Thursday, June 20, 2019

Same Sex Married Couples - Ensuring Equal Treatment – Announcement from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Posted by Sharon February 12, 2015 9:29am

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Following on the heels of the Supreme Court’s June 26, 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, Director Richard Cordray of the CFPB issued a memorandum setting forth guidance on equal treatment for legally married same-sex couples.

He stated, “It is the Bureau’s policy, to the extent federal law permits and consistent with the legal position announced by the U.S. Department of Justice in interpreting relevant statutes, regulations and policies, to recognize all marriages valid at the time of the marriage in the jurisdiction where the marriage was celebrated.”

Mr. Codray goes on to clarify that CFPB will regard a person who was legally married in any jurisdiction to be married “nationwide” regardless of the person’s place of residence.

Some will look upon this as a long overdue correction, some will see it as another erosion of what they believe to be traditional values. Bankers, however, must look upon it as a regulatory issue and make necessary updates to their policies, procedures and practices as this guidance applies to at least seven significant regulations, and probably more. Not only is it necessary to make the required changes to policy and procedure manuals, it is also necessary to actively clarify the new position to all employees. Somewhere, a bank will be criticized, or worse, when one employee fails to comply. Don’t let it be your institution.

The Bureau will apply this policy to:

  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) and Regulation B
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”)
  • Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (“ILSA”) and Regulation J
  • Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and Regulation Z
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) and Regulation X
  • Bureau Ethics Regulations
  • Procedures for Bureau Debt Collection

All existing forms, printed or electronic, should be reviewed for compliance and revised as necessary.

Mr. Cordray’s Memorandum of June 25, 2014, can be found at:


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Sharon Geiger

Senior Quality Control and Review Specialist

Sharon Geiger has 27 years banking experience, 21 of which have been involved in internal audit. She has extensive knowledge of all aspects of the banking industry, with a particular emphasis on regulatory compliance and identifying risks and controls. As QCR Specialist, she performs Quality Control Reviews to ensure all workpapers and reports are completed in compliance with the firm's standards.

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