CFPB Updates Exam Manual in Light of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas’s Ruling in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Litigation

As previously reported, on September 8, 2023, the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Texas granted plaintiff U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s (the “Chamber”) motion for summary judgment, which invalidated the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) Exam Manual changes from March 2022 that stated that discriminatory conduct may be a UDAAP violation.

In light of this decision, the CFPB updated its Supervision and Examination Manual to remove the March 2022 updates relating to discriminatory conduct and reverted the Examination Manual’s section relating to UDAAP back to the October 2012 version.  The October 2012 version of the Examination Manual did not include discrimination as a possible ground for a UDAAP violation.

Further, the CFPB did not file an appeal from the Court’s decision in the Chamber of Commerce matter by the October 8, 2023 deadline and has not filed a notice of appeal or sought an extension of the deadline to appeal.  Additionally, the CFPB removed a reference on its “Supervision and examinations” webpage from September 2023 that said that the Bureau was “reviewing the ruling.”  Instead, the current “Supervision and examinations” webpage links to the October 2012 version of the UDAAP section of the Examination Manual as the operative and current version.

Accordingly, it appears that, at least for the time being, the CFPB has taken a step back from its position that discriminatory conduct is a basis for a UDAAP violation.