizations, a significant number are for‐profit banks and for‐profit loan funds.

Read the full comment letter for the specific recommendations proposed by the Community Development Bankers Association.