At a glanceFriday, September 24, 2021

Collection Industry News At A Glance - September 24, 2021
Friday September 24, 2021
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Household net worth rises above $141 trillion, but debt up sharply as well

American households saw another significant jump in net worth as well as hefty increases in debt and credit, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday. Thanks in good part to a big surge in stock market earnings, total household net worth rose to $141.7 trillion through the second quarter of 2021, the central bank’s Financial Accounts of the United States report showed. That was good for a $5.85 trillion increase, or 4.3% from the first quarter. Looking back to a year ago, when the nation was in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the net worth total represents a 19.6% increase.

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FTC Testifies before the Senate Special Committee on Aging About the Agency’s Work to Halt Practices that Prey on Older Americans

Bad actors who prey on older Americans should be stopped in their tracks, and today, the Federal Trade Commission is testifying before the Senate Special Committee on Aging on our work to protect older adults and ensure that these predators face consequences.

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Consumer Complaint Research Brief: Consumer complaints throughout the credit life cycle, by demographic characteristics

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today released its first in-depth report analyzing complaint submission patterns by U.S. Census tract. The report, “Consumer complaints throughout the credit life cycle, by demographic characteristics,” finds that the complaints from wealthier communities and communities with higher percentages of white, non-Hispanic residents were more frequently about loan origination and performing servicing, while the complaints from communities of color and lower income communities were more frequently about credit reporting, identity theft, and delinquent servicing.

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Bill encourages consumer fraud reporting by whistleblowers

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) has introduced a bill she said incentivizes consumer fraud reporting to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

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New York Adds Text Messaging to Telemarketing Law

Bringing the law into the 21st century, the New York legislature has updated the state’s telemarketing statute to add text messaging. Joint bills in the Senate and Assembly modified Section 399-z of the General Business Law to include the term “electronic messaging text” to multiple definitions in the statute, such as “telemarketer,” “telemarketing” and “telemarketing sales calls.”

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10-year fixed student loan rates slide, while 5-year variable rates bump up

The average private student loan rates for borrowers with credit scores of 720 or higher who used the Credible marketplace to take out student loans fell for fixed rates and rose for variable rates during the week of Sept. 13, 2021.

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California: CPPA Board seeks public comment on proposed rulemaking under CPRA

The California Privacy Protection Agency Board ('CPPA Board') issued, on 22 September 2021, an invitation for preliminary comments on proposed rulemaking under the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 ('CPRA'). In particular, the CPRA amends and extends the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 ('CCPA'), and to implement the law, the CPPA Board was vested with the administrative power, authority, and jurisdiction to implement and enforce the CCPA, where responsibilities include updating existing regulations, and adopting new regulations.

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DFPI Sanctions Debt Collector in First Action Under the California Consumer Financial Protection Law

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) today issued its first enforcement action against a debt collector and debt buyer, Murrieta-based F & F Management Inc. (F & F), for violating the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) by unlawfully threatening to sue consumers and garnish their wages, and submitting negative information to a credit bureau without notifying consumers as required, a practice known in the industry as debt parking.

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Paycheck Protection Program: Program Changes Increased Lending to the Smallest Businesses and in Underserved Locations

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant turmoil in the U.S. economy, leading to temporary and permanent business closures and high unemployment. In response, in March 2020, Congress established PPP under the CARES Act and ultimately provided commitment authority of approximately $814 billion for the program over three phases. When initial program funding ran out in 14 days, concerns quickly surfaced that certain businesses were unable to access the program, prompting a series of changes by Congress and SBA.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announces New Advisory Committee Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio today announced the appointment of new members to the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), and Academic Research Council (ARC). These committee members will advise Bureau leadership on a broad range of consumer financial issues and emerging market trends.

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Demand for SBA 7(a) loans is rising. These 50 lenders doled out the most in Q2

The Small Business Administration became one of the most important federal agencies for small business owners during the Covid-19 pandemic — and its traditional lending programs have seen a boost as a result. The agency, which ran the popular Paycheck Protection Program as well as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program and the Restaurant Relief Fund, is also seeing businesses continue to sign up for its 7(a) and 504 loans — which offer a variety of lines of credit, lending and acquisition uses.

