CFPB issues advisory opinion regarding requests for information

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day! Go ahead and indulge in one of life’s greatest desserts. In fact, grab a cupcake or your favorite treat, something to drink (a cup of coffee as I like) and lets begin discussing the CFPB’s advisory opinion from last week which requires large credit unions to comply with  requests for information.

More specifically, section 1034(c) of the Dodd-Frank Act states that, subject to certain enumerated exceptions, credit unions “shall, in a timely manner, comply with a consumer request for information in the control or possession of [a large credit union] concerning the consumer financial product or service that the consumer obtained from [the credit union], including supporting written documentationconcerning the account of the consumer.” (Emphasis added). But what does this mean in practical terms? Let’s dig in.

First, it is important to note that section 1034(c) only applies to credit unions (and other institutions) that have more than $10 billion in assets and offers or provides consumer financial products or services, such as credit cards, share accounts, mortgage loan products and the like. Second, the law specifically refers to information “concerning the account,” the “consumer” in most cases will be a member of the credit union. For that reason, we will refer to consumers as “members” for the rest of this blog post. Keep in mind, however, that there may be some limited situations in which a non-member may have an account with a credit union – such as non-members who jointly own a share account with a member. Thus, some non-members may also request information under section 1034(c).  Third, while section 1034(c) became effective on July 21, 2011, the CFPB has stated that it does not intend to seek monetary relief for potential violations that occur prior to February 1, 2024.


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