At a glanceWednesday, September 12, 2018

Collection Industry News At A Glance - September 12, 2018
Wednesday September 12, 2018
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AB 1526, Kalra. Debt collection.
The Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulates the practice
of debt collection and the conduct of debt collectors, as defined. The act
prohibits specified conduct by a debt collector in connection with the
collection or attempted collection of a consumer debt. The act provides for
enforcement by means of civil penalties and damages, as specified.
This bill would prohibit a debt collector from sending a written
communication to a debtor attempting to collect a time-barred debt without
providing specified written notices stating that the debtor may not be sued
for the debt, but that the debt, depending on its age, may be reported as
unpaid to credit reporting agencies, as specified.

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Cyber security threats against small businesses on the rise in 2018

In a world before social media, one with less people on the planet than electronic devices connected to the internet, shoplifters and annoying computer viruses posed the biggest threats to small businesses.  But in the world today where connected devices outnumber people new data from the National Cyber Security Alliance suggests that almost 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack, more than 70 percent of attacks target small businesses and as much as 60 percent of hacked small and medium-sized businesses go out of business after six months.

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Navient named a 2019 Military Friendly Employer

WILMINGTON, Del., Sept. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Navient announced today it has been awarded gold status as a Military Friendly Employer for 2019. Presented by VIQTORY, publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine, it is the fifth consecutive year Navient has received the Military Friendly Employer designation.   “At Navient, we value the service our military employees provide to their country and to our customers,” said Mike Maier, senior vice president and U.S. Navy veteran. “We’re honored to be recognized for our commitment to providing military veterans an opportunity to build meaningful careers with our company.”

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Agencies Issue Statement Reaffirming the Role of Supervisory Guidance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five federal agencies today issued a joint statement explaining the role of supervisory guidance for regulated institutions.  The statement from the agencies—the Federal Reserve Board, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency—confirms that supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law, and the agencies do not take enforcement actions based on supervisory guidance.  The joint statement explains that supervisory guidance can outline the agencies’ supervisory expectations or priorities and articulate the agencies’ general views regarding appropriate practices for a given subject area.

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RevSpring and Apex Announce Strategic Combination

LIVONIA, Mich. and St. Paul, Minn. (Sept 11, 2018) – RevSpring and Apex Revenue Technologies announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine in a strategic transaction.  The combined company, which will continue to conduct business as RevSpring, will be the leading provider of intelligent multi-channel consumer and patient engagement solutions, electronic and printed communications, and billing and payments solutions. On behalf of their customers, the combined companies generate over one billion consumer financial communications and $4 billion in consumer payment volume annually.  The transaction is being led by GTCR, a leading private equity firm based in Chicago which is currently the majority shareholder of RevSpring.  Closing is expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2018 after the receipt of regulatory approvals.  Following closing, GTCR will be the majority shareholder with substantial ownership held by management of the combined companies.   

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Fintech Uses Machine Learning for Smarter Debt Collection

A San Francisco-based startup that uses algorithmic machine learning to study consumer behavior is trying to flip a decades-old model that banks and other creditors use for collecting debts.  Machine learning can help banks and other financial services companies preserve their relationships with customers in delinquency rather than sending them to collections and saying goodbye, Ohad Samet, CEO of TrueAccord Corp., said in an interview with Bloomberg Law.

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Defendant Who Took Part in Business Coaching Scheme Agrees to Settle FTC Charges

One of the defendants involved in a multimillion-dollar business-coaching scheme has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that he helped deceive consumers with false claims that they could earn “six figures” within 90 days.  The defendant in the case, Sean Brown, allegedly helped operate the coaching scheme, which did business under the name Digital Altitude. The final order bans Brown from selling business coaching programs and investment opportunities.

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U.S. Bank Launches Simple Loan To Compete With Payday Lenders

U.S. Bank is entering the small-dollar lending arena. Going forward, U.S. Bank depositors will be able to tap into an online, digital lending product aimed at offering a small cash infusion to solve near-term problems. Called Simple Loan, the new product puts the nation’s largest regional bank in direct competition with payday, title and other short-term lenders.

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Santander Will Settle With the CFPB on Vehicle Loan Claims

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc., an affiliate of European lender Banco Santander SA, will settle claims alleged by a U.S. consumer watchdog group that borrowers weren’t fully informed about some of their costs. In particular, the lack of information was about insurance policies and auto loans.

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FTC Announces Second Session of Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century September 21 at the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission will hold the second session of its 21st Century Hearings initiative with a full-day event on September 21 at the FTC’s Constitution Center facilities in Washington, D.C. The event will be webcast live. Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter will make opening remarks. Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz will deliver an opening address on the state of competition in the United States, and former FTC Chairman William E. Kovacic will deliver remarks on the evolution of U.S. antitrust law. The morning session will feature two moderated panel discussions on the state of U.S. antitrust law. The afternoon session will feature a moderated panel discussion on monopsony power. Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen will offer closing remarks.

