At a glanceFriday, December 14, 2018

Collection Industry News At A Glance - December 14, 2018
Friday December 14, 2018
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FTC and State of Florida Win Summary Judgment: Court Orders Ringleader of Debt-Relief Scam to Pay $23 Million and Imposes Industry Bans

A federal judge in Florida has permanently banned Kevin W. Guice from the telemarketing and debt-relief industries, agreeing with the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Florida that he founded and operated a massive debt-relief scam that took in over $23 million from more than 10,000 consumers, until halted by a June 2016 temporary restraining order.

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U.S. Consumer Credit Market Poised for More Growth in 2019

Low unemployment rates and continued positive growth in both GDP and real disposable income are among the key drivers that will propel the U.S. consumer credit market in 2019. Partly due to the strong performance of these economic indicators, TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) 2019 consumer credit forecast found that originations and consumer balances are expected to increase for most credit products, while serious delinquency rates will likely decline or remain steady.

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Financial Well-being of Older Americans

The report describes the distribution of financial well-being scores for adults ages 62 and older in the United States, and the relationship between financial well-being and age. The report shows that financial well-being generally increases with age, but declines again at later ages. In addition, the report examines and quantifies for the first time the association of financial well-being and a range of topics including employment and retirement; housing situation; debt; family and living arrangement; health-related experience; and financial 

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Half of America hasn’t recovered from the recession

A decade after the financial crisis, the U.S. economy seems to be firing on all cylinders, with unemployment at a 50-year low and growth hitting its stride. But a deeper look reveals a more troubling picture: Between 2012 and 2015 -- a period when the recovery seemed to be gaining speed -- nearly half of all counties nationwide saw flat or declining growth, according to new government data. 

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Visa announces fintech partnership to help companies eliminate $33 trillion in paper checks

Visa is partnering with Ingo Money to launch a product for merchants and banks to quickly get onto the payment network's systems allowing fast digital payments to customers.

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Ajit Pai’s FCC gives carriers the option to block text messages

The Federal Communications Commission said it's getting tough on text message spam by clarifying that phone companies can block unwanted texts. At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the Republican-led agency voted 3-1 to classify SMS text messages as a so-called Title I information service under the Telecom Act. The three Republicans on the FCC, which voted to adopt the classification, said this would allow phone companies to block spam text messages. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the new classification would empower wireless providers to stop unwanted text messages.

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The Real Impact Of Data Breaches

Seemingly every few weeks news breaks of a new hacking scandal or high profile data breach. No industry is immune: Among the recently breached are a global hotel chain, a Q&A platform, fitness apps, global social platforms, big-box retailers and data companies that routinely handle vast amounts of sensitive, personal informationdata. There are likely many more that have yet to be uncovered. Lukewarm responses to the breaches have also become quite common. It’s often difficult to quantify real-life impact and damage, especially since the types of data types compromised can vary. The legal and regulatory frameworks to ensure some accountability and punishment severely lag behind the complexity and prevalence of routine data collection and retention practices – and not just in marketing. With no enforcement, companies have little incentive to devote real resources to preemptive and ongoing data protection.

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Collection and Recovery Solutions 2019 conference, will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas May 8 – 10, 2019.  For originating creditors only, the special 2 for 1 registration offer ends on December 31, 2019.  

Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are a senior level creditor involved in collection and recovery, and are interested in receiving an invitation, please contact us at (562) 906-1101 or E-Mail: For more information on the Collection and Recovery Solutions 2019 conference, please visit us at

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New Head of Watchdog Agency Vows Consumers Will Be Top Focus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The new head of the U.S. consumer watchdog agency says she doesn't have immediate targets in mind for rolling back actions taken by her controversial predecessor, and will put protecting consumers in the forefront while also encouraging financial innovation.   Kathy Kraninger, nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate last week on a narrow, party-line vote, has replaced Mick Mulvaney as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Minnesota attorney general sues tax debt company

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KARE) - Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has filed a lawsuit against a "tax debt relief" company that Swanson said fails to deliver on its promises. The lawsuit claims Wall & Associates, Inc. failed to register in Minnesota and collected advance payments from clients of up to $15,000 before services were fully delivered. "State law prohibits these tax assistance companies from getting paid in advance. If you hire a tax assistance company, number one they have to be licensed. Number two, they're not supposed to collect any money until they've actually helped you," Swanson said.

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Former ITT Tech students get $600M in debt relief from bankruptcy judge

While the bankruptcy fight over failed for-profit educator ITT Educational Services continues, the biggest group involved in the legal battle has scored a big victory. In late November, a federal bankruptcy judge in Indianapolis gave final approval to a $600 million settlement that will affect about 750,000 former students of ITT Technical Institute. The settlement cancels all of the debt those students owed directly to the defunct education chain, which operated 136 campuses in 38 states when Carmel-based parent ITT Educational closed it down in September 2016.  The agreement covers student borrowers who attended ITT Tech at any time from 2006 to 2016. It also returns $3 million to students who made loan payments to the school after ITT Educational declared bankruptcy more than two years ago.

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Home Personal Finance Alleged student debt relief scam leads to arrest of CEO

In the summer of 2017, Beverly Sills, a Memphis, Tennessee Veterans Affairs Hospital employee, discovered she hadn’t made a payment on her student loans since December 2015, despite sending roughly $3,000 during that period to Ameritech, a company she believed was managing her debt, according to court documents.

