Alert December 10, 2013

CFPB Ombudsman Releases Annual Report

The CFPB's Ombudsman’s released its second annual report detailing its activities from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. The report noted that the Ombudsman had received more than 1,400 inquiries in the past year—nearly twice as many as in the prior year. Most inquiries, according to the Ombudsman, were related to consumers’ mortgages. The report also discussed changes to the CFPB’s practices resulting from last year’s report (see December 11, 2012 Alert), including enhancements to the website and, of note, to examined entities, ending the CFPB’s practice of having enforcement attorneys on-site at supervisory exams. However, the enforcement attorneys will still be involved behind the scenes in discussions with the CFPB’s compliance personnel. The report also discussed the Ombudsman’s concerns about issues such as setting expectations for entities undergoing the examination process, among other issues. In particular, the Ombudsman recommended that the CFPB share with supervised entities the process for elevating concerns about the examination process, including providing information on the examination team and supplementing the template for information requests.