At a glanceFriday, September 20, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - September 20, 2019
Friday September 20, 2019
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Prevent SIM-Swapping Hackers From Stealing Your Phone Number—and the Rest of Your Identity

You know what’s worse than having your password stolen? Having your phone number stolen. SIM-swapping, a type of identity theft, is a means for scammers to get access to your phone number and all of the personal accounts secured through it. The attacker calls a phone provider, pretending to be a customer, and asks to port the number they’re trying to steal to a new SIM card, possibly on a new provider. With your phone number, the attacker can access any personal information secured with your phone, including any platforms that send two-factor Authentication codes via SMS. Since these “cyberattacks” involve good old fashioned cons over the phone, the usual digital security measures we recommend will not save you.

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Apex Capital Group Internet Marketers Settle FTC Allegations They Deceived Consumers With False Claims of “Free Trial” Offers and Unauthorized Continuity Plans

The two principals of the Apex Capital Group Internet marketing operation and the 12 corporate defendants they controlled (the Apex Capital defendants) have agreed to court orders settling the Federal Trade Commission’s allegations related to their alleged operation of a multi-national scheme to defraud consumers via deceptive “free trial” offers and negative option continuity plans.

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State AG, others, want proposed debt collection regs revised

New York Attorney General Letitia James and 28 of her counterparts from other states banded together to let a federal agency know they want a proposed debt collection rule revised. James and other attorney generals said the rule undermines protections and overwhelmingly take advantage consumers in a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The rule, which was proposed by the bureau in May on behalf of President Donald Trump’s administration, has been met with mixed reviews.

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GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES SUCCESS OF NEW YORK’S LANDMARK OUT-OF-NETWORK LAW PROTECTING CONSUMERS FROM SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLS

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Department of Financial Services has issued a new report detailing the successes of New York's first-in-the-nation out-of-network law, which protects consumers from emergency and surprise bills from out-of-network doctors and other healthcare providers, including an increasing number of dispute resolution requests. The law, which takes consumers out of the dispute process, has saved New Yorkers more than $400 million with respect to emergency services alone.

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Over 200 Organizations Call for Protection From Debt Collection Industry

Washington, DC – Late yesterday, a coalition of 232 nonprofit organizations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to its proposal that protects abusive debt collectors more than consumers. Instead of giving the debt collection industry more weapons to harass and abuse consumers, the coalition urges the consumer bureau to limit the number of phone calls per week, require consent of the person before sending emails or text messages, allow people to opt-out of electronic messages, hold debt collection attorneys responsible for misrepresentations, and prohibit the collection of “zombie debt.”

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Payday Lending Laws Drive Traffic To Pawn Shops

While short-term lending in general has a pretty rough reputation, the pawn loan is the most ill-regarded arena in an already unloved category of consumer lending. By definition, a pawnbroker offers loans on items that are not accepted as collateral by traditional banks or lenders. Items that typically show up in pawn shops include jewelry, electronics and collectible items. The loan amount a borrower can get from a pawnbroker is determined solely by the value of the item itself; as in most forms of short-term lending, there is no credit check. As a general rule, pawnbrokers are willing to lend 20 percent to 50 percent of what they assess an item to be worth, the borrower then has 30 days to pay the loan back, and the borrower can also opt to pay an additional fee (usually $100) to extend their loan for 30 days.

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NAFCU-sought fix for SBA fees in short-term funding bill

In a win for credit unions, the short-term funding bill passed by the House Thursday includes a NAFCU-sought appropriation for the Small Business Administration (SBA) that would avert a potential shutdown of the 7(a) program and eliminate the need to raise fees. NAFCU witness Gail Jansen raised concerns about the increased fees during congressional testimony earlier this year.

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Student Debt Levels Rise, but More Slowly

Student loan borrowers who earned bachelor's degrees in 2018 had an average debt of $29,200, up 2 percent from their peers in the Class of 2017, the Institute for College Access & Success said in its annual student debt report Thursday. That represents a slight slowing in the rate of borrowing, as the average debt level for borrowers rose at a steady average of 4 percent a year between 1996 and 2012 and slowed after that between 2012 and 2016 before reaching the 2 percent it rests at now.

