At a glanceWednesday, February 13, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - February 13, 2019
Wednesday February 13, 2019
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A growing number of Americans have more credit-card debt than savings

The economy may be better, and unemployment may be lower. But that doesn’t mean American consumers are doing any better with their debts.
That’s according to a new survey of 1,000 people from the personal-finance company Bankrate. It found that 29% of Americans have more credit-card debt than they do emergency savings. And the problem is getting worse. In 2018, 21% said they had more credit-card debt than emergency savings. And in 2015, 22% said they had more credit-card debt.

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Total Household Debt Rises as 2018 Marks the Ninth Year of Annual Growth in New Auto Loans

NEW YORK—The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, which shows that total household debt increased by $32 billion (0.2%) to $13.54 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018. It was the 18th consecutive quarter with an increase and the total is now $869 billion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008. Furthermore, overall household debt is now 21.4% above the post-financial-crisis trough reached during the second quarter of 2013. The Report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.

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NAFCU, in meetings at FCC, to seek clarity on ‘autodialer’

NAFCU today will reiterate to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) its concerns related to the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) and the need for clarity under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to ensure credit unions can contact their members without fear of breaking the law.

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Record 7 million Americans are 3 months behind on car payments, a red flag for economy

A record 7 million Americans are 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Tuesday, even more than during the wake of the financial crisis era.   Economists warn this is a red flag. Despite the strong economy and low unemployment rate, many Americans are struggling to pay their bills.

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Virginia House committee kills student loan protection bill

Student loan servicers in Virginia will still not be licensed after a House of Delegates committee killed a bill Tuesday to regulate the companies.

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Louisiana’s student loan debt rises to $18.7 billion, credit agency reports

Outstanding student loan debt in Louisiana has increased by $10.4 billion over the last decade and stood at $18.7 billion as of December 2018, according to data from Experian, a consumer credit reporting agency.

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CFPB Semi-Annual Report Fall 2018

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection is pleased to present our Semi-Annual Report to Congress for the period beginning April 1, 2018 and ending September 30, 2018.  

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Should Your Small Business Hire a Collection Agency?

If you have unpaid invoices from clients, you're not alone. A 2017 report by Sage called "The Domino Effect: The Impact of Late Payments," found that 10 percent of invoices are either never paid or paid so late that the company is forced to write them off.

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Attorney General James Leads Coalition Of 21 State Attorneys General To Urge The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau To Reject Anti-Consumer Protection Policies

NEW YORK—New York Attorney General Letitia James today led a coalition of 21 State Attorneys General in urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) not to adopt recently-proposed policies that would erode critical consumer protections under the guise of fostering innovation in the consumer financial marketplace.  

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Comptroller of the Currency Supports CFPB Proposed Rule on Short-Term Small-Dollar Lending

WASHINGTON—Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting today issued the following statement supporting Director Kathy Kraninger and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule rescinding requirements that lenders make certain underwriting determinations before issuing short-term small-dollar loans.

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Ditech files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for second time in 14 months

It appears that the financial troubles of Ditech Holding Corp., the nonbank formerly known as Walter Investment Management, are far from over.  Last year, the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after completing a financial restructuring plan that eliminated $800 million in corporate debt and changed its name to Ditech Holding.

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Attorney General Becerra Opposes CFPB Proposal to Exempt Companies from Oversight

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has joined a multistate comment letter opposing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposal to revise its policy offering companies binding exemptions from oversight and consumer protection laws. The proposal would grant the CFPB additional authority to offer product- and industry-wide exemptions from CFPB-administered statutes and regulations.

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CUs need equal access to CFPB No Action Letters, Product Sandbox

CUNA submitted a letter Monday in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposal to amend its No-Action Letter (NAL) Policy and create a “Product Sandbox” to facilitate innovation, urging the bureau avoid creating an uneven playing field. “CUNA highly recommends the Bureau refrain from taking an overzealous approach to innovation that places traditional depository institutions at an unjustified disadvantage,” the letter reads. “Innovation, through technology and other creative solutions, has the potential to enhance the delivery and quality of financial products and services to consumers…CUNA supports the CFPB’s effort to use its authority to encourage innovation through mechanisms like the NAL Policy and Product Sandbox so long as credit unions are given equal access to such programs and any approved programs are limited in number and narrow in scope.”

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Attorney General Frosh Signs Multistate Letter Supporting Continuation and Strengthening of FTC Identity Theft Rules

BALTIMORE, MD (February 11, 2019) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh joined 30 other state attorneys general in a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today urging the FTC to continue its Identity Theft Rules, originally adopted in November 2007. The letter cites the proliferation of identity theft in many states, and the growth in technology since
the rules were adopted.

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How technology drove the ‘disrupt or be disrupted’ choice of Suntrust-BB&T deal, and why there’s more on the way

Banks are spending billions to keep up with the break-neck speed in technology and upgrade older, legacy systems. But firms without billions of dollars to pour into that effort are forced to get creative.   One option is teaming up. BB&T and SunTrust announced they were taking that route on Thursday, in part to stay competitive in today's digital landscape. The two plan to merge in a $66 billion deal to make them the sixth biggest U.S. bank based on customer assets

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Student Loan Providers Not Regulated By State, Proposed Bill Would Change That

DENVER (CBS4)– The average student loan debt in Colorado is now more than $26,000. Student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt and yet student loan service providers are the only kind of lenders not regulated by the state.    “It’s a big problem for individuals and how they’re going to navigate the rest of their life if they’re saddled with this much debt but it’s also a big problem for this state and this state’s economy,” said Fenberg.

