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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Recent Developments: April 7, 2014 - April 11, 2014

CFPB Launches Financial Education Project

On April 7th, the CFPB formally announced the launch of its community financial education project.1  The goal of the pilot project is to make libraries “neighborhood centers of financial education.” The CFPB will work with several national partners and nine public library systems across the country to help them provide free financial information to the public. The CFPB aims to accomplish this by providing librarians with a collection of financial education resources and tools, as well as trainings for library staff and managers.

First CFPB Criminal Referral Results in Guilty Plea

On April 8th, a debt settlement company and its principal entered a plea of guilty to mail and wire fraud in what was the CFPB’s first publically announced criminal referral. In May 2013, the CFPB had filed a complaint against a debt-relief service provider that was allegedly charging consumers illegal advance fees for debt-settlement services in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. At the same time the CFPB referred the case to the U.S. Attorney office in New York.

CFPB Planning Mortgage Closing Forum

The CFPB announced last week that it will hold a forum on the mortgage closing process in Washington, D.C. on April 23rd.2  The event will feature remarks from CFPB Director Richard Cordray, as well as a discussion with consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public. A live stream of the event will be available on the CFPB’s blog.

CFPB Revamps “Paying for College” Toolkit

On April 10th, the CFPB released its updated evaluation toolkit for financing college education.3  The toolkit is aimed at helping make an “apples-to-apples” comparison of financial aid offers. The redesigned toolkit incorporates a more user-friendly design and also reintroduces the GI Bill calculator. The calculator allows servicemembers to calculate the benefits available to them through the GI Bill and tuition assistance programs.

 1  See CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s prepared remarks here, "Prepared Remarks of CFPB Director Richard Cordray at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on “Making Libraries Community Hubs     for Financial Education”' up
 2  See the announcement here, "Save the date: Join us for a forum on the mortgage closing process in Washington, DC!" up
 3  See the “Paying for College” toolkit here, "Paying for College."  up