Financial

On August 28, the CFPB announced a proposed settlement with Utah-based credit repair telemarketing company and its affiliates for allegedly committing deceptive acts and practices in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) by collecting illegal “advance fees.” The CFPB alleged the defendants charged consumers a fee for telemarketed credit repair services when they signed up for the services, and then monthly thereafter, without (i) waiting for the timeframe in which they represented their services would be provided to expire; and (ii) demonstrating that the promised results have been achieved, in the form
Continue Reading CFPB Reaches $2.6 Billion Settlement with Credit Repair Company

On September 8, a Texas federal judge ruled that the CFPB exceeded its authority by adopting a sweeping anti-discrimination policy last year. The CFPB adopted the policy in March 2022, via an update to its exam manual, stating that discrimination in any financial product is an “unfair” practice that can trigger liability under the federal prohibition against “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices” or UDAAPs (we discussed this policy in previous posts here and here). The CFPB offered examples of practices that may be unfair because they are discriminatory, including offering one set of products or services to
Continue Reading Texas Court Strikes Down CFPB UDAAP Policy

On September 14, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky granted a motion brought by the Kentucky Bankers Association (KBA) and eight Kentucky-based banks (plaintiffs), seeking a preliminary injunction enjoining the CFPB from enforcing the Small Business Lending Rule (the Rule) against the plaintiffs and their members. In granting the motion, the court agreed to halt the rule until the Supreme Court rules on the CFPB’s funding structure in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau et al. v. Community Financial Services Association of America Ltd. The court also noted that the banks are incurring expenses related to “training programs, seminar fees, staff
Continue Reading Kentucky Court Grants Injunction on Small Business Lending Rule

On August 22, the CFPB filed a lawsuit against an installment lending company and several of its subsidiaries in South Carolina federal court, alleging that the company engaged in illegal “loan-churning” practices that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in loan costs and fees. The CFPB’s complaint alleges that many of the installment lender’s “loan-churning” practices constituted unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices (“UDAAPs”) in violation of the CFPA. Specifically, the CFPB alleges that the installment lender harmed consumers by:
Continue Reading CFPB Sues Installment Lender for Alleged Loan Churning Operation

Recently, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) approved the final rule implementing and interpreting certain sections of the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) that prohibit persons from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) related to commercial financial products and services and establishes data collection and reporting requirements.
Continue Reading California DFPI Finalizes Small Business UDAAP Rule

The Federal Reserve Board recently issued two Supervision and Regulation Letters that provide guidance on the agency’s supervision of novel activities and the process such as fintech partnerships, crypto-related activities, and activities using distributed ledger or blockchain technology. 
Continue Reading Federal Reserve Issues Guidance on Supervision of “Novel Activities” by Banks, Impacts Bank-Fintech Partnerships

On August 18, the FTC published guidance for third party sellers detailing how the INFORM Consumers Act, which took effect on June 27, may impact their businesses. The INFORM Act provides that online marketplaces where high-volume third party sellers offer new or unused consumer products must collect, verify, and disclose certain information about those sellers. Online marketplaces must also offer a clear mechanism for consumers to report suspicious activity.
Continue Reading FTC Publishes INFORM Act Guidance for Third Party Sellers

On August 2, the CFPB filed a lawsuit in Georgia federal court against an auto-loan servicer alleging that the company engaged in various illegal practices that harmed consumers with auto loans. The auto-loan servicer offered both Guaranteed Asset Protection (“GAP”) and collateral-protection insurance, which are products that consumers can buy when they buy or lease a car.
Continue Reading CFPB Sues Auto-Loan Servicer for Allegedly Harming Consumers

On August 15, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra announced plans for new CFPB rules that would strictly limit the types of consumer data that can be sold by businesses and ensure that data brokers comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). The announcement came during a White House roundtable event focused on protecting individuals’ data privacy and as part of a broader federal crackdown on third-party data brokers. Director Chopra highlighted two proposals in particular that the CFPB is considering.
Continue Reading CFPB Forecasts New Rule Cracking Down on Consumer Data Sales

Financial services companies beware: the new state privacy laws exemption are not uniform. To recap, there are privacy laws in 12 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. (Delaware’s law is pending the governor’s signature.)
Continue Reading State Privacy Law Roundup: What Financial Services Entities Need to Know

On July 26, the CFPB released its Summer 2023 Supervisory Highlights reporting unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices (UDAAPs) across a number of consumer financial products, including auto origination, auto servicing, consumer reporting, debt collection, deposits, fair lending, information technology, mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, payday and small dollar lending, and remittances, in violation of the CFPA. Below we focus on some key areas in particular.
Continue Reading Latest CFPB Supervisory Highlights Detail UDAAPs Across Range of Areas

In June, the Nevada governor signed SB 290 into law, making Nevada the first state to enact legislation creating a comprehensive statutory framework that specifically defines and regulates the provision of earned wage access (EWA) products. EWA products allow consumers to access their earned wages before their regularly scheduled pay date. While other states and federal agencies have made preliminary efforts to regulate EWA products, Nevada is the first state to impose certain substantive requirements on providers of EWA products, such as implementation of policies for responding to consumer complaints and mandatory disclosure to consumers of their rights, such rights
Continue Reading Nevada EWA Legislation Creates Novel Regulatory Framework

On July 31, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas enjoined the CFPB from implementing and enforcing the small business lending rule (Section 1071) requirements pending the Supreme Court’s decision in Community Financial Services Association of America Ltd. v. CFPB, a challenge to the constitutionality of the CFPB’s funding structure (we previously discussed Section 1071 rulemaking in prior blog posts here and here, and the Texas lawsuit here). In particular, the court enjoined the CFPB from implementing and enforcing the final rule against the plaintiffs and their members, but denied the plaintiffs’ request for a
Continue Reading Texas Court Enjoins CFPB’s Enforcement of Small Business Lending Rule

Retailers may be getting overwhelmed by the number of states that have enacted “comprehensive” privacy laws, and with good reason. At this point, there are privacy laws in 12 states, with one more (Delaware) likely to be signed by the governor soon. Those laws are in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. (There is also a new law in Delaware currently pending the governor’s signature). We’ll be hosting a webinar on August 1 which you can sign up for here.
Continue Reading State Privacy Law Roundup: What Retailers Need to Know

On July 7, the CFPB, HHS, and Treasury announced a joint inquiry into high-cost specialty financial products which are being offered to patients as alternate forms of payment for routine medical care. Traditionally, these financial products were used to pay for medical care not covered by traditional health insurance such as dental, vision, fertility services, and cosmetic surgery, but are now being offered to pay for a broader set of services. This inquiry is the next step in an ongoing effort to expand research into medical payment products and medical billing and collections procedures to finer tune actions aimed at
Continue Reading CFPB, other Federal Agencies Seek Public Comment about Medical Debt

On July 13, the FTC issued a press release announcing that it had reached a settlement with a bankrupt crypto platform. The New Jersey based company, which filed for bankruptcy in July 2022, marketed a variety of cryptocurrency products and services to consumers including interest-bearing accounts, personal loans secured by cryptocurrency deposits, and a cryptocurrency exchange. According to the FTC, the company and its executives induced consumers to deposit cryptocurrency by deceiving users and falsely promising access to deposits, high yields, and deposit security. The FTC complaint alleges that rather than securing these deposits, the platform took title to and
Continue Reading FTC Reaches Settlement with Crypto Platform