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BCFP enters into consent order with State Farm regarding alleged FCRA violations

Last Thursday, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “Bureau”) announced a settlement with State Farm Bank, FSB (“State Farm”) regarding alleged violations of the FCRA as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. In the Consent Order, available here, the Bureau indicated that it found that State Farm violated the FCRA in numerous ways including: obtaining consumer reports without a permissible purpose; failing to promptly update or correct information furnished to credit-reporting-agencies (“CRAs”); furnishing information to CRAs without providing notice that the information was disputed by the consumer; and failing to establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy of the information provided to CRAs. State Farm did not admit or deny the Order’s findings of fact or conclusions of law.

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Data Security, Privacy to Be Early Focus of CFPB’s Kraninger

Newly sworn-in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger will focus on data security and privacy in her early days in office, she said at a press briefing on her first day at the bureau this afternoon. The bureau collects a significant amount of consumer data in the form of surveys, consumer complaints and expanded Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data reporting. “Data security and data privacy [are] going to be a big focal point in terms of what the bureau collects, how it’s used, how long it’s stored . . . what information’s appropriate to be shared among regulators,” Kraninger said. “We absolutely will put consumers first in the decisions I make.”

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Press statement by Mick Mulvaney, acting director

I commend the U.S. Senate for confirming Kathy Kraninger as the next director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Next week begins a new chapter of service in Kathy's career. The American consumer and our economy’s financial sector will benefit from her commitment, expertise, and professionalism. This last year has been an important step in the history of the Bureau as we take our place among the most notable regulatory bodies of our country—and frankly the world. Like all transitions, it was not always as smooth as we would've all liked, but the Bureau has emerged stronger for it. I wish Kathy the best of luck, and I look forward to the next five years of her leadership.

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College student bank accounts charge more, CFPB report reveals

College-sponsored bank accounts charge students substantial and “legally dubious fees,” a new report from the Consumer  Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) revealed. The report covers some 573 colleges during the 2016-2017 Award Year that were in marketing agreements with banks to promote services to students. Schools were awarded payments on a per-account basis, including a fixed amount for each student, or annual payments based on the total number of students using an account. The report raises concerns about these marketing agreements between banks and schools, questioning whether the deals bring a “conflict of interest” and result in higher-fee products.

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FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century Continue With Examination of Data Security

The Federal Trade Commission will host the ninth session of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century, which will examine data security.    Tuesday, December 11, 10:10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, December 12, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m

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Two Defendants Settle Allegations in ‘Money Now Funding’ Credit Card Charge Laundering Scheme

Two defendants charged with laundering millions of dollars in credit card charges through fraudulent merchant accounts have settled with the Federal Trade Commission. Under the proposed settlement order, the defendants, Nikolas Mihilli and Dynasty Merchants, LLC – a company created by Mihilli to launder fraudulent transactions – are prohibited from engaging in credit card laundering. They are also banned from telemarketing, and from acting as payment processors, independent sales organizations, or sales agents. According to the complaint filed by the FTC, the defendants arranged for a deceptive operation known as Money Now Funding to obtain and maintain merchant accounts that allowed the operation to process almost $6 million through the credit card networks. The FTC charged Mihilli and Dynasty Merchants, LLC with violating the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

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Bill protects small business from predatory lenders

Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently crafted the Small Business Lending Fairness Act, which is designed to shield small businesses from predatory lenders. The bill seeks to protect small businesses by codifying the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) 1985 ban on confessions of judgment in consumer loan contracts and extending the ban to include small business borrowers. “When we let financial predators harm hard-working Americans through scams like confessions of judgment, we undermine the dignity of work that makes this country great,” Brown, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, said. “This bipartisan bill ensures that consumers and small business owners benefit from protections that prevent predatory lenders from stripping away their hard earned money under cover of night.”

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What’s the Difference between Machine Learning and AI?

Throughout 2018, you have probably consistently heard and seen these buzzwords thrown around in conversation, in the comments of social media posts, from YouTube, or as think pieces from writers. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning seem to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue and for good reason too. Researchers have made tremendous headway in the field of AI and this progress has already influenced your daily lives whether it is for novelty or for practical reasons.

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CallMiner Press Release Announcement: CallMiner Achieves Another Record Net Promoter Score® (NPS) of 59 in 2018, Marking Third Consecutive Year of Score Improvement

Waltham, MA, Dec. 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CallMiner, the leading platform provider of award-winning speech and customer engagement analytics, announced today that its 2018 Net Promoter Score ( set another company record at 59, beating the 2017 record of 51. The rating marks the third consecutive year of NPS improvement for CallMiner. Net Promoter Score is a standard metric that is calculated based on responses to a customer survey question that asks, “How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” The question is intended to provide companies a gauge of customer satisfaction with a given brand.

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Empereon-Constar Annual Employee Food Drive Supports St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

Phoenix, Arizona (December 4, 2018)  Empereon-Constar recently held their annual employee holiday food drive. A joint effort between Empereon-Constar’s three Phoenix locations, this annual event supports St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and helps feed local families in need.   

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FTC Settlements Will Ban Student Loan Debt Relief Operators From Engaging in Debt Relief Services

The operators of two Florida-based student loan debt relief schemes are banned from the debt relief business as part of agreements settling Federal Trade Commission allegations that they collected illegal upfront fees and falsely promised to help some consumers enroll in government programs that would reduce or forgive their student loan debt.

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MBSi Corp.

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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 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

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

Collection & Recovery Solutions 2019

Resource Management Services, Inc.

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


National Creditors Bar Association 2019 Spring Conference

National Creditors Bar Association

Hilton Minneapolis
1001 S. Marquette Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

May 15 - 18 , 2019


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


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


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More information about Debt Connection Symposium
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