With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau holding lenders responsible for their independent third-party vendors, what should lenders do to stay compliant? Of the $1.56 billion in consent orders handed out by the CFPB, 75% are related to service providers, said Michael Mallow, head of the Consumer Protection Defense Department at law firm Loeb & Loeb LLP, in a session at the Auto Finance Compliance Summit last week. The CFPB uses the term “mutuality” to refer to the relationships and liabilities between companies. As such, lenders should have policies and procedures in place to evaluate companies before signing the contract, executing the relationship once it is established, and resolving problems when they arise, Mallow said. Lender investigation of vendors may run as deep as performing background checks on all a vendor’s employees, said Mark Edelman, co-chair of the consumer financial services practice at law firm McGlinchey Stafford.