At a glanceFriday, December 21, 2018

Collection Industry News At A Glance - December 21, 2018
Friday December 21, 2018
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GAO issues fintech data use, lending compliance recommendations

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued recommendations to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) and banking regulators regarding fintech underwriting data use and fair lending compliance. While the GAO said fintech, or financial technology, can be useful in connecting lenders and borrowers online, information received from some fintech lenders revealed they use alternative data to help determine borrowers’ creditworthiness. Using alternative data could make loans available to more people, but could also have an unintended impact, such as fintech lenders being unaware of how to use the data and still comply with fair lending laws.

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US senators want regulators to look at Robinhood’s botched bank account rollout

New York (CNN Business)US senators are calling for regulators to inspect whether Robinhood misled customers in launching its new investment accounts. The investing app last week unveiled new checking and savings accounts with a whopping 3% interest rate. Checking rates are barely above zero at many banks. But after the announcement, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, an industry nonprofit, said the product might not be insured. Robinhood has since pivoted to calling the service a "cash management program." "We are concerned that rebranding Robinhood's original announcement to cash management may simply be a way to circumvent regulatory scrutiny without offering full transparency to its customers," seven Republican and Democratic lawmakers said in a letter dated Thursday.

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Cybersecurity for small business: Vendor security

Not many small businesses do business these days without the services of third-party vendors, some of whom have access to your company’s sensitive information. Even if you run a tight cybersecurity ship, what happens if your accountant loses a laptop or the payroll company that connects to your network experiences a security breach? Your business could be in jeopardy, of course, but that’s not all. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the vendor’s breach, customers may focus on the fact that they trusted you with the data and now they’re at risk for identity theft.

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FDIC, echoing NAFCU, clarifies Volcker rule requirements

FDIC Board Member Martin Gruenberg this week made clear that relief language in S. 2155 regarding the Volcker rule is intended for community banks – not all banks regardless of asset size as some have argued. Gruenberg's conclusion on the intent of the language supports NAFCU's view, which was shared with the FDIC and other bank regulators earlier this month.

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Financial Stability Oversight Council Releases Annual Report

Washington – The Financial Stability Oversight Council (Council) today published its 2018 annual report. The Council’s annual reports describe significant financial market and regulatory developments, potential emerging threats to U.S. financial stability, recommendations to promote U.S. financial stability, and the activities of the Council, among other things.

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PRA Group Announces New Call Center in Danville, VA

NORFOLK, Va.Dec. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- PRA Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRAA), a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, today announced its plans to open a new call center in Danville, Virginia.   "We are excited to open this new call center just a few hundred miles away from where we started 22 years ago," said Kevin Stevenson, president and chief executive officer of PRA Group. 

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Navient Plea to Dismiss Pennsylvania Lawsuit Gets Rejected

Navient Corporation 's NAVI plea to dismiss a state lawsuit filed against it for alleged deceptive lending practices in Pennsylvania has been rejected. Following this news, the company's shares declined 2.4%.

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Long live the CFPB: Kraninger kills bureau name change to BCFP

Just one day after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called for an internal investigation into the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s mission to change its name to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, new CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger is putting an end to the whole affair.  In what amounts to Kraninger’s first official act as the CFPB director, she told bureau employees that she is suspending any efforts to change the bureau’s name from the CFPB to the BCFP. “As of December 17, 2018, I have officially halted all ongoing efforts to make changes to existing products and materials related to the name correction initiative,” Kraninger said in an email to bureau employees, which was obtained by HousingWire.

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Judge Says ‘Please Call’ Note About Insurance Coverage Voided Collection Letter, Certifies Class

It was "a close call," the judge said, but a debt collection letter's invitation to "please call" the collector to discuss the possibility of insurance coverage was found to violate the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.   U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson of the District of New Jersey granted summary judgment to the plaintiff and certified a class of plaintiffs in the decision, where she "declined to impose on the least sophisticated debtor the obligation to draw a narrow legal distinction between 'resolving' and 'disputing' a debt.

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OCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Amending Stress Testing Rules for National Banks and Federal Savings Associations

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the OCC’s stress testing rule at 12 CFR 46 (which implements the stress testing requirements of section 165(i)(2) of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act), consistent with requirements imposed by section 401 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. 

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McAfee: Cryptomining and IoT malware both rose over 70% in Q3 2018

Cybersecurity firm McAfee said that the cybercriminal underworld is generating 480 new threats per minute. That’s one of the details in the new McAfee Labs Threats Report: December 2018. McAfee reported that internet of things malware was up 73 percent in the third quarter, while cryptocurrency mining malware was up 71 percent, even as the value of many cryptocurrencies have declined. Meanwhile, the ripple effect of the 2017 takedowns of Hansa and AlphaBay dark web markets continued as entrepreneurial cybercriminals took new measures to evade law enforcement.

