Summary: H.R.3126 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3126. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (07/08/2009)

Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 - Establishes the Consumer Financial Protection Agency as an independent executive agency to regulate the provision of consumer financial products or services (products or services) under: (1) this Act; (2) consumer finance laws including the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Truth in Savings Act; and (3) transferred authorities concerning consumer financial protection functions of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Requires the Agency to establish a Consumer Advisory Board to advise and consult with the Agency in the exercise of its functions and to provide information on emerging practices in the products or services industry.

Requires collection of annual fees or assessments to recover amounts expended by the Agency.

Establishes in the Treasury the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Civil Penalty Fund for deposit of any civil penalty obtained against a person in a judicial or administrative action under this Act.

Requires the Agency to seek to promote transparency, simplicity, fairness, accountability, and access in the market for consumer financial products or services. Authorizes the Agency to take administrative actions to: (1) prevent a person from committing or engaging in an unfair, deceptive, or abusive act or practice under federal law in connection with any transaction with a consumer for a product or service; (2) ensure the appropriate and effective disclosure or communication to consumers of associated costs, benefits, and risks; (3) guide the manner, settings, and circumstances for the provision of products or services to ensure that their risks, costs, and benefits are fully and accurately represented to consumers; and (4) approve pilot disclosures to consumers.

Encourages states to prescribe standards applicable to persons (other than insured depository institutions or credit unions) to deter and detect unfair, deceptive, abusive, fraudulent, or illegal transactions in the provision of products or services. Authorizes the Agency to prescribe regulations establishing minimum standards.

Defines "standard consumer financial product or services" and allows the Agency to prescribe regulations or guidance concerning the offering of them at or before the time an alternative consumer financial product or service is offered.

Sets forth prohibitions regarding marketing and advertising, agreement terms and fees, refusals to permit access to records, and providing assistance in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.

Describes the enforcement authorities of states under this Act.

Describes the investigative and adjudicatory authorities and procedures of the Agency, including procedures for referral for the institution of criminal proceedings.

Provides identification and availability requirements for the maintenance of records of the number and dollar amounts of deposit accounts for each branch, automated teller machine at which deposits are accepted, and other deposit-taking service facility with respect to any financial institution.

Amends the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to require each financial institution, in the case of an application for credit for a small business, to: (1) inquire whether the business is a women- or minority-owned business; and (2) maintain a separate record of the responses to such inquiry. Restricts access to such information by loan underwriters or other employees of the financial institution. Requires such information to be compiled and maintained by each financial institution and submitted annually to the Agency, which shall make it available for public disclosure.

Amends the Federal Trade Commission Act to require the FTC, in any investigation or proceeding in which it appears that an unfair or deceptive act or practice is being committed in connection with the marketing, sale, provision, or delivery of a product or service, to consult and coordinate with the Agency as the agencies deem appropriate. Makes it unlawful for any person, knowingly or recklessly, to provide substantial assistance to another in violating any provision of the Act or any other Act enforceable by the FTC that relates to unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

Precludes FTC rulemaking authority with regard to the marketing, sale, provision, or delivery to an individual of a consumer financial product or service that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Agency. Revises other FTC rulemaking procedures regarding: (1) rule publication; (2) meetings with outside parties; (3) communications of investigative personnel outside the rulemaking record; and (4) judicial review.