At a glanceWednesday, March 06, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - March 6, 2019
Wednesday March 6, 2019
Mid Week Newsletter:
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Tom Nusspickel and Doug St. Peters are sure to inform and entertain at Collection and Recovery Solutions 2019, with their panel discussion regarding the management of agency networks.  Expect to hear tidbits such as best practices to ensure success, RFI scorecards, system interface concepts, licenses, oversight, compliance matrixes as well as what agencies do wrong.   CRS2019 is an invitation-only event for senior level collection and recovery professionals. For more information, or an invitation, please contact us at

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FTC Seeks Comment on Proposed Amendments to Safeguards and Privacy Rules

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking comment on proposed amendments to two rules that protect the privacy and security of customer information held by financial institutions.   In separate notices to be published in the Federal Register shortly, the FTC is seeking comment on proposed changes to the Safeguards Rule and the Privacy Rule under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Safeguards Rule, which went into effect in 2003, requires a financial institution to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program. The Privacy Rule, which went into effect in 2000, requires a financial institution to inform customers about its information-sharing practices and allow customers to opt out of having their information shared with certain third parties.

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CFPB to scrap key underwriting portion of payday rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to eliminate underwriting requirements in a highly anticipated revamp of its payday lending rule, according to sources familiar with the bureau’s proposal.  The CFPB in October signaled its interest in "revisiting" the ability-to-repay provisions in the 2017 small-dollar lending rule issued under former Director Richard Cordray.

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NAFCU touts CU priorities to Congress

Following up on a letter sent to House and Senate leaders at the start of the 116th Congress, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler on Tuesday further expanded on the details of the association's 2019 priorities, including action items to achieve them.   Thaler sent letters to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that were copied to their respective chambers.

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Credit Union Peer Group will be meeting on May 8, 2019 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:40 p.m., moderated by Dan Vande Zande of Landmark Credit Union.  Join your Credit Union collection peers and colleagues to discuss critical issues and concerns that affect the operations and success of today’s Credit Unions.

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VA loans skyrocket in popularity for first-time homebuyers

Servicemembers are far more likely to opt for a Department of Veterans Affairs mortgage than any other type of loan when buying their first home, a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows. The CFPB report, the first of its kind, looks at mortgages for first-time homebuying servicemembers, shows that in 2007, servicemembers buying their first home used VA loans approximately 30% of the time. By 2016, that figure had risen to 78%, meaning more than three out of four servicemembers bought their first home using a VA loan.

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Debt collection tops attorney general’s list of consumer complaints

Debt collection was the top complaint among Michigan consumers in 2018, Attorney General Dana Nessel's office announced Monday.   To recognize National Consumer Protection Week, her office released a top 10 list compiled by analyzing the nearly 9,000 written complaints filed last year, when the department recovered more than $1.6 million in consumer refunds, forgiven debts and state recoveries.

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JPMorgan Chase Enters A Hot Fintech Space: Point-Of-Sale (POS) Financing

JPMorgan Chase announced that it is moving into the point-of-sale (POS) financing market. According to Finextra: The new 'My Chase Plan' financing option allows card customers to select from past purchases of more than $500 and finance them over a longer period with monthly fees, rather than interest-based repayments. The bank is also upping its game in the consumer lending space via 'My Chase Loan', which will enable card customers to borrow against credit lines to fund larger value items. [The] move comes as fresh data indicates that non-bank lenders are widening their market share lead over banks."

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PRA Group Announces Acquisition of Resurgent Holdings’ Canadian Business

NORFOLK, Va.March 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- PRA Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRAA), a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, today announced the acquisition of the holding company of Resurgent Holdings LLC's Canadian business, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary of PRA Group Canada. Resurgent's Canadian business, founded by Chris Walker as CCL, was acquired by Resurgent Holdings LLC from SquareTwo Financial in 2017.  As the company joins with PRA Group Canada to create a market-leading nonperforming loan business in Canada, Walker will transition with the business and report to Dennis Hunter, vice president of operations for PRA Group Canada

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Beshear Wants More Action Taken to Stop Scam Calls

FRANKFORT, KY. (March 5, 2019) – Attorney General Andy Beshear today urged the U.S. Senate to enact legislation to curb illegal scam phone calls and caller ID spoofing.   Beshear, joining 53 of the nation’s attorneys general, sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation supporting the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, sponsored by Sens. John Thune and Ed Markey.   “Kentuckians are fed up with the constant barrage of scam calls,” said Beshear. “I am joining a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from across the country to support the TRACED Act, which, if enacted, will aid states, federal regulators and telecom providers in fighting illegal scam calls.”

