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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

CFPB Establishes Process to Designate Additional Areas as “Rural”

The CFPB has announced an application process for requests to designate additional areas as “rural” under federal consumer financial law. Under this process, those now outside rural counties or census blocks can apply to be designated as rural and may be eligible for specific exemptions and provisions for certain mortgage lenders. The CFPB will accept applications starting March 31, 2016.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said:
This step will allow the Bureau to consider whether there are smaller institutions that merit a designation as ‘rural’ lenders but do not qualify under current guidelines. The Bureau is taking quick action to fulfill our responsibility to Congress and implement the law.

To request a rural designation by the CFPB, applicants must identify the area and the state in which it is located. They must then provide information that will allow the CFPB to evaluate the application under the parameters of the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities (HELP) Act, passed by Congress in December 2015.

The application process will be open through Dec. 4, 2017. However, any application submitted after April 8, 2017, will be considered only if the Bureau determines the designation decision process for that application can be completed by the sunset date of Dec. 4, 2017, based on the time remaining, the complexity of the application and any other relevant factors.

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