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AG James Leads Bipartisan Coalition Urging CFPB To Place Consumers’ Interests Over Debt Collectors’

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced she has led a bipartisan coalition of 28 attorneys general from around the nation in sending a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) urging the agency to revise its proposed debt collection rule and place the interests of consumers over those of debt collectors.

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In a blow to financial-services industry, the CFPB will keep consumer complaints database public

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is keeping its consumer complaints database public, in a surprising move that may assuage advocates’ concerns. The agency said Wednesday that it will continue to publish consumer complaints publicly, but that it was also make significant changes to the database. The move comes after the agency put out a call for public input on its consumer inquiry and complaint database in 2018 while it was under the direction of Mick Mulvaney, who now serves as the acting White House chief of staff. The move was seen as a sign that the agency would make the database private, a change that would be welcomed by many in the financial-services industry.

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Feds investigating Bank of America for possible unauthorized accounts

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. is under investigation to determine whether it opened unauthorized customer accounts, according to information released on Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB issued a CID, or civil investigative demand, in March requesting documents from BofA in regards to potentially "unlawful acts or practices in connection with unauthorized consumer bank, credit card, and other accounts." The accounts in question go back to at least 2014.

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CFPB and FTC to Host December Workshop on Accuracy in Consumer Reporting

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). will host a public workshop on December 10, 2019 to discuss issues affecting the accuracy of both traditional credit reports and employment and tenant background screening reports.  

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Director Kraninger’s Speech at CFPB Symposium on Behavioral Economics

Good morning. I am excited to welcome everyone to today’s symposium on “Behavioral Economics and Consumer Financial Services Policy.”  I’d like to take a brief moment to thank all of our panelists for participating today. They will be further introduced at the start of each panel so I won’t go into details now except to say they are experts. I also want to thank our moderators, Melissa and Jason, as well as the members of the working group for all of their work developing today’s program.

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FTC Staff Submits Comment to CFPB on Proposed Debt Collection Rules

In a comment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), staff of the Federal Trade Commission provided feedback on a number of proposed rules that implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).   In the comment, FTC staff notes that the Commission has long advocated for amendments and clarifications to existing laws to account for changes both in the debt collection marketplace and consumer technology since the FDCPA was passed in 1977. The comment also describes the Commission’s law enforcement, policy, and education efforts to protect consumers from unlawful debt collection practices.

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Brownstein Attorneys Advise on Updates to 40-Year-Old FDCPA

On Tuesday evening, Sept. 17, ACA International filed a 155-page comment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“Bureau”) proposed debt collection rule. The comment advocates for consumers, creditors and a stable U.S. credit economy—as well as its 2,500 members of the accounts receivables management industry. A copy of the full comment is available here. Brownstein’s consumer finance attorneys worked alongside ACA to craft the comment based on several months of research, conversations with consumers and industry, and legal analysis. The proposed “Regulation F” will implement and interpret the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which became law in 1977 and has not been modified since.

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AG James: Pennsylvania Addition To T-Mobile/sprint Lawsuit Keeps States’ Momentum Moving Forward

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is joining the multistate lawsuit blocking the anticompetitive megamerger of telecommunications giants T-Mobile and Sprint, becoming the 18th plaintiff to join the lawsuit and add to the states’ momentum.   “Pennsylvania’s addition to our lawsuit adds to the states’ momentum against this megamerger that continues to be bad for consumers, bad for workers, and bad for innovation,” said Attorney General James. “We welcome Pennsylvania and Attorney General Shapiro to our multistate coalition that continues to build strength, and now includes every region of the nation.”

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Enhance Consumer Complaint Database

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it will continue the publication of consumer complaints, data fields and narrative descriptions through the Bureau’s Consumer Complaint Database while making several enhancements to the information available to users of the database. The enhancements include: modified disclaimers to provide better context to the published data; integrating financial information and resources into the complaint process to help address questions and better inform consumers before they submit a complaint; and information to assist consumers who wish to contact the financial company to get answers to their specific questions. Additionally, the Bureau will work to provide enhanced features for the database that include dynamic visualization tools on recent complaint data.

