John Zasada, Compliance Consulting Director, Financial Institutions Group

On May 13, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued three Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about changing open-end lending (non-home-secured) account terms in light of the pandemic and Regulation Z requirements. The FAQs stated creditors may change account terms that help consumers without providing advance notice under Regulation Z. For instance, if you choose to extend an account’s grace period or reduce the finance charge or APR, you would not have to provide written advance notice.

If your institution enters into a temporary hardship arrangement with a consumer by telephone, you can provide relief by making an oral disclosure of the terms of the arrangement including those that will apply at the end of the arrangement. However, you must deliver a written disclosure of those terms to the consumer as soon as reasonably practicable after the oral disclosure is provided. In order to not have to provide advance written notice, the terms that apply at the end of the hardship arrangement must be as favorable to the consumer as the terms that applied prior to the beginning of the hardship arrangement.

For more information on how these new lending regulations impact your institution, please contact Doeren Mayhew’s compliance specialists.