At a glanceFriday, February 15, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - February 15, 2019
Friday February 15, 2019
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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.

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WASHINGTON, February 14, 2019—The Federal Communications Commission today proposed rules banning illegal spoofed text  messages and international calls. The proposed rules would enable the agency to address consumer concerns about unwanted text messages and scam calls from overseas.

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New York Fed puts 7M auto delinquencies in context

NEW YORK - A quartet of analysts took a deep look at the auto finance data after the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data released its Quarterly Report on household debt and credit on Tuesday. At first blush, it might look inflammatory that the New York Fed data fueled by Equifax showed that more than 7 million people had an auto finance contract at least 90 days delinquent by the time 2018 finished. However, the data set also pointed out that more than 89 million people have some form of auto financing — a lease or retail installment contract. That’s the highest figure ever recorded, according to the Fed data from Equifax that goes back to 1999. All told, auto financing surged by $53 billion year-over-year to close 2018 at $1.27 trillion; again the highest figure ever recorded.

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FTC Enforcement Actions Yield More than $2.3 Billion in Refunds to Consumers between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018

According to a report issued by the Federal Trade Commission today, between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, the agency’s law enforcement actions yielded more than $2.3 billion in refunds to defrauded consumers, including $122 million mailed directly by the FTC to 2.2 million people.

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Senate Banking panel kicks off talks on data security bill

The leaders of the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday kicked off a push to write stricter data collection and security standards for financial institutions.   Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the panel’s chairman, and Sen. Sherrod Brown(Ohio), the ranking Democrat, on Wednesday asked for input on ways to give consumers more control of personally identifiable information collected by financial firms and regulators.

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FTC Announces March 2019 Session on International Engagement as Part of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

The 11th session of the Federal Trade Commission’s Hearings Initiative, “The FTC’s Role in a Changing World,” will focus on the agency’s international work. The hearing will take place in Washington, D.C. on March 25-26, 2019.  The session will explore the FTC’s international role in light of globalization, technological change, and the increasing number of competition, consumer protection, and privacy laws and enforcement agencies around the world. Speakers will address the implications of international developments on the FTC’s work on behalf of American consumers. The session will be held at the FTC’s headquarters building at 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC in room 432.

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Trump Admin Allows Faster Fed, OCC Bank Merger Approvals

Banks are finding it easier to merge since Donald Trump took office, and since federal regulators have revised policies to make the approval process faster to complete. According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the Federal Reserve revealed that the average merger review time — with opposition from community groups — fell to 3.8 months in the first half of 2018 from 5.6 months in the first half of 2017, and seven months in 2015. At the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the average time decreased to 1.9 months in 2018 from 2.6 months in 2016.

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2018 Was Second-Most Active Year for Data Breaches

Hacking by external actors caused most breaches, but Web intrusions and exposures compromised more records, according to Risk Based Security.
More than 6,500 data breaches were reported in 2018, a new report from Risk Based Security shows. The breaches, both big and small, were reported through Dec. 31, 2018 — marking a 3.2% decline from the 6,728 breaches reported in 2017 and making it the second-most active year for data breaches on record. Some 5 billion records were exposed, or about 36% less than the nearly 8 billion records exposed in breaches in 2017. In addition, more records were compromised last year than in any previous year than 2017 and 2005.

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FCC threatens carriers with ‘regulatory intervention’ over robocalls

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), warned phone service providers that if they don't crack down on fraudulent caller IDs from robocallers his agency will step in with regulation. Pai sent letters to major wireless carriers in November demanding that they adopt industry-wide frameworks to crack down on the practice of "spoofing," where robocallers mask a call's origin with a fraudulent number on their caller ID. On Wednesday, the FCC chair followed up with another demand that they implement caller authentication systems this year and a threat over the repercussions if they don't comply.

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FTC says it collected $2.3 billion in consumer refunds in a 13-month period

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a government agency that collects money from consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it’s the agency that sends money back to consumers. In its second annual report, the FTC’s Office of Claims and Refunds says it collected more than $2.3 billion in consumer fraud enforcement actions between June 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. The agency says $122 million of that total has already been distributed to consumers in the form of refund checks. A total of 2.2 million consumers are said to be eligible for a refund.

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Attorney General Becerra Announces Sentencing in $4 Million Southern California Mortgage Fraud Scheme

SAN DIEGO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced the sentencing of Prakashumar ("Kash") Bhakta for operating a mortgage fraud scheme throughout Southern California and the Inland Empire that preyed on homeowners facing foreclosure. Today, Mr. Bhakta was sentenced to seven years and eight months in state prison. Restitution will be ordered in the amount of $256,000. Co-defendants Jacob Orona, Aide Orona, John Contreras, Marcus Robinson, and David Boyd previously pled guilty. They were sentenced to state prison terms ranging from four years to seven years and four months.

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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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Industry Events

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


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