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Attorney General Becerra Applauds Court Decision to Advance Challenge to U.S. Department of Education’s Failure to Discharge Borrower Defense Claims

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued the following statement on the U.S. District Court’s refusal to dismiss California’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education over its failure to discharge the loans of former students from for-profit and now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (Corinthian). Attorney General Becerra sued the Department of Education in 2017 for failing to process debt-relief claims submitted by tens of thousands of students who took out federal student loans to attend Corinthian. Students became eligible to apply for this relief after the courts and the Obama-era Department of Education found that Corinthian defrauded these students in violation of California consumer protection laws. These findings were based in large part on investigative work conducted by the California Attorney General's Office. More than one in four of those students with pending debt relief claims resided in California.

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MBSi Strengthens Software Offering with Acquisition of My Recovery System and Vendor Transparency Solutions

03/05/2019– PHOENIX, Az.– MBSi Corp., a leading provider of compliance-enabled repossession assignment management software and vendor management software, today announced the acquisition of My Recovery System and Vendor Transparency Solutions’ platforms. This acquisition allows MBSi to offer a single software ecosystem for repossession assignment management and vendor compliance management to recovery agents, forwarders and lenders in the auto finance industry.

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FTC Announces Agenda for the 14th Session of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

The Federal Trade Commission today announced the agenda for the fourteenth session of its Hearings Initiative. The session, focused on the agency’s merger retrospective program, will take place on April 12, 2019, at FTC Headquarters in Room 432.   The FTC’s Bureau of Economics has a long tradition of conducting ex post evaluations of consummated mergers, beginning with (then) FTC staff economists David Barton and Roger Sherman’s 1984 examination of the Xidex mergers of the 1970s. Over the last two decades, FTC economists have publicly released 27 merger retrospective studies. The vast majority of merger retrospectives authored or co-authored by Bureau economists are ultimately published in peer-reviewed journals.

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PayThink Payments data, and AI, are creating a new cost center

With new technologies like faster payments taking hold, the explosion of readily available data, and the ever-changing regulatory landscape, staying ahead of financial crime and compliance risk has become more complex and expensive than ever before. As these trends show no sign of abating, the compliance operations and monitoring staff of a financial institution often find themselves a major cost center. Financial institutions must manage compliance budgets without losing sight of primary functions and quality control. To answer this, many have made the move to automating time-intensive, rote tasks like data gathering and sorting through alerts by adopting innovative technologies like AI and machine learning to free up time-strapped analysts for more informed and precise decision-making processes.

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Consumers lost more than $1.4 billion to fraud last year, the FTC reports. This was the No. 1 scam

BALTIMORE — Out of the 3 million consumer complaints submitted to the Federal Trade Commission in 2018, imposter scams took the top spot. Consumers reported losing $488 million to all types of imposter scams, with a reported median loss of $500.

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United States: Congressional Committees Hold Hearings On Federal Privacy Legislation

This week both the House and Senate held hearings kicking off the legislative process for federal privacy legislation. Legislators from both parties voiced support for comprehensive and bipartisan legislation. Most of the witnesses were representatives of industry associations, joined by privacy advocates and one professor. As suggested in our recent preview report, the central points of discussion included: (i) the extent to which the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) should serve as models or cautionary tales; (ii) the appropriate scope of federal preemption of state privacy requirements; (iii) possible limits on the collection, use and sharing of certain kinds of highly sensitive information; (iv) rights that consumers and other individuals whose personal information is handled should have to control those activities; (v) whether smaller companies and startups should receive special treatment; and (vi) expanded enforcement powers for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.   “Today’s action is the next step in the Bureau’s efforts to implement the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act as expeditiously as possible,” said CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. “I look forward to reviewing the comments in response to the questions we are asking to facilitate the required rulemaking.”