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U.S. Bank Launches Simple Loan to Meet Customers’ Short-Term Cash Needs

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Bank has launched a new small-dollar loan product called Simple Loan, designed to help customers deal with unexpected or short-term cash needs with a transparent, easy-to-understand installment loan. According to a Federal Reserve study released in May 2018, about 40 percent of U.S. adults said they would not be able to cover a $400 unexpected expense or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money. Among those not able to pay the expense in full using cash or savings, 29 percent would have no other means to be able to pay for the expense.

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Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Announces New Advisory Committee Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) announced the appointment of new experts from outside the federal government to the Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, and Credit Union Advisory Council. The three advisory committees provide advice to Bureau leadership on a broad range of consumer financial issues and emerging market trends.

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FTC Settlements Ban Fraudulent Debt Collectors from Debt Collection Business and from Buying or Selling Debt

The operators of a Georgia-based debt collection business that allegedly used false claims and threats to get people to pay debts – including debts they did not owe or that the defendants had no authority to collect – are banned from the debt collection business and from buying or selling debt, under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission. According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants’ debt collection business model was based on falsely claiming to consumers that they had committed a crime and would be sued, have their wages garnished, or be put in prison if they did not pay purported debts. In many instances, the defendants collected on debts consumers had already paid or that the defendants otherwise had no authority to collect. They also illegally contacted consumers’ employers and other third parties, and failed to provide written notices and disclaimers required by law.

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Consumer protection bureau faces constitutional challenge in Supreme Court

The Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau faced a legal challenge at the Supreme Court on Thursday to its singe-director format, a setup that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh has consistently ruled against for placing too much power in the hands of one unaccountable bureaucrat. State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, along with the nonprofit Competitive Enterprise Institute and the seniors’ advocacy group 60 Plus Association, filed a petition with the high court to hear a lawsuit that seeks to declare the CFPB’s organizational structure unconstitutional. The agency was created in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law.

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Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Releases Latest Supervisory Highlights

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) today released its 17th edition of Supervisory Highlights. The report covers Bureau supervision activities generally completed between December 2017 and May 2018, and shares observations in the areas of auto loan servicing, credit card account management, debt collection, mortgage servicing, payday lending, and small business lending.

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FTC Hearing #1: Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

The Federal Trade Commission will begin its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century with two full-day sessions, co-sponsored with and held at the Georgetown University Law Center, on September 13 and 14, 2018. The Georgetown event will be the first in a series of hearings that will examine whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement priorities of the Commission. Many sessions will conclude with an opportunity for those attending the event in-person to submit questions to the participants. These public events, in conjunction with the public comment process, will provide the FTC with a broad and diverse range of viewpoints and stimulate evaluation of key enforcement and policy issues.

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New Bill Would Override State Usury Caps for Fintech Companies, Payday Lenders

The House just passed a bill that would override state usury caps on interest rates made by financial technology (fintech) companies or online and payday lenders, but it’s facing opposition from consumer financial protection advocates. The bill — H.R. 3299, also known as the Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017 — aims to accelerate fintech innovation and encourage business growth. There is a similar bill stalled in the Senate (S. 1642) over consumer financial protection concerns.

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Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Protect Consumers From Out-of-Network Health Services

WOODBRIDGE – Protecting consumers against surprise bills for out-of-network health services, Governor Phil Murphy today signed Assembly Bill No. 2039, which makes changes to several elements of New Jersey’s health care delivery system. These improvements include transparency and enhanced consumer protections, the creation of an arbitration system and cost containments for out-of-network services.

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A.G. Underwood Calls On CFPB To Continue Enforcement Of Federal Law To Protect Against Credit Discrimination

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood – part of a coalition of 14 Attorneys General - called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Acting Director Mick Mulvaney to continue protecting the rights of consumers against credit discrimination under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). The Attorneys General share authority with the CFPB to enforce regulations regarding the ECOA and lead antidiscrimination efforts in their own states. As such, they are calling on the CFPB to continue enforcing the ECOA, including its provision for disparate impact liability.

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COMMUNITY BANKS: Effect of Regulations on Small Business Lending and Institutions Appears Modest, but Lending Data Could Be Improved

The data that banks report to regulators have characteristics that make determining how community banks' small business lending changed since 2010 difficult. However, GAO's analysis found that the regulatory environment likely had a generally modest effect on various aspects of community banks and their small business lending.

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VeriFacts Launches Due Diligence Solution

VeriFacts Inc. (VFI), a small family owned data and asset location service, announced plans to ramp up due diligence facilitation while reducing labor for many ED clients. In this two-part process, VFI supports the AWG process with verified places of employment while also streamlining voluntary payment attempts with unverified local employer phone numbers.

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Start Fresh Ventures LLC

(716) 901-5411

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