ALTA Supports Bipartisan Bill Requiring CFPB to Issue Useful, Timely Regulatory Guidance

April 19, 2018

U.S. Reps. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) on April 18 introduced a bipartisan bill that would standardize the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) process of providing rules and guidance to better protect consumers.

ALTA thanked the representatives for introducing HR 5534, which is titled the Give Useful Information to Define Effective Compliance Act (GUIDE Compliance Act).

“We thank Reps. Sean Duffy and Ed Perlmutter for introducing bipartisan legislation that would require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue useful guidance to the consumer financial laws it regulates,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “Having the CFPB provide more clarity to the regulations it enforces, such as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), allows ALTA members to make more informed business decisions, better serve consumers and deliver peace of mind to homebuyers every day. Regulations create the rules of the game for consumers and business, and when everyone understands the guidelines, markets operate more efficiently. Regulations should support business activity in ways that maximize benefits for consumers, and we believe this bill helps achieve this.”

Click here to encourage your member of Congress to support the Guide Compliance Act.

Specifically, the GUIDE Act:

  • Mandates that the director issue “guidance” that is necessary or appropriate to carry out the purpose of the laws it is responsible for including facilitating compliance
  • Defines “guidance” to include a range of written issuances from interpretative and legislative rules, to bulletins and frequently asked questions
  • Requires the bureau to publish in the Federal Register within one year of enactment the definitions, criteria, timelines and process for issuing each type of guidance the bureau shall provide, with a final rule required within 18 months of enactment
  • Prohibits liability for reliance in good faith on guidance from the bureau or any predecessor agency that was in effect at the time of such act or omission
  • Requires the bureau to establish a process and timeframes for requests for guidance, including time limits to provide answers in response to requests for guidance
  • Requires the bureau to create a process for amending or revoking guidance, including a process for public notice and comment
  • Requires the bureau to develop guidelines for determining the size of any civil money penalties and publish these guidelines in the Federal Register within 18 months of enactment

“The American people deserve a government that the CFPB has historically ignored requests for guidance and clarification from American businesses, consumers and Congress—especially in relation to the Know Before You Owe rule,” said Congressman Duffy. “That’s why I’m proud to sponsor bipartisan legislation to bring predictability and transparency to the CFPB’s rule-making process. The CFPB should focus on its mission to actually protect consumers rather than play ‘gotcha’ with ambiguous and surprising guidance for mortgage lenders.”

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or