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Warren calls for investigation into CFPB-to-BCFP name change

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is calling for an internal investigation into the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s mission to change its name. In a letter sent Monday to the Inspector General of the CFPB and published by The Hill, Warren wrote that her office is concerned that the name change “imposes unnecessary and significant costs on taxpayers and the business community, deprives the CFPB of funds it can use to protect consumers, and violates legal requirements.” Since March, the agency began taking steps to officiate a rebrand under Acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

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Pai Statement, FCC Creates Reassigned Numbers Database to Combat Unwanted Robocalls

The problem is a simple one.  A doctor’s office is trying to reach a patient and calls what it thinks is the patient’s phone number.  But the patient has changed numbers, and her old number has been reassigned to someone else.  So someone with no relationship to the doctor’s office or the patient receives the call. This isn’t good for anyone.  The new holder of the number is annoyed by a call meant for someone else.  The patient misses out on what could be an important call from her doctor’s office.  And the doctor’s office is unable to reach the patient and could face a lawsuit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for unknowingly placing the call in question. 

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A.G. Underwood Announces Record $174.2 Million Consumer Fraud Settlement With Charter For Defrauding Internet Subscribers

NEW YORK – Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced a record $174.2 million consumer fraud settlement with Charter Communications, Inc. and Spectrum Management Holding Company (together “Charter”) for defrauding internet subscribers. The $62.5 million in direct refunds to consumers alone are believed to represent the largest-ever payout to consumers by an internet service provider (ISP) in U.S. history.

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FTC and Veterans Affairs Announce MOA On Referrals For Deceptive Advertising, Sales Or Enrollment Practices Targeting Veterans Using Military Education Benefits

At the end of last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) “to provide mutual assistance in the oversight and enforcement of laws pertaining to the advertising, sales, and enrollment practices of institutions of higher learning and other establishments that offer training for military education benefits recipients.” Pursuant to 38 U.S.C. section 3696, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is prohibited from approving the enrollment of a veteran eligible for military education benefits “in any course offered by an institution which utilizes advertising, sales, or enrollment practices of any type which are erroneous, deceptive, or misleading either by actual statement, omission, or intimation.”

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U.S. banks quietly pull back from riskiest loans amid recession fears

(Reuters) - As U.S. bank stocks tanked this month over fears of an impending recession, industry executives downplayed concerns to colleagues, analysts and journalists, arguing that the economy is in great shape.  But looking behind headline numbers showing healthy loan books, problems appear to be cropping up in areas such as home-equity lines of credit, commercial real estate and credit cards, according to federal data reviewed by Reuters. Lenders are also starting to cut relationships with customers who seem too risky.   All of that suggests U.S. lenders will feel the pain of a recession soon, even if losses are not cropping up quite yet.

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Amazon, Google at odds with big banks over Fed’s role in faster payments

Big tech companies are calling on the Federal Reserve to build a backbone for real-time payments in the United States, leaving the nation’s largest banks increasingly isolated in their opposition to the idea.  Amazon, Apple and Google all declared their support Friday for the Fed taking a central role in the development of a modernized system that would connect all U.S. banks and credit unions. They were joined by other tech firms PayPal, Square, Stripe and Intuit.

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IRS issues standard mileage rates for 2019

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2019 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.  Beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 58 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3.5 cents from the rate for 2018, ...

It is important to note that under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers cannot claim a miscellaneous itemized deductin for unreimbursed employee travel expenses.

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FCC forces California to drop plan for government fees on text messages

California telecom regulators have abandoned a plan to impose government fees on text-messaging services, saying that a recent Federal Communications Commission vote has limited its authority over text messaging.

The FCC last week voted to classify text-messaging as an information service, rather than a telecommunications service. "Information service" is the same classification the FCC gave to broadband when it repealed net neutrality rules and claimed that states aren't allowed to impose their own net neutrality laws. California's legislature passed a net neutrality law anyway and is defending it in court. But the state's utility regulator chose not to challenge the FCC on regulation of text messaging.

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Indonesia: 25 legal fintech lenders accused of unethical debt collection have until Wednesday to respond to allegations

The Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jarkata), an NGO that supports citizens’ rights, has filed a complaint with the Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK), signed by more than 1,300 people claiming that they have been the victims of unethical debt collecting methods.  Jeanny Sirait, a spokeswoman from the legal aid group, LBH, told KrAsia that consumer complaints include violations such as dissemination of personal data, intimidation, and even verbal sexual harassment. According to Sirait, 1,330 complaints were submitted by the end of November, but new complaints are coming in every day.  The booming online lending industry in Indonesia has meant regulators had to spring into action to form a system for oversight and sanctions.

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Even Bill Gates says U.S. tech companies need more regulation

he majority of Americans believe technology companies have gone too far with their personal data — and Microsoft Corp.  co-founder Bill Gates is one of them.  Legislators should be doing more to rein in the privacy reach of companies, the tech veteran said in a FOX News Sunday interview this week.  “The government should be talking to these companies about what they do,” he said. Gates — who testified in front of Congress in 1998 to justify Microsoft’s policies and power after the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against his company — said tech executives today should strive to work with Congress. “I was naive,” Gates also told Fox. “I didn’t have an office in Washington, D.C. I thought that was a good thing and I even bragged about it.”

