The CFPB & UDAAP: A "Know It When You See It" Standard?

West LegalEdcenter Webinar

01/22/2015 01:00 p.m. - 02:00 p.m. EST

Banking + Financial Services, Financial Institutions + Financial Services, Financial Services Litigation, and Financial Services Enforcement

Nancy R. Thomas

Nancy R. Thomas


Harrison Lawrence
(212) 336-4004

Institutions regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and subject to its enforcement authority are dealing with of the agency's sweeping authority to prohibit unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices (UDAAP). To date, the CFPB has relied on this authority to open investigations, initiate proceedings, and enter into a number of broad-ranging consent orders requiring regulated entities to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution and penalties. However, CFPB Director Richard Cordray has consistently indicated that the CFPB will not be issuing rules to define or describe acts or practices deemed to be UDAAP, choosing instead to define UDAAP through enforcement. Moreover, the CFPB has made it clear that complying with all applicable federal consumer financial protection laws and regulations is not enough to escape allegations of UDAAP. In the agency's view, an act or practice may constitute UDAAP even if the regulated entity complies with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

The CFPB's approach at first glance appears to be "we know it when we see it," not only for actual acts or practices, but also for potential violations of UDAAP, given the CFPB's emphasis on self-reporting. Regulated entities must read the tea leaves, trying to understand how the CFPB will exercise its UDAAP authority based on the allegations in enforcement actions and CFPB statements in its Examination Manual and agency guidance. Although it's still early, some patterns and take-home lessons are emerging from these sources. This engaging webcast program will delve into:

  • Specific acts and practices the CFPB has alleged or identified as unfair, deceptive, and/or abusive;
  • CFPB Consent Orders based in whole or in part on alleged UDAAP violations;
  • Agency enforcement actions filed in federal court;
  • Specific prohibited practices cited in the CFPB's Examination Manual, derived in part from substantive statutes and regulations and previous FTC guidance;
  • Guidance in Bulletins and similar informal statements that reflect the CFPB's UDAAP priorities; and
  • UDAAP provisions in Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act and how the CFPB has exercised its UDAAP authority to date.

West LegalEdcenter will provide CLE credit.

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