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WebRecon Stats for Jan 2019: Out of the Gate

Quick analysis: Well, it looks like 2019 begins with a screech out of the gates. In January, all three of the main consumer statutes we track (FDCPA, TCPA, FCRA) were up significantly over December 2018. But only FCRA was also up over January 2018 as well.

Employer-paid student loan repayment help could be coming

With U.S. student loan debt totaling a staggering $1.5 trillion nationally, it’s second only to outstanding home mortgage debt for American households. But one idea that could provide some relief for indebted students is now gaining bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

FTC to law violators: Don’t bank on bankruptcy

A recent ruling by a Florida Bankruptcy Judge sheds light on a tenacious team within the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. But first, let’s set the time machine to 2008 when the FTC entered into a settlement with BlueHippo, a computer financing company that pitched electronics to consumers with “less than perfect credit, bad credit, no credit.”

Democratic Senators Lambaste Kraninger for CFPB Payday Plan

All 47 Democratic senators are accusing the CFPB of pandering to the payday lending industry in its proposal to allow lenders to make loans regardless of a borrower’s ability to repay the loans. And, in a letter to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, the senators raised the possibility that the agency’s decision violates federal law. “Repealing this rule provides a green light to the payday lending industry to prey on vulnerable American consumers,” the senators said, in the letter. Earlier this month, the CFPB proposed eliminating the ability-to-repay provision of the agency’s 2017 rule governing payday loans.

US needs an internet data privacy law, GAO tells Congress

The federal government’s chief auditor has recommended Congress consider developing legislation to beef up consumers’ internet data privacy protections. much like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. The recommendation was included in a 56-page report (PDF) issued Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, the government agency that provides auditing, evaluation and investigative services for Congress. The report was prepared at the request two years ago by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has scheduled a hearing to discuss the subject for Feb. 26.

US$588 billion loans to find homes in alternative lending market

Marketplace Lending (MPL) will reach $137 billion annually by 2023, up from less than $30 billion this year, representing growth over the period of 400%, according to Juniper Research. The researcher also estimates P2P/MPL business lending origination value will reach US$116 billion in 2023. Juniper found that a lack of trust by investors is challenging to MPL. Despite using algorithms and non-traditional data to calculate eligibility, the risk of default by underserved customers, MPL’s target audience, is still high. Liquidity is also problematic for new players as few customers have completed a payment cycle. Thus, players have low cashflow due to immediate debt (loan principal) and long-term receivables.

OFR adopts final rule for US repo market

The US Office of Financial Research (OFR) has adopted a final rule to establish a data collection covering centrally cleared funding transactions in the US repurchase agreement (repo) market. According to the OFR, the daily collection will enhance the ability of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to identify and monitor potential risks to US financial stability by closing the data gap related to centrally cleared repo transactions. The collection will also support the calculation of certain reference rates, particularly alternatives to the US dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

U.S. Student Debt in ‘Serious Delinquency’ Tops $166 Billion

Student-loan delinquencies surged last year, hitting consecutive records of $166.3 billion in the third quarter and $166.4 billion in the fourth.   Bloomberg calculated the dollar amounts from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s quarterly household-debt report, which includes only the total owed and the percentage delinquent at least 90 days or in default.

What’s the Average U.S. Credit Card Debt by Income and Age in 2019?

Credit card debt is high and getting higher, as Americans are growing more lax about accumulating credit card debt. According to data from CreditDonkey.com, the average individual credit card debt stands at $5,331 in 2019. Additionally, on a monthly basis, most Americans don’t pay their credit card balance in full every month – 55% don’t regularly pay in full. What Is the Average Credit Card Debt in the U.S? Here’s a closer look at how credit card debt stacks up demographically (specifically in age and income) across the U.S. (data from Value Penguin’s Average Credit Card Debt in America: February 2019).

Cybersecurity for small business: Hiring a web host

Your website is the online face of your business. Some companies have the in-house capability to manage their web presence. Others hire a web host to handle it for them. When launching a new business or upgrading their site, savvy business owners comparison shop for web hosting services. At the top of your shopping list should be the security features built into what you’re buying.