Compliance EFG Companies Government Regulations

Targeting GAP

If you look at the flurry of GAP-related state-level legislative bills proposed so far in 2022, you could surmise that this consumer protection tool is under fire. According to American Financial Services Association Senior Vice President Danielle Arlowe, the organization has counted 30 pieces of legislation in 2022, compared to 14 bills between 2019 – 2021. These new legislative efforts join existing statutes on the books in 11 states which require the lender to refund a consumer who cancels financed GAP coverage.

At the federal level, officials have again raised the issue that bundled GAP coverage renders the auto loan to be under the purview of the Military Lending Act (MLA). The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Defense, and Department of Justice recently argued in the class-action lawsuit Davidson vs. United Auto Credit that loans containing a nonexempt product such as GAP would not be exempt from MLA.

These developments put retail automotive lenders in a difficult position. For example, the California Assembly Bill AB 2311 requires that customers be notified that GAP insurance is an option and requires that lenders automatically refund any GAP balances if the loan is paid early. Other components of the bill stipulate a cap on the price of the GAP insurance as well as banning its sale under certain criteria related to the amount financed. Arlowe believes the industry is at a turning point with GAP insurance and the relationship between creditor, dealer, and administrator.


We’ve Been Down this Path

Steve Roennau Vice President Compliance EFG Companies
Contributing Author:
Steve Roennau
Vice President
EFG Companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been in the news a lot lately.

From Acting Director Mick Mulvany’s decommissioning of the Advisory Committee, to a federal district judge ruling its structure is unconstitutional, some might think that the CFPB’s days are numbered.

But history has a lesson to offer, compliments of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC was created on September 26, 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Trade Commission Act into law. The regulatory agency opened its doors in 1915, with a mission to protect consumers and promote competition. The FTC building was finished in 1938, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt stating, “May this permanent home of the Federal Trade Commission stand for all time as a symbol of the purpose of the government to insist on a greater application of the golden rule to conduct the corporation and business enterprises in their relationship to the body politic.”

Currently, the FTC houses three bureaus:

  1. the Bureau of Consumer Protection
  2. the Bureau of Competition
  3. the Bureau of Economics

Each bureau has a set of mandates to guide its work. In the early 1970s, the agency became more aggressive in its prosecutions and sanctions. The business community and Congress criticized the FTC’s activism, claiming it had become too powerful, was insensitive to the needs of the public and business, and operated with little oversight from Congress or the president. During President Ronald Reagan’s first term, control of the FTC was moved under the president. Its direction was modified to become more cooperative with business interests, while continuing its consumer protective functions.

A Matter of Checks and Balances

Business Growth Compliance Featured

Staying Ahead of the CFPB Arbitration Rule

Mark Rappaport President Simplicity Division EFG Companies
Contributing Author:
Mark Rappaport
Simplicity Division
EFG Companies

When the CFPB was created, the Dodd-Frank law gave the CFPB authority to study mandatory, predispute arbitration agreements. Before the CFPB could do anything, they needed to conduct this study, report to Congress, and then propose whatever rule they deemed in the consumer’s best interest.

Last summer, the CFPB proposed a rule that would limit finance companies’ ability to use mandatory predispute arbitration agreements. Under the proposed rule, consumers would not be prohibited from participating in a class-action law suit. The CFPB also put a provision in the proposed rule that would require companies to report individual arbitration awards to the CFPB.

On July 10, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced its final version of the rule on arbitration. The final rule has almost all of the exact same provisions as the proposed version from last summer.  The rule specifically states that while finance companies may use arbitration agreements, they are prohibited from preventing consumers from engaging in a class action law suit.

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 231 – 190 to revoke the rule, using authority under the Congressional Review Act. A similar resolution is on tap to be debated in the Senate in the coming weeks.

While the rule is currently under debate, lenders everywhere await very eagerly for the final outcome. In the auto finance industry, the rule could put both dealers and lenders at a greater risk for class-action law suits.