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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Thursday that it would review whether to take over the auto loan industry after years of complaints from lenders and borrowers.
The CFPB is expected to make a final decision in December.
The agency, which was formed in 2010 to oversee the auto lending industry, has made changes to its process to prevent repeat misconduct and has brought in more independent consumer experts to review loans.
The bureau also has said it will increase the number of independent consumers it hires.
In a statement, CFPO Commissioner David Hartwig said that the bureau was reviewing how to best respond to the industry’s concerns.
“We are committed to working collaboratively with our lenders and other industry stakeholders to make the best consumer experience possible,” he said.
The agency said it would provide consumers with access to information on consumer loan options and other consumer rights, and provide guidance to lenders on the types of loans they can offer.
The new program will be led by Consumer Financial Justice, a nonprofit that has been working with lenders on loan modifications since the agency took over the industry in 2012.
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Consumer and Business Lending Council, a committee made up of lenders and credit unions, also will review the program.
The council will discuss whether to expand the loan modification program to include auto loans.
“The CFP has taken a lead in helping to shape the financial industry, which is essential to our economy,” Hartwig told reporters.
“But it has become clear that there is a significant problem with the way loan modification works in the auto industry, and that the CFP is stepping in to provide some assistance.”
The CFCB’s first step will be to review loan modifications approved by the bureau, Hartwig explained.
If the bureau finds that there has been a repeat violation of the bureau’s lending rules, the bureau will take action, and the bureau may issue a warning or take other enforcement action.
For borrowers who have received a loan modification, the CFCBs consumer loan forgiveness program, or LFB, is designed to help lower their monthly payments by up to $1,500.
The LFB is currently available to borrowers who earn at least $75,000, according to the bureau.