Financial Institutions Law Blog

Up-to-date Information on Financial Institutions

As expected, and with few changes, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau adopted its proposed rule barring financial companies regulated by the agency from including class action waivers in arbitration agreements. Arbitration clauses in new contracts offering a consumer financial product or service will need to include specified language indicating that arbitration cannot be used to stop the consumer from pursuing a class action.…
On Oct. 19, 2016, the Ninth Circuit held that merely enforcing a security interest is not “debt collection” under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  In so holding, the Ninth Circuit disagreed with earlier decisions by the Fourth and Sixth Circuits, creating a split that might eventually be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.…
On August 31, 2016, in a ground breaking decision, the United States District Court in Los Angeles ruled that CashCall, Inc. violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act in connection with efforts to collect on certain loans that would have been held void under state law had CashCall originated the loans in question in the states where the borrowers resided.  According to the pleadings, CashCall had worked closely with the originator of the loans in question, assisting with the logistics of originating the loans and purchased all of the loans shortly after loan origination.  The court concluded that CashCall was the “true…
Where do marketplace lenders and secondary loan market participants find themselves on the issue of preemption of state usury laws after the June 27 denial of the petition for a writ of certiorari in Madden v. Midland by the U.S. Supreme Court? In Madden v. Midland, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit refused to follow the “valid-when-made” rule when considering the scope of federal preemption of state usury laws under the National Bank Act.  The court held that the NBA did not bar the application of state usury laws to a national bank’s assignee.  In considering the…
An act passed by Congress last year makes changes to IRS Form 1098 (Mortgage Interest Statement) starting in tax year 2016 (reported commencing in calendar year 2017).  Internal Revenue Code Section 6050H(b)(2)(D) requires that a Form 1098 include “the amount of outstanding principal on the mortgage as of the beginning of the calendar year” as well as the date of origination of the mortgage loan.  Earlier this month, the IRS released a revised Form 1098 which repeats the language quoted in the previous sentence without further elaboration.  A question had been raised as to whether the amount of outstanding principal…
Many consumer-facing businesses have learned to identify high-risk Prop 65 targets:  soft, flexible plastics; faux and colored leathers; and any kind of brass or metal that may contain lead or other heavy metals.  But businesses need to take action to avoid Prop 65 liability based on a new culprit: bisphenol-A (BPA) that may be lurking in your cash register receipts and other thermal papers. …
Google announced on May 11 that effective on July 13, 2016 it will ban all payday loan advertisements from its site.  Google was responding to concerns raised by consumer advocates who argued that the lending practice exploits the poor and vulnerable by offering them immediate cash that must be repaid at exorbitant interest rates.  Google joins Facebook in prohibiting such advertisements.  The decision marks the first time that Google has announced a global ban on advertisements for a broad category of financial products.…
In a news conference today President Obama addressed rules and proposed regulations announced Thursday intended to help the U.S. fight tax evasion and other crimes connected to anonymous offshore companies and accounts.  The announcements come after a month of intense review by the administration following the first release of the so-called Panama Papers, millions of documents stolen or leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack, Fonseca.  The papers have revealed a who’s who of international politicians, business leaders, sports figures and celebrities involved with financial transactions accomplished through anonymous shell corporations.…
In Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corporation et al, the Supreme Court of California reversed the Court of Appeal’s ruling, and held that a borrower plaintiff who has been subject to a nonjudicial foreclosure has standing to bring an action for wrongful foreclosure based on an allegedly void deed of trust assignment (without making any determination as to whether the alleged facts established a void assignment).  In so doing, the Supreme Court came down solidly in favor of the “aggrieved” borrower thus settling, at least in California and likely other non-judicial foreclosure states, the issue regarding the standing of such…
On December 29, 2015, CFPB Director Richard Cordray sent a letter to the president of the Mortgage Bankers Association regarding implementation of the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule (more commonly known as the Truth in Lending and RESPA integrated disclosure rule, or TRID) responding to concerns raised by the MBA.  The letter addressed concerns that technical TRID violations are resulting in extraordinarily high rejection rates by secondary market purchasers of mortgage loans by stating that rejections based on “formatting and other minor errors” are “an overreaction to the initial implementation of the new rule” and that the…
For some time now, the residential lending community has been concerned that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken unclear positions with respect to marketing services agreements (MSA’s) in its enforcement actions, leaving residential lenders unsure as to how to proceed.  Some lenders, including Wells Fargo Bank and Prospect Mortgage Company, have responded to this uncertainty by terminating all of their MSA’s.  The Mortgage Bankers Association and other groups had requested that the CFPB provide some clarity as to its position on MSA’s, and the CFPB responded by issuing a press release and a compliance bulletin with respect to MSA’s…
On August 3, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited arbitration decision in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC, No. B228027. The Court held that the arbitration provision found in a standard form auto finance and sales contract widely used by auto dealerships and lenders throughout California is not unconscionable. Not surprisingly, the Court acknowledged the recent U.S. Supreme Court authority holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempts conflicting state law, and affirmed that California law must now recognize the enforceability of class action waivers contained in arbitration provisions under the FAA. Nevertheless, arbitration provisions can be rendered…
On January 27, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a compliance bulletin reminding supervised financial institutions (including large depository institutions, credit unions and their affiliates, certain nonbanks, and service providers) of existing regulatory requirements regarding confidential supervisory information.  In this article we (i) explain the definition of confidential supervisory information; (ii) discuss exceptions to the non-disclosure rule; and (iii) offer tips for ensuring compliance.…