At a glanceFriday, March 08, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - March 8, 2019
Friday March 8, 2019
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CU issues raised during House panel hearing with Kraninger

A number of issues important to credit unions were raised during Thursday's House Financial Services Committee hearing with CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, including reforms to the bureau, its consumer complaint database and the Military Lending Act (MLA). NAFCU attended the hearing.

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Dems Vow To Reverse CFPB Actions Under Mulvaney

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau came under fire from the House Financial Services Committee, which is now controlled by Democrats, during a hearing Thursday (March 8). According to a report in the Associated Press, during the hearing Committee Chair Rep. Maxine Waters argued the Trump-appointed leadership is trying to undermine the agency’s mission. According to the Associated Press, Waters said the Trump Administration has “undertaken a sustained effort to destroy the agency.” She said she’s committed to reversing the damage caused by interim head Mick Mulvaney, who is now the acting chief of staff for Trump. Kathy Kraninger succeeded Mulvaney in December. Mulvaney was a critic of the CFPB before he was made director. When he was in charge, he called for many of the rules and regulations put in place by the CFPB to be scaled back.

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BlockFi’s CEO on Why the Lending Company is Launching a Deposit Account

BlockFi, the provider of crypto asset-backed loans, has launched what is effectively a high-yield savings account. The BlockFi Interest Account allows retail, corporate, and institutional investors to deposit their bitcoin and ether into an account with 6 percent compound interest paid at the beginning of every month in bitcoin or ether. A beta version of the account launched in January and currently has more than $10 million in customer deposits, according to BlockFi CEO Zac Prince in an exclusive interview with Cheddar Tuesday. “One of the things we’re most excited to hear from some of those beta users was ... that it actually motivated them to buy more bitcoin or more ether because they were really excited about this functionality,” said Prince. “The second thing, which came from a user on Reddit, was that we were making it fun to HODL again.”

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Who Needs a Bank? Why Direct Lending Is Surging

What’s direct lending? Old-fashioned bank lending -- without the bank. As tougher regulations reshaped the post-financial crisis landscape, traditional banks have cut back on business lending. That’s created a raft of opportunities: For a growing group of asset managers who are making the loans; for borrowers, including not only mid-sized companies but some big enough to tap the syndicated debt markets if they wanted; and for investors looking for an answer to low-yield woes. For regulators, the question is whether the market can sustain such growth without making a mess.

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Move To Pull Consumer Protection Rule Heightens Debate Over Payday Lending

During a recent lunch hour in Springfield, Va., a medical assistant named Angela walked into a branch of Advance America at a strip mall and asked for a loan. She'd borrow $300 and promise to pay it back within 30 days, with an additional $73 in interest and fees. This loan would help cover a family trip to New York, said Angela, who asked NPR not to use her last name for privacy reasons. She says she prefers payday loans because she doesn't trust herself with credit cards and she would rather not approach her family for help.

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Funding Circle to expand small business lending platform into Canada

Funding Circle, the small business lending platform, will enter the Canadian market during the second half of 2019, opening new offices there, according to a company release. The U.K.-based platform named Tom Eilon, who has led U.K. commercial strategy, as managing director of the Canada unit. The company currently operates in the U.K., U.S., Netherlands and Germany.

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Orange County Auto Lender Reaches $80,000 Settlement with Prosecutors Over Allegations of Illegally Repossessing Soldiers’ Cars

Federal prosecutors reached a proposed $80,000 settlement Wednesday with a city of Orange-based auto lender accused of illegally repossessing the cars of two U.S. Army soldiers just after they reported for active duty, authorities said.

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Nationwide, BlueVine partner on small business lending

Nationwide and BlueVine will partner to provide customers of the insurance giant direct access to the small business Opens a New Window. lender’s online platform, the first in what is likely to be a series of initiatives between the two firms. It's the latest example of how Silicon Valley startups Opens a New Window. are transforming the banking sector Opens a New Window. . Under the new deal announced on Thursday, Nationwide customers are able to apply for capital from BlueVine directly on the insurer’s website.

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Democrats hammer CFPB head for being soft on lenders

House Democrats sharply criticized on Thursday the head of America’s consumer finance watchdog for decisions Republicans say are entirely under her purview. In the first Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight hearing, Financial Services Democrats repeatedly hammered Director Kathy Kraninger and GOP lawmakers for supporting recent changes at the agency. “Congressional Republicans have done everything they can to stymie the bureau’s work, and the Trump administration has undertaken a sustained effort to destroy the agency,” Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters of California said. “I’m deeply concerned about the damage they have done.”

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Volcker 2.0 is said to face do-over after Wall Street complaints

U.S. regulators are poised to scrap their proposal for revising Volcker Rule restrictions on banks' trading in favor of a newer version as they respond to a misstep that drew fire from Wall Street lobbyists, according to people familiar with the effort. The Federal Reserve and other financial regulators are working on changes to their Volcker 2.0 plan that will likely require the agencies to re-propose the rule, said two people who requested anonymity because the process isn't yet public. No final decision has been made to abandon the earlier proposal, the people said.

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FTC shuts down another government grant scam

The government grant scam is one of the oldest schemes criminals use to separate unsuspecting consumers from their money. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tells us it’s still going strong. The FTC reports that a federal court in Arizona has issued an order banning a company called Premium Grants from advertising, marketing, and selling any service that purports to help consumers receive a grant. The court also imposed a $3 million judgment, which had to be suspended because the company doesn’t appear to have that much in assets. Instead, the court has ordered the company to surrender nearly all of its assets, worth approximately $200,000.

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Verizon warns enterprises about internal security threats

Cybersecurity threats from an enterprise’s own employees and partners can be as devastating as threats from external actors. And according to data gathered by Verizon’s cybersecurity team as part of its 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 20% of cybersecurity incidents and 15% of data breaches originated from people within a breached organization. The top reasons for these cyberthreats were financial gain (47.8%), pure fun (23.4%), and espionage (14.4%). Verizon used some of the same data and caseload analysis from its 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report to create its new Verizon Insider Threat Report. The carrier identified five categories of inside threat actors.

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Financial Stability Oversight Council Proposes Changes To Nonbank Designations Guidance

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (Council) today voted unanimously to issue for public comment proposed interpretive guidance regarding nonbank financial company designations. The proposed guidance would implement an activities-based approach to identifying and addressing potential risks to financial stability. It would also enhance the analytical rigor and transparency of the Council’s process for designating nonbank financial companies.

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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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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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Industry Events

NACTT 54th Annual Seminar Registration Open


JW Marriott Indianapolis 10 S. West Street Indianapolis, IN 46204
Indianapolis , IN
July 16 - 19 , 2019

800-445-8629 | 803-765-0860

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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