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Experian finds more than a third of companies are still unprepared to respond to a data breach

COSTA MESA, Calif.March 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Are companies ready for today's sophisticated cybercriminals and impact of data breaches? Experian® today released its annual corporate preparedness study, Is Your Company Ready for a Big Data Breach?, revealing that progress has been made, but companies need to do better. Conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the findings reveal that only 36 percent of businesses are prepared to respond to a data breach and confidence levels to control growing threats is low.

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Discover Partners with ZestFinance to Implement AI-Based Underwriting Platform

RIVERWOODS, Ill. & LOS ANGELES--()--Discover Financial Services, a leading U.S. direct bank and credit card issuer, and ZestFinance, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) software for underwriting, today announced a partnership to create one of the largest AI-based credit scoring solutions in the financial services industry.

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Massive NY loan fraud ring busted: Hundreds of victims targeted

MINEOLA, Long Island (WABC) -- Five people were arrested in a massive alleged loan fraud and identity theft ring in which they attempted to steal more than $1,000,000.    Five major credit unions, including Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union, and hundreds of individuals were allegedly targeted, officials said. 

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Quarterly Consumer Credit Trends: Mortgages to First-time Homebuying Servicemembers

This is part of a series of quarterly reports on consumer credit trends produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau using a longitudinal, nationally-representative sample of approximately five million de-identified credit records from one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies. This sixth report explores how first-time homebuying servicemembers’ home loan choices have evolved from 2006 to 2016. This report also describes early delinquency rates for these home loans.

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Wells Fargo reaches $240 million settlement for phony accounts

Insurers for Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan, forer chief executive John Stumpf and 18 others will fork over $240 million to shareholders over the scandal involving the creation of millions of phony accounts.

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Consumer bureau chief to face lawmakers for first time since confirmation

The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will appear before a House panel next week as Democrats ramp up their oversight of the controversial regulator, the committee’s chairwoman said Thursday. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Thursday that CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger will testify next week before the panel. The Financial Services Committee is scheduled to hold a March 7 hearing on the impact of the Trump administration's takeover of the CFPB. It was unclear if Kraninger would attend the hearing until Waters confirmed the director would appear before the panel. “She will be there. She is a witness,” Waters said. "It's confirmed."

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Former Arizona official pleads guilty to taking bribes from debt company

PHOENIX — A former Arizona public official pleaded guilty Monday to one count of bribery after he accepted at least $26,000 in exchange for giving a debt collection company confidential government information. Leslie Gene Nelson, 59, accepted the cash bribes from 2010 to 2013 and helped Culver City, California-based Professional Collection Consultants collect about $1 million in debts, according to a press release. Nelson worked for the Arizona Department of Economic Security and gave PCC government database information about thousands of people’s income, using Social Security numbers the company provided.

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BankThink Square’s ILC bid is a regulatory end run

Like the now famous Bill Clinton political slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” from the 1992 presidential campaign, most in our industry are missing the core issue with Square’s application to form an industrial loan company. “It’s the ILC loophole, stupid” is an apt expression for refocusing the spotlight on ILCs. Square itself is not so much the problem as the ILC deposit insurance loophole. It is the same underlying issue that sparked the Independent Community Bankers of America’s opposition to the Walmart application over a decade ago. The ILC loophole allows for an unintended and potentially dangerous expansion of the deposit insurance safety net.

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Cisco: Patch routers now against massive 9.8/10-severity security hole

Cisco is warning businesses that use its wireless VPN and firewall routers to install updates immediately due to a critical flaw that remote attackers can exploit to break into a network. The vulnerability allows any attacker with any browser to execute code of their choice via the web interface used for managing Cisco RV110W Wireless-N VPN Firewall, Cisco RV130W Wireless-N Multifunction VPN Router, and Cisco RV215W Wireless-N VPN Router. The networking giant has assigned the bug, tagged as CVE-2019-1663, with a severity score of 9.8 out of a possible 10 under the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS).

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Billions of dollars in defaulted student loans are going uncollected, lawsuit says

A contractor for the Education Department is suing the federal agency, alleging that billions of dollars in defaulted student loans go uncollected because the government is not lining up new private debt collectors.

