Consumer Finance and Fintech Blog

Timely Updates and Analysis on Consumer Finance and Fintech

On August 10, the CFPB issued an interpretive rule stating that digital marketing providers that are involved in the identification or selection of prospective customers or the selection or placement of content to affect consumer engagement including purchase or adoption behavior, are subject to the CFPB’s jurisdiction. The rule ostensibly clarifies the scope of companies that are “service providers” under the CFPA to include digital marketing providers, and thereby subjecting them to the CFPB’s authority to prohibit UDAAPs.
Continue Reading CFPB’s New Interpretive Rule Sets Sights on Digital Marketing Vendors

On August 11, the CFPB published a circular clarifying liability under consumer financial protection law for bank and nonbank financial companies that fail to safeguard consumer data. The circular describes how firms may be violating the CFPA’s prohibition on unfair acts or practices with respect to the handling of consumer data by not implementing adequate measures to protect against data security incidents. These data security incidents may lead to significant harm to a few consumers—who, for example, become victims of targeted identify theft after a breach—or may lead to harm of many consumers in the event of large scale, customer-base-wide
Continue Reading CFPB Circular: Safeguard Consumer Data or Face Liability

On August 10, the CFPB issued a consent order against a FinTech company for a faulty algorithm utilized in its personal finance management app that caused consumer accounts to overdraft and incur overdraft penalties. According to the CFPB, although the San Francisco-based fintech company promoted the app as a savings tool for consumers, it engaged in deceptive acts or practices in violation of the CFPA by:
Continue Reading CFPB Targets FinTech for Faulty Automated Savings Algorithm

On July 29, a payment processor company and its two sales affiliates (defendants) agreed to a stipulated order with the FTC to settle charges that they imposed hidden terms, surprise exit fees, and “zombie charges” on small businesses.
Continue Reading Payment Processor Agrees to Refund Customers After FTC Alleges Surprise Exit Fees and Zombie Charges On Small Businesses

On July 29, the CFPB and DOJ issued a joint letter to the auto lending and leasing industry reminding auto companies of their obligations under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA affords special protections to servicemembers and their dependents against unfair or predatory practices by auto lenders, including:
Continue Reading Regulators Remind Auto Industry of Servicemember Protections

On July 27, the CFPB and DOJ proposed a settlement with a nonbank mortgage lender for its discriminatory “redlining” lending practices against minority families living in the greater Philadelphia area. If approved by the court, the mortgage lender would be required to pay more than $22 million in civil penalties, and would be the CFPB’s first nonbank mortgage redlining settlement.
Continue Reading CFPB, DOJ Propose $22 Million Penalty Against Nonbank Mortgage Lender for Illegal Redlining

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit held that a mortgage servicer’s failure to provide a required disclosure informing borrowers of their three-day right to rescind the loan under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) does not relieve borrowers of their obligation to return disbursed loan proceeds upon an effective rescission. The ruling reversed a West Virginia District Court’s ruling against the mortgage servicer in a purported class action.
Continue Reading 4th Circuit: Borrower Must Return Loan Proceeds After Rescission Despite Lender’s Failure to Meet TILA Requirements

On July 27, CFPB Director Chopra was interviewed in multiple publications, here and here, about, among other topics, how the CFPB could seek to help mortgage borrowers strained by the Federal Reserve’s battle against inflation and how the agency is looking at cryptocurrency. Below are some of the more important updates from the interviews.
Continue Reading CFPB’s Chopra Has Payments and Crypto In Focus

Recently, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) published its annual Cybersecurity and Financial System Resilience report describing measures it has taken to strengthen cybersecurity in the financial services sector, including the supervision and regulation of financial institutions and third-party service providers.
Continue Reading Fed Reports on Cybersecurity and Financial System Resilience

On July 11, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra drafted a blog post detailing the Bureau’s efforts to comply with President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy aimed, in part, to address the Administration’s concerns about pressing antitrust and competition issues affecting consumers. The CFPB was directed by the Order to explore ways to make it easier for consumers to switch financial institutions and to aggressively enforce the prohibition of UDAAPs in consumer financial products and services pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act.
Continue Reading CFPB Continues Efforts to Promote Competition in Financial Markets

On July 11, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a letter sent to G20 finance ministers and central bank governors outlining concerns over the rapid growth in crypto-assets and vulnerabilities facing the global financial system. The letter highlighted the following:
Continue Reading FSB Highlights Vulnerabilities Crypto-assets for Global Financial System

On June 3, a federal court filing in the Southern District of Florida by an Atlanta-based FinTech company revealed that the small business lender is under DOJ investigation for alleged PPP loan approval practices. According to the FinTech, by August 2020, it processed over $7 billion in PPP loans to at least 300,000 small businesses.
Continue Reading DOJ Investigating FinTech Over PPP Loans

Two weeks after the DFPI set a Dec. 9 effective date for its long-threatened commercial financing disclosure requirement (we discussed these regulations in a previous bog, here), the DFPI issued proposed commercial UDAAP and annual reporting regulations likely impacting many of the same companies. Specifically, the proposed regulations would apply to providers of commercial financing or other financial products and services to small businesses, nonprofits, and family farms, and would (i) expand the DFPI’s UDAAP authority, and (2) impose annual reporting requirements on covered providers (we briefly discussed these proposed regulations in a previous blog post here).
Continue Reading Proposed California Commercial UDAAP and Annual Reporting Regs to be Promulgated Under California Consumer Financial Protection Law