Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAPs) examination procedures

Published Oct. 1, 2012

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Summary

Unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAPs) can cause significant financial injury to consumers, erode consumer confidence, and undermine the financial marketplace. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, it is unlawful for any provider of consumer financial products or services or a service provider to engage in any unfair, deceptive, or abusive act or practice. The Act also provides the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with rule-making authority and, with respect to entities within its jurisdiction, enforcement authority to prevent unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices in connection with any transaction with a consumer for a consumer financial product or service, or the offering of a consumer financial product or service. In addition, the CFPB has supervisory authority for detecting and assessing risks to consumers and to markets for consumer financial products and services.

As examiners review products or services, such as deposit products or lending activities, they generally should identify the risks of harm to consumers that are particular to those activities. Examiners also should review products that combine features and terms in a manner that can increase the difficulty of consumer understanding of the overall costs or risks of the product and the potential harm to the consumer associated with the product.

These examination procedures provide general guidance on:

  • The principles of unfairness, deception, and abuse in the context of offering and providing consumer financial products and services;
  • Assessing the risk that an institution’s practices may be unfair, deceptive, or abusive;
  • Identifying unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (including by providing examples of potentially unfair or deceptive acts and practices); and
  • Understanding the interplay between unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices and other consumer protection statutes.