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Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum leads push to protect student borrowers

Oregon's attorney general is joining a growing movement among states to protect those who take out student loans, introducing legislation that would crack down on student loan servicers like Navient and Nelnet. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum backed a proposal on Monday that would regulate student loan services and force them to be licensed under the state. It would also create a student loan ombudsperson to help borrowers navigate a complex loan process. "Graduates are often asked to make financial decisions with relatively poor information, and in a market where debt servicers are ultimately calling the shots," the attorney general said during a press conference.

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PRA Group Makes Big Bets on Debt Collection

Debt collection isn't a glamorous business but it can be profitable. PRA Group (NASDAQ:PRAA)has been a leader in the debt-collection industry, and recently, it's been stepping up its efforts to try to grow its portfolio of collection assets and put itself in position to dominate the industry during the next swing in the business cycle.

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FTC Top frauds of 2018

Every year, millions of consumers tell us – and our partners – about the frauds they spotted. In 2018, we heard from 3 million people and learned a lot from the reports entered into our Consumer Sentinel database. Here are some notable facts from the Consumer Sentinel Network’s 2018 Data Book – including that a new category of scams has earned the unenviable right to chant "We’re #1."

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The Cybersecurity 202: These are the four parts of the economy most vulnerable to cyberattack, according to Moody’s

Across the world, there are four specific industry sectors at the highest risk of being devastated by cyberattacks. They also hold a big chunk of the world's debt -- to the tune of $11.7 trillion. That's the sobering conclusion from a new report this morning from Moody’s Investors Service, a division of the credit ratings agency. It found a major cyberattack could potentially bring banks, investment firms, securities exchanges and hospitals to financial ruin and prevent an organization from making good on some of what it owes. It's encouraging lenders to consider an organization's cybersecurity vulnerabilities before making loans in those sectors, the report says.

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Square’s Miss May Not Be So Bad as Analysts See an Opening

Square Inc. slid in pre-market trading after its first-quarter forecast missed estimates, but several analysts said the drop offers a fresh chance to buy more stock in the payments company. Look “underneath the hood” for volume growth in sales of new products such as Square Register and Square Terminal, Guggenheim said. Moffettnathanson echoed the sentiment, saying the Cash App is just a small piece of the company and hardware sales will drive the future. Shares of Square slumped 5 percent before markets opened amid a batch of ugly tech earnings. The stock had gained 41 percent so far this year through Wednesday’s close, almost four times the return of the S&P 500 Index.

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PayThink – Blockchain payments are making the grade at universities

Leaders at higher educational institutions are actively exploring blockchain applications, and with good reason. Blockchain can enhance areas as diverse as course offerings, recordkeeping and credentialing, institutional collaboration, decentralized learning and nontraditional education. Leaders in blockchain and education argue that blockchain might be the technology that revolutionizes higher education. It creates an auditable, distributed ledger of transactions that cannot be altered or removed, enabling transactions that are valid, authentic, trustworthy and immutable.

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Financial institutions report widespread elder financial abuse

Financial institutions are seeing vast numbers of their older customers fall prey to financial exploitation by perpetrators ranging from offshore scammers to close family members—and they’re filing hundreds of thousands of reports with the federal government about these suspicions.

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Walmart teams with Affirm to offer point-of-sale loans

Walmart will offer its customers point-of-sale loans for the first time — both on its website and in nearly 4,000 U.S. stores — under a partnership with the Silicon Valley lender Affirm. The deal is a watershed moment for the consumer finance industry, as the nation’s largest retailer embraces a financing option that is being popularized by consumers who prefer not to put their big-ticket purchases on a credit card. “Affirm is a great financing option for those customers who may prefer a fixed-term loan versus an open-ended revolving credit line to pay for larger baskets,” Walmart spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said in an email. “We want our customers to have choices that best meet their lifestyles.”

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JPMorgan’s Dimon: Square innovated where we should have

Jamie Dimon confessed on Tuesday to having a little bit of Square envy. During JPMorgan Chase’s annual investor day in New York, the bank’s chairman and CEO was asked what companies could get steamrolled by his bank, which has emerged as a financial-services disruptor. JPMorgan is investing billions of dollars per year in technology and recently rolled out its own online-only bank, dubbed Finn, and is set to become the first U.S. bank to launch a cryptocurrency. But rather than answer that question directly, Dimon responded by praising a company, Square, that has done things he wishes JPMorgan Chase had done.

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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


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