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Posts from September 2012

Working to help industry understand and comply with the new remittance rule: Countries list and webinar

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Updated on August 8, 2013: The remittance rule goes into effect October 28, 2013. Visit the remittance rule page for additional information regarding the rule including the most recent updates.

The rule to implement the consumer protections created by the Dodd-Frank Act for certain electronic transfers of funds to other countries – the remittance rule – will go into effect on February 7, 2013. We’re undertaking a number of efforts to help industry understand and comply with the new requirements. These include: releasing a list of countries and other areas to which a particular exception to the rule’s disclosure requirements applies, hosting a webinar, answering specific questions, and releasing a small business guide.

What is the countries list?

The remittance rule generally requires disclosure of, among other things, exact amounts to be received in a foreign currency, fees, and taxes, but estimates of these amounts are permitted in several situations. One situation where estimates are allowed is when the provider cannot determine exact amounts because of the laws of the recipient country. We are interpreting the exception regarding the laws of a recipient country to apply to these countries and other areas.

Webinar October 16th

Join us for a free, 90 minute webinar about the new requirements for remittance transfer providers on October 16th at 2:30 p.m. EST. We’ll give an overview of the rule and answer questions about compliance.

The webinar should be useful for money transmitters, banks, credit unions, and other companies that send money abroad for consumers, as well as other organizations that work with or represent consumers who send money abroad. Agents, software providers, foreign banks and others involved in international fund transfers from the United States may also be interested.

Small business guide

In the coming weeks, we will release a small business compliance guide to give more help to smaller entities that have to comply with the rule.

Questions?

While we expect to answer many questions at the webinar, our team can also answer additional questions about the rule. You can reach us at (202) 435-7700.

What do you think about our draft strategic plan for the next five years?

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We have an expansive, vital mission: to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans. But, how do we do that with limited resources?

We’ll accomplish our mission by setting goals, establishing strategies, and measuring performance. Our strategic plan outlines this information and describes how we will focus our resources on the areas where we can have the biggest impact.

Check out our draft
Today it’s just a draft – take a look at our strategic plan for 2013 – 2018.

What do you think?
We want your thoughts and ideas on how to improve our plan. Weigh in by emailing your comments on the plan to StrategyPlanComments@cfpb.gov by October 25, 2012.

How will the Discover order handle refunds?

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As a result of today’s order, Discover will pay approximately $200 million in restitution to more than 3.5 million consumers.

How will consumers be refunded?

Anyone affected by this order will automatically receive a credit to their account, or, if they’re no longer a Discover customer, they’ll receive a check in the mail or have any outstanding balance reduced by the amount of the refund.

Consumers don’t need to take any further action to receive their credit or check.

If you have questions about whether you are entitled to a refund, please contact Discover.

As with any time large numbers of consumers get refunds, scammers sometimes pop up. Watch out for anyone who tries to charge you, tries to get you to disclose your personal information, or asks you to cash a check and send a portion to a third party in order to “claim your refund.” It’s a scam. Call us at (855) 411-CFPB.

Enforcing consumer protections by gathering information for investigations

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The mission of the CFPB is to ensure compliance with federal consumer financial laws through effective enforcement of those laws. When the Office of Enforcement needs to gather information, it may issue a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to people and institutions that may have materials relevant to an investigation. The law that created the CFPB gives us the authority to gather information this way, and several other federal agencies have similar processes.

We carefully consider what to request in each Civil Investigative Demand. A recipient of a CID may challenge a CID by petitioning the CFPB’s Director. The Director can respond in three ways: he can reaffirm our decision to obtain the information, modify the demand, or set it aside altogether. Director Cordray issued his first ruling on a petition this week. He ordered PHH Corporation, a mortgage lending company, to comply with the Civil Investigative Demand within 21 days.

Although we do not generally comment on confidential law enforcement investigations, we’re committed to telling the public what we can, when we can, about our work to protect consumers. That’s why our rules relating to investigations say that when someone challenges a Civil Investigative Demand and the Director responds, these are generally public records. We will generally post them on our website when we can.

Save the date, St. Louis, MO!

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Join us for the inaugural meeting of our new Consumer Advisory Board in St. Louis, Missouri.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, September 27, 2012, at 12:15 p.m. at Randall Gallery, 999 North 13th Street, St. Louis, MO.

We’ll have remarks from Richard Cordray, CFPB Director as well as the Chair and Vice Chair of the Consumer Advisory Board, board members, and members of the public.

This event is open to the public but you must RSVP. Feel free to forward this invitation.

To RSVP
Email cfpb.events@cfpb.gov with:

- Your full name
- Your organizational affiliation (if any)

See you there!