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The head of the CFPB now believes that the financial regulator is unconstitutionally structured

The head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now believes that the financial regulator she leads is unconstitutionally structured.    CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger notified senior lawmakers on Tuesday that the bureau had determined that the law that established the agency in the wake of the financial crisis gave her too much independence. That brings her position in line with the one adopted by the Department of Justice in March 2017.

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PayThink Fintechs give small business more choice for credit than just banks

It’s no secret working capital is the lifeblood of all small businesses. It’s the fuel that keeps them running, helps them grow and take on new opportunities.  And yet, so many small businesses struggle with cash flow. In fact, according to a recent study from Intuit QuickBooks, 61% of small businesses have had cash flow issues in the past year.   A very common step business owners take when experiencing a cash flow crunch is seeking external resources to help bring some quick capital in the door. Until very recently, many business owners marched straight to their bank to apply for a traditional business loan. While bank loans on the national or local level are a tried and true way of securing additional funds, they are no longer the only way of obtaining capital.

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California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – Amendment Update

The dust has finally settled in the California State Legislature and the big winner for amendments to the CCPA is AB-25, which started out as carving out employees from the definition of consumer for the purpose of CCPA. The bill ended up narrower with respect to employees but broader in other respects by absorbing a few other proposed bills as well. The status of AB-25 is that it passed unanimously in both chambers and will become law when signed by the governor, who has a deadline of October 13 to sign.

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NAFCU details concerns with CFPB’s debt collection proposal

Highlighting a number of "indirect effects" credit unions – which are not debt collectors as defined in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – will face as a result of the CFPB's proposed rule related to third-party debt collection, NAFCU's Kaley Schafer outlined regulatory improvements the bureau can make before finalizing the rule.

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Chicago Brokerage to Pay $1.5 Million Fine for Lack of Cybersecurity

A Chicago-based futures brokerage will pay $1.5 million for letting cyber criminals breach the firm’s email systems and withdraw $1 million from a customer’s account. The order from The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission also finds that Phillip Capital Inc. failed to disclose the cyber breach to its customers in a timely manner.  The order alsi finds that PCI failed to supervise its employees with respect to cybersecurity policy and procedures, a written information systems security program and customer disbursements.

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Trump administration asks Supreme Court to take up challenge to consumer bureau

The Trump administration and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to take up a lawsuit challenging the agency’s constitutionality. Top Justice Department and CFPB attorneys argued in a brief filed Tuesday that the structure of the powerful financial watchdog infringes on the president’s executive authority. The lawyers urged the Supreme Court to take up a case that could have potentially fatal implications for the CFPB, halting or weakening its efforts to police the financial sector.

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CFPB should remove DTI requirement, income verification rules for QM

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should take special note of the challenges faced by credit unions and other smaller mortgage lenders in the absence of certain expansions of the Qualified Mortgage safe harbor, CUNA wrote to the CFPB Monday.   The letter comes in response to a CFPB advance notice of proposed rulemaking on whether to propose revisions to the definition of a QM in light of the planned January 2021 expiration of a category of QM eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Temporary GSE QM, or the “GSE patch.”

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New report explores the relationship between Financial Well-Being and the contents of and engagement with credit reports

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) released an Innovation Insight report which describes a first of its kind study exploring the relationship between subjective financial well-being and objective credit report characteristics and consumers’ engagement with financial information through educational tools. “Credit Characteristics, Credit Engagement Tools, and Financial Well-Being” presents the findings of a joint research study between the Bureau and Credit Karma, a personal finance technology company providing free credit scores and reports and credit-related educational tools. This report is the first to study the relationship between financial well-being and engagement with financial information based on a survey of consumers matched with actual data on engagement.