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Are cyber security risks heightened by our new working culture?

While some people believe our working environments are more vulnerable now, others point out that companies are getting better at preventing attacks. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but it’s clear the inherent cyber risk has gone up.

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New Identity Management Study from LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Aite-Novarica Group Reveals Increase in Fraud as Industry Reports Uptick in Digital Transactions

ATLANTA — A new insurance industry research study reveals that insurance carriers saw an increase in consumer digital activity across both underwriting (77%) and claims (76%) during the coronavirus pandemic and indicated this recent increase in digital activity has in turn spurred more identity fraud activity, according to 67% of survey respondents. Authored by Aite-Novarica Group and presented by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, a leading provider of data, advanced analytics and technology for the insurance industry, the Insurance Fraud: Rethinking Approaches in the Digital Age report provides advice for carriers on how to identify vulnerabilities and ways to mitigate these vulnerabilities, while providing the ultimate customer experience to genuine consumers.

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Seventh Circuit vacates restitution award to CFPB in action against mortgage-assistance relief companies and lawyers

In a decision issued earlier this summer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated the district court’s order awarding restitution, mandating civil penalties, and issuing an injunction in an action brought by the CFPB against two mortgage-assistance relief companies and four lawyers associated with the companies.  The decision imposes significant limitations on the Bureau’s ability to recover both monetary and injunctive relief in enforcement actions.

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FTC Sends Nearly $5 Million in Refunds to People who Lost Money to Cramming Scheme

The Federal Trade Commission is sending refund checks totaling nearly $5 million to people who lost money to a cramming scheme that added charges to their home phone bills without their permission.

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NCUA has asked credit unions to comment on crypto. So far, crickets.

The National Credit Union Administration released a request for information in July, calling on credit unions and other related entities to provide feedback on how distributed ledger technology and decentralized finance applications are viewed and used by the industry. The agency asked how blockchain can serve members and meet business objectives, as well as what hurdles exist to implementation and what risks the technology could pose to the institutions. Comments in response to the RFI are received and posted by the agency in batches to the government portal, with the frequency increasing closer to the deadline which in this case is Sept. 27.

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U.S. Bank to Acquire MUFG Union Bank

MINNEAPOLIS and NEW YORK – September 21, 2021 – U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MUFG Union Bank’s core regional banking franchise from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MUFG) in a transaction that will bring together two premier organizations with a focus on being the leader in serving customers and communities in California, Washington and Oregon.

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Attorney General Bonta Announces Arrests in Orange County Connected to One of the Nation’s Largest Student Loan Debt Relief Fraud Schemes

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the arrest of the leader of a nationwide, multiyear, multimillion-dollar student loan debt relief scam. The defendant owned a network of third-party debt relief (TPDR) businesses based in Orange County. They employed managers and sales agents to operate multiple call centers that contacted individuals across the country promising to reduce or eliminate their federal student loan debt. 

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Meanwhile in Massachusetts…..New Bill Would Outlaw Using Local Area Codes Unless Caller is In State–$10K in Damages Available

Anyway, new bill in MA would make this (amongst other things) illegal: “caus[ing] to be displayed a Massachusetts area code on the recipient’s caller ID unless the person making, placing or initiating the call or text message maintains a physical presence in the commonwealth…”

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Stronger mortgage demand points to September surge in home sales

After a Labor Day week lull, demand for mortgages rose sharply last week from homeowners and homebuyers. Total mortgage application volume was up nearly 5% for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Mortgage interest rates, however, didn’t move, and haven’t for the past four weeks. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) remained unchanged at 3.03%, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment.

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CFPB Sues Online Lender for Alleged Violations 2016 Consent Order

The CFPB recently filed a complaint against an online installment and single-payment lender alleging that it violated the terms of a 2016 consent order that previously required the company to pay millions in consumer redress and a civil penalty and to stop misleading consumers with false claims about the cost of loans and the benefits of repeated borrowing.