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Robinhood to re-launch, rebrand its savings account plan after widespread criticism

Robinhood is going back to the drawing board.  Just a day after unveiling what it called checking and savings accounts, the financial technology startup said it is re-launching and re-naming the product, which came under immediate scrutiny from Wall Street and federal officials about potentially misleading investors.  In a blog post released late Friday evening, Robinhood's founders acknowledged that its new plan, which aimed to offer no-fee checking and savings accounts "may have caused some confusion."

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Janet Yellen is worried about the next financial crisis

Janet Yellen is worried about the next financial crisis and told a small, intimate audience at an event Wednesday night in Washington, D.C., that her biggest concerns were the potential for reversal of financial safeguards put in place after the crisis and growing corporate debt.  “I am worried that we are in a deregulatory mode and I see a lot of pressures building in the system to go further to really weaken fundamental safeguards that were created in Dodd-Frank. We are a decade after the financial crisis so that would be worrisome and wrong to do,” Yellen told the audience at the Women in Housing and Finance holiday event.

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Five challenges facing new consumer bureau chief

Kraninger was confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 6 in a 50-49 party-line vote, and began her five-year term atop the the polarizing financial regulator on Tuesday. She promised a fresh start at an agency where many employees have felt demoralized during more than a year of turmoil under Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, who was recently named acting White House chief of staff.

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The call center commandment: Don’t put fraud protection on hold

As if you weren’t already wary about answering phone calls from unknown numbers, here’s another concern to consider. And it isn’t just talk—though you’ll want to watch what you say, how you say it and who you say it to. Here’s how it works: Imagine a caller/fraudster trying to “steal” your voice by capturing it over the phone, all to steal your money. Now imagine no more. It’s a new form of attack against financial institution call centers called “synthetic speech”— part of a growing trend by bad actors to illicitly syphon funds that call centers are scrambling to fight—that is, when they can fight it at all.

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Using one of the worst passwords of 2018 is a great way to get hacked

No matter how much we read about hacks and data breaches and the importance of taking solid security precautions, one of the unchangeable truths of the world is that people on average are absolutely terrible when it comes to choosing passwords. We use the same ones over and over, to the delight of hackers, and the ones we come up with tend to be pathetically easy so that we’re able to remember them.

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After losing court battle, DeVos to cancel $150 million in student loan debt

The Education Department said Thursday it will cancel $150 million in federal student loan debt, despite Secretary Betsy DeVos' efforts to overhaul the Obama-era policy.    DeVos proposed restricting "borrower defense" claims filed by former students whose schools closed or made false promises, but has to carry out regulations after court rulings sided with students. 

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Portfolios For Sale

 
$5,357,642.33 Consumer Loans
National Debt Holdings, LLC

(877) 277-5571

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$1,005,605.48 Sub Prime
National Debt Holdings, LLC

(877) 277-5571

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$4,421,877.74 Sub Prime
National Debt Holdings, LLC

(877) 277-5571

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$2,224,717.93 Payday Loans
National Debt Holdings, LLC

(877) 277-5571

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Profiles

 

   Debt Buyer 

The Brilmore Group, LLC.

(904) 624-2935

   Debt Seller 

McNeil & Meyers

(504) 733-3103

 

Industry Events

 
Receivables Management Association 22nd Annual Conference

Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) 22nd Annual Conference Aria Resort & Casino 3730 Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89518 rmassociation.org/AC19 February 5-7 2019 916-482-2760

February 05 - 07 , 2019

(916) 482-2760

FTC Hearing on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century – February 2019

Federal Trade Commission

CONSTITUTION CENTER 400 7th St SW
Washington , DC
February 12 - 13 , 2019

(202) 326-2222

ACA International Spring Forum & Expo 2019

ACA International

The M Resort
12300 S Las Vegas Blvd,
Henderson, NV 89044

March 13 - 15 , 2019

800- 269-1607

NCUCA – National Credit Union Collection Alliance

NCUCA - National Credit Union Collection Alliance



April 15 - 17 , 2019

https://www.ncuca.com/contact/

Collection & Recovery Solutions 2019

Resource Management Services, Inc.

Four Seasons Hotel
3960 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas , NV
May 08 - 10 , 2019

562-906-1101

National Creditors Bar Association 2019 Spring Conference

National Creditors Bar Association

Hilton Minneapolis
1001 S. Marquette Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

May 15 - 18 , 2019

202-861-0706

PrivacyCon 2019

Federal Trade Commission

400 7th St., SW
Washington , DC
June 27 - 27 , 2019

(202) 326-2222

ACA International 2019 Annual Convention & Expo

ACA International

Event Location TBA

July 17 - 16 , 2019

800-269-1607

Debt Connection Symposium & Expo 2019

Resource Management Services, Inc.

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

September 10 - 12 , 2019

(562) 906-1101

National Creditors Bar Association 2019 Fall Conference

National Creditors Bar Association

Marriott Marquis
Washington, Washington, DC

October 16 - 19 , 2019

202-861-0706

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