The Senate passed the Dodd-Frank Regulatory Reform Bill and is sending it to the President later this week for his signature but that will be just the beginning of how the new law will affect consumer finance. The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been tasked with authority to regulate and enable safe guards to protect consumers from inappropriate financial products.
The questions are now arising about what those rules, regulations and safeguards actually may say and how they will be enforced on the industry. Some estimates show that the bill will require over 500 new rules to be written to provide the framework for much of the new law and that some of the law will be implemented immediately while other parts may take up to 18 months or longer before fully implemented. Most consumer groups think that fees and rates will increase for consumers as higher costs for regulatory compliance with the new regulations. Those changes may mean that free checking accounts and lower fees for loan products for senior customers will go away.