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Wyoming and Maine Issue New Licensing Requirements Potentially Impacting Passive Loan Investors

Wyoming and Maine recently amended their laws related to licensure requirements for consumer lending:

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Student loans: Ending the pandemic payment pause ‘is a defining moment,’ Federal Student Aid COO says

The head of the federal government's massive student loan portfolio recently described the pandemic payment pause as "an unprecedented challenge," adding that restarting payments for tens of millions Americans after January 2022 will be "a defining moment."

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Justice Department Settles with the State of New Jersey’s Student Lending Authority for Alleged Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

The Department of Justice announced today that New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) has agreed to enter into a settlement and pay $50,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by obtaining unlawful court judgments against two military servicemembers who co-signed student loans.

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DFPI Debt Collector Licensing Now Available at NMLS

All debt collectors operating in California can now apply to be licensed by the Department, representing the first step in increased state oversight that will include an assessment of applications, formal examinations, and protections for California consumers. Debt collectors, debt buyers, and debt collection attorneys operating in the state may now submit their license applications online at the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS).

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Coinbase Caves to SEC Pressure, Drops Lending Product. Will Others Follow Suit?

Two weeks ago, Coinbase was in fighting form. Its CEO Brian Armstrong blasted the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for what he labeled "sketchy behavior." The SEC demanded that Coinbase drop its Lend product, which would have allowed borrowers to use crypto as collateral on loans. It would also have paid investors 4% APY on deposits in the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC). The SEC threatened to sue if Coinbase persisted with the offer.

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Why two companies are paying off $225 million in medical debt for 176,000 people

Health care company Nomi Health said on Tuesday it is teaming with charity RIP Medical Debt to pay off $225 million in overdue medical bills for 176,000 Americans. Those people will receive letters over the next few weeks alerting them to the debt forgiveness.

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CFPB Sues Software Company That Helps Credit-Repair Businesses Charge Illegal Fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today filed a lawsuit in federal district court accusing a California-based software company and its owner of providing assistance to illegal credit-repair businesses. 

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Attorney General Chris Carr Provides Update on Fight Against Robocalls

ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr, today released an update on telecom companies’ progress in implementing the Anti-Robocall Principles he signed onto in 2019. Since September 2019, companies that agreed to these Principles have identified more than 52 billion spam or spoofed numbers calls, authenticated the caller ID numbers of hundreds of billions of calls, and blocked more than 32.5 billion spam, spoofed, or illegal calls. 

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CFPB Withdraws Proposal to Delay Debt Collection Final Rules

On September 1, the CFPB formally withdrew its April 7 proposal to delay the effective date of its two rules revising Regulation F until January 29, 2022. Regulation F, as amended by the two final rules, implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Debt Collection Final Rules). The CFPB’s withdrawal of its proposal to delay the Debt Collection Final Rules was based on most industry commenters stating that they are prepared to comply with the Debt Collection Final Rules by November 30, 2021, and that an extension would reduce regulatory certainty and increase burden on small entities. The CFPB’s withdrawal of its former proposal means that the Debt Collection Final Rules will officially take effect on November 30, 2021.

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FTC Opens Rulemaking Petition Process, Promoting Public Participation and Accountability

At an open Commission meeting today, the Federal Trade Commission voted to make significant changes to enhance public participation the agency’s rulemaking, a significant step to increase public participation and accountability around the work of the FTC.

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BAL Financial LLC

(617) 595-5794

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(866) 305-5102

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$32,076,119 Credit Cards
Capital Debt Solutions, LLC

(866) 305-5102

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Profiles

 

   Attorney 

John Paul Barber, PLLC

(228) 447-3522

 

Industry Events

 
2021 Atlanta Regional Networking & Advocacy Training Event

Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center 2450 Galleria Parkway | Atlanta, GA 30339

Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center 2450 Galleria Parkway
Atlanta , Georgia
September 27 - 28 , 2021

916 482 2462

NCBA 2021 FALL CONFERENCE

NCBA

101 Bowie Street
San Antonio , Texas
October 13 - 15 , 2021

conferences@creditorsbar.org.

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