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Average FICO score stands at record high

The average FICO score stands at 706, a record high, said Ethan Dornhelm, vice president of scores and predictive analytics at FICO. That compares with 686 at the 2009 end of the Great Recession and it eclipses the 690 at the 2006 height of the housing bubble. The key drivers are U.S. economic expansion that has propelled job growth and an increase in consumer education about protecting and improving scores, Dornhelm said in a blog post. In addition, the passage of time is helping to remove the credit scars from events that happened during the financial crisis, he said.

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Banks Scrapping Regulators For Friendlier OCC Oversight

An increased number of banks are swapping their own regulators for oversight by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday (Sept. 17). U.S. financial institutions can choose either state or federal oversight, although it is more common for banks to switch from federal supervision to more-accessible state regulators. The OCC serves as the national bank regulator. No state banks converted to OCC oversight from 2014 to 2016, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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California passes new rules that cap payday loan interest at 36%

More than 23 million people relied on at least one payday loan last year. On Friday, Sep. 13, California passed legislation that would make these loans less expensive for residents.   The California State Legislature passed the Fair Access to Credit Act, which blocks lenders from charging more than 36% on loans of $2,500 to $10,000. Previously, there was no interest rate cap on loans over $2,500, and the state’s Department of Business Oversight found over half of these loans carried annual percentage rates of 100% or more.

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Start-ups to grab $280 billion in banking payments revenues by 2025, study says

LONDON (Reuters) - Banks are set to miss out on as much as $280 billion in revenue from their payments operations by 2025, as new start-ups muscle in and more of the business of sending money to individuals and companies becomes instant and free, according to a new report.

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Wall Street banks are upping bets on their potential fintech competitors

The biggest banks on Wall Street are increasingly betting on their potential competition.   So far this year, major U.S. banks have participated in two dozen financial technology, or fintech, equity deals, according to a recent report by CB Insights. This is tracking to be on par with last year — which saw a 180% increase in bank investments from a year earlier.

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Supervisory Highlights, Issue No. 19 (Summer 2019)

In this issue of Supervisory Highlights, we report examination findings in the areas of automobile loan origination, credit card account management, debt collection, furnishing, and mortgage origination that were generally completed between December 2018 and March 2019 (unless otherwise stated). The report does not impose any new or different legal requirements, and all violations described in the report are based only on those specific facts and circumstances noted during those examinations.

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$2,848,199 Auto Deficiencies
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Industry Events

 
Out of the Darkness Montgomery County MD Walk

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Maryland SoccerPlex
Germantown , MD
September 22 - 22 , 2019

240-499-3800

National Creditors Bar Association 2019 Fall Conference

National Creditors Bar Association

Marriott Marquis
Washington, Washington, DC

October 16 - 19 , 2019

202-861-0706

2019 CFPB Research Conference

CFPB



December 12 - 13 , 2019
RMAi Annual Conference



February 04 - 06 , 2020

Questions about registration or sponsorship? Contact Sylvia Done at sdone@rmaintl.org or 916-482-2462

Third Party Vendor Auditing Workshop

HOW, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND WHY - from Resource Management Services, Inc.

Learn practical skills and tactics to review: • When to audit, and incorporating remote and onsite • What to audit - work effort, payment, compliance, financials and more • Sampling techniques to increase your effectiveness • How to develop an effective call monitoring scorecard • Audit bias and how to avoid it • What many audit teams miss and how to address • how to use the audit to improve compliance and performance • Remediation techniques and tools Course taught by experienced auditors and consultants: Bev Evancic and Ken Evancic

May 04 - 05 , 2020

562-906-1101 or info@resourcemanagement.com

Collection and Recovery Solutions 2020

Collection & Recovery Solutions - produced by Resource Management Services, Inc.

10440 Pioneer Blvd #2
Santa Fe Springs , CA
May 06 - 08 , 2020

562-906-1101

Debt Connection Symposium & Expo 2020

Resource Management Services, Inc.

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
11011 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89135

September 15 - 17 , 2020

562-906-1101

More information about Resource Management Services, Inc.
More information about Debt Connection Symposium
More information about RMN Networking
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