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FinTech Credit: Not So Clear And Present Danger?

As the payments landscape evolves and becomes ever more digital in scope, and as FinTech firms make inroads into traditional financial services, regulators are looking at FinTech credit — and how it might be defined and shaped. There seem to be no easy answers on just how to regulate the space. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has released a report, stating that “descriptions of FinTech credit business models vary significantly across jurisdictions.” As noted by Forbes, the study found that a minority — make that 26 percent — of regulatory agencies surveyed by the FSB actually have definitions of FinTech lending in place. Those definitions stretch across peer-to-peer (P2P) lending or marketplace lending, for example. However, the fact remains that, without specific definitions in place, it becomes difficult to collect data. 

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Consumers Can Now Apply for Credit Entirely via Text Message

Consumers seeking even more convenient and relevant credit offers will benefit from TransUnion’s latest enhancements to its Mobile Offers NowSMsolution. The solution removes barriers and friction by helping consumers secure instant access to prequalified credit offers through a completely SMS-enabled mobile experience that includes prefill capabilities to simplify and expedite the application.

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A Cybersecurity Researcher Tells Us Why Companies & Users Need To Do More To Safeguard Data

Today’s world experiences massively interconnected devices to share information across variety of platforms between traditional computers (machines), Smart IoT devices used across smart homes, smart interconnected vehicles etc. and of course the social networks apps such as Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter etc. We have experienced this trend with a skyrocketing growth and foresee it to continue exponentially in the future. At one end, we find life becoming easier with such developments and at the other end, we experience more and more cyber threats on our privacy, security and trustworthiness with organizations holding our data.

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VA loans interim rule set to take effect Feb. 15

An interim final rule published by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amending its regulations regarding VA-guaranteed or insured cash-out refinance loans is set to go into effect Friday, Feb. 15. The rule is only applicable to credit unions that refinance VA loans.

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The Masked Ringer

Some forms of masquerading are just good clean fun. Consider The Masked Singer, a surprise TV hit in which a panel of celebrities tries to guess the identity of other celebrities who sing karaoke while wearing elaborate disguises. (We’re not making that up. It’s a thing now.) But other forms of masquerading are based in deception, as the FTC alleges in a lawsuit against Global Asset Financial Services Group, LLC, and 15 Buffalo- and Charlotte-based defendants.

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Global regulators are struggling to define fintech credit

While many jurisdictions have highlighted fintech credit as a key development in the nonbank financial space over the last year, they struggle to define exactly what fintech credit is, per findings of the Financial Stability Board's (FSB's) Global Monitoring Report on Non-Bank Financial Intermediation 2018. FSB's annual monitoring exercise features a case studyon the role of online platforms in facilitating or extending credit, which is based on a survey of 23 respondents in participating jurisdictions. The report also presents estimates that $284 billion in fintech credit was extended across the globe in 2016.

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Waters and Green Request Documents from Consumer Bureau on Recent Settlements

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, and Congressman Al Green (D-TX), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, wrote to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger to request documents relating to recent settlements that do not require companies that have violated the law to provide redress to consumers who have been harmed. 

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FTC Stops Phantom Debt Collection Scheme

At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted and frozen the assets of a debt collection scheme that allegedly bilked consumers out of millions of dollars, using deceptive and threatening tactics to collect phantom debts that they did not owe.

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CFPB Office of Innovation proposes “disclosure sandbox” for companies to test new ways to inform consumers

Update (Feb. 7, 2019): The original headline suggested that the proposed Disclosure Sandbox would be open only to “fintech companies.”  In fact, as the body of the post indicates, any covered entity, regardless of its categorization as “FinTech, “bank,” “credit union” or otherwise, could apply to test a trial disclosure with the Sandbox.

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New protections for servicemembers and veterans alert

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Bureau previously highlighted the new federal law that went into effect on September 21, 2018 requiring free security freezes and one year fraud alerts at the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (CRAs).

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Justice Department Obtains $750,000 From PHH Mortgage Corp. for Unlawfully Foreclosing on Servicemembers’ Homes

WASHINGTON –The Justice Department today announced that PHH Mortgage Corporation (PHH) has agreed to pay $750,000 to six servicemembers to resolve allegations that it violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by unlawfully foreclosing on their homes without obtaining the required court orders.

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FTC Seeks to Add New Defendants in Student Debt Relief Case

The Federal Trade Commission moved to add two new defendants to an ongoing case against a California-based student debt relief operation shuttered pursuant to a court order obtained by the Commission in November 2018. The scheme allegedly bilked consumers out of millions of dollars using false promises that they could reduce their monthly payments, or eliminate or reduce their student loan debt.

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BB&T and SunTrust announce $66 billion merger, creating the sixth-largest US bank

New York (CNN Business)Two of the largest US regional banks are joining forces in a bid to compete with the nation's biggest players.   B&T (BBT) and SunTrust (STI) on Thursday announced a $66 billion merger, forming the sixth-largest US bank based on assets and deposits.

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Industry Events

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

LendIt Fintech USA 2019

LendIt Fintech

San Francisco , CA
April 08 - 09 , 2019


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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