Financial

Florida is one of several states that has enacted “de-banking” legislation that requires financial institutions to provide consumers with fair access to financial products and services. On May 3, Governor DeSantis signed into law H.B. 989, which amends and expands upon that law and provides additional protection for consumers against discrimination by financial institutions.
Continue Reading Florida Expands its “De-Banking” Law

On June 11, the CFPB announced a proposed rule amending Regulation V, which implements the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to alter the treatment of medical debts in credit reporting. The rule proposes to remove medical bills from most credit reports, disallow the consideration of medical debts in credit decisions, enhance privacy protections, and curtail credit reporting practices that the Bureau deems coercive.
Continue Reading CFPB Proposes Rule to Transform Credit Reporting Practices on Medical Debt

On May 16, the Maryland Office of Financial Regulation (“OFR”) announced a settlement with a Missouri-based bank and its fintech partners for engaging in unlicensed lending, credit repair, and debt collection activities. 

In the OFR’s January 2021 Charge Letter, the agency alleged that the bank and its fintech partners violated Maryland law by its failure to hold a lending, debt collection, and credit repair license. According to the OFR, the bank offered in-store retail credit financing as well as store-branded credit cards to Maryland consumers. 
Continue Reading Maryland Banking Regulator Settles with Bank/Fintech Partnership For Unlicensed Lending, Credit Repair, and Debt Collection Activities

On May 31, the CFPB filed suit in federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania against a Pennsylvania-based student loan servicer accusing it of illegally pursuing student loan debts discharged in bankruptcy and providing false information to credit reporting agencies. The CFPB’s lawsuit asks the court to order the servicer to stop its illegal conduct, provide redress to borrowers, and pay a civil penalty.
Continue Reading CFPB Takes Legal Action Against PHEAA for Chasing Debt on Discharged Student Loans

On June 4, the CFPB issued a circular targeting the deceptive use of fine print in consumer financial contracts to include unlawful or unenforceable terms. In a press release issued the same day, the CFPB stressed that these terms may deceive consumers into believing they have relinquished certain rights and protections, guaranteed to them under existing consumer protection laws.
Continue Reading CFPB Circular Targets “Deceptive” Fine Print

On June 3, the CFPB issued its final rule codifying its “repeat offender registry.” The registry will require certain nonbank entities subject to agency or court orders issued in connection with the provision of a consumer financial product or service, to report the existence of such orders to the CFPB’s public registry.
Continue Reading CFPB Final Rule Establishes Registry for Violators of Consumer Finance Laws

On May 23, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that Federal Housing Administration-approved Mortgagees are subject to a heightened cybersecurity incident reporting regime. The new requirement, which amends the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1, requires FHA-approved Mortgagees to report “suspected” “Significant Cybersecurity Incidents” within 12 hours of detection. 
Continue Reading FHA’s Releases 12-Hour Cyber Incident Notification Rule

On May 16, the CFPB filed a motion for summary judgement in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida seeking a $20 million civil penalty against a California-based mortgage provider for allegedly submitting inaccurate government mortgage loan data.
Continue Reading CFPB Files Motion for Summary Judgment on HMDA Enforcement Action

On May 30, the CFPB announced that it was probing mortgage closing costs as part of its continued focus on so-called junk fees. The Bureau’s request for information seeks input from the public on “the impact closing costs have on borrowers and the mortgage market, including the degree to which they add overall costs or otherwise cause borrower harm, and any impact such fees may have on the ability to purchase a home, anticipate and afford monthly payments, or refinance an existing mortgage.” 
Continue Reading CFPB Opens Public Probe on Closing Fees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) published a report on Banking in Video Games and Virtual Worlds (“Report”) that warns of greater scrutiny of and enforcements against the financial services offered in games and virtual worlds that increasingly resemble traditional financial products and services offered by regulated banking and payment systems. The Report is applicable to all types of games and virtual worlds, but creators and publishers of blockchain games and metaverses, in particular, should take note of this report.
Continue Reading CFPB Report Targets Games and Virtual Worlds – What Blockchain Game and Metaverse Companies Need to Know

On May 21, the Massachusetts Attorney General entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance (“AOD”) with a California-based fintech alleging that it was the “true lender” of its consumer installment loans. Under the terms of the settlement, the fintech is required to pay $625,000 in restitution, request deletion of tradelines on credit reports for loans reported to credit bureaus, and cease doing business in the state. 
Continue Reading Massachusetts AG Forces Fintech from State as Part of “True Lender” Settlement

The CFPB is continuing its crusade against so called “junk fees,” and now is looking at credit reporting fees. In a May 20 speech to the Mortgage Bankers Association, Director Rohit Chopra highlighted the rising costs of obtaining credit reports which he stated affects both lenders and consumers. Chopra criticized FICO’s recent move to a flat fee pricing model for credit scores, stating that it led to a 400% increase in costs for many lenders. He also complained about FICO’s policy of charging the same fee for both soft and hard credit inquiries, despite the fact that there are significant differences in
Continue Reading CFPB Director Targets Credit Reporting Fees

On May 22, the CFPB announced an interpretive rule confirming that Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) lenders qualify as credit card providers under the Truth in Lending Act, Regulation Z and are required to provide consumers legal protections and rights that apply to credit cards, including the ability to dispute charges, secure refunds for returned products and receive billing statements.
Continue Reading CFPB Interpretive Rule Holds That BNPL Lenders Are Credit Card Providers

On May 20, the CFPB settled an enforcement action against a California-based telemarketing firm for practices related to student loan debt relief services. The Bureau has ordered the firm to permanently halt operations and pay a $400,000 civil money penalty, in addition to ordering the recission of all the firm’s existing contracts with consumers.
Continue Reading CFPB Shuts Down Debt Relief Provider Over Fraudulent Student Loan Practices

On April 26, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued Mortgagee Letter 2024-06, announcing changes to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) for purchases (H4P loans), a mortgage program designed for older homeowners who wish to buy a primary residence using a reverse mortgage. The program allowed seniors to purchase a new home that better suits their needs without the burden of monthly mortgage payments.
Continue Reading HUD Updates Home Equity Conversion Rules for Purchases