At a glanceFriday, May 10, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - May 10, 2019
Friday May 10, 2019
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Credit bureaus draw the most consumer complaints to the CFPB

Getting incorrect or outdated information fixed or removed from one's credit report is a problem many consumers share. It's so common that hundreds of thousands of them lodged complaints against the three major credit bureaus last year. And that made credit reports the most-complained-about product in 2018, according to a new analysis of more than 257,000 complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Credit reporting, credit-repair services or other personal consumer complaints accounted for 43 percent of all complaints to the CFPB last year. That's up from 23 percent in 2016, according to U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a nonpartisan consumer advocacy group.

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CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger’s Speech at the Debt Collection Town Hall

Thank you all for coming. I’m delighted to be at my first CFPB town hall.  Philadelphia has always been a special place to me. With Independence Hall as the foundation, this city always reminds me of the importance of democracy and public service. I could not think of a better city to be in as the Bureau continues to focus on developing and promoting the right policies for the American people.   The Bureau issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking yesterday on debt collection. Clear rules of the road, where consumers know their rights and debt collectors know their limitations, are a step towards fulfilling the intent of the law. 

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Crypto-Friendly US Congress Members Join New Fintech Task Force

The U.S. House of Representatives is launching a new task force aimed specifically at financial technology – including blockchain. The new task force, referred to as the FinTech Task Force, was established by the House Financial Services Committee by a voice vote Thursday, and will examine blockchain and cryptocurrency tools, among others. The task force will be headed up by Massachusetts Rep. Stephen Lynch. Its initial list of issues includes regulating fintech from both domestic and international perspectives; lending and using “alternative data” for loan underwriting; examining the legal and regulatory frameworks for payments, as well as the infrastructure; and data privacy.

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(Sacramento, CA) – Yesterday, the Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) had a front row seat at the CFPB Debt Collection Town Hall in Philadelphia, PA. Representing RMAI was RMAI Executive Director Jan Stieger, RMAI President Marian Sangalang, RMAI President-Elect Jim Mastriani, and RMAI Legal Counsel Don Maurice. The event was hosted by the CFPB to receive insights and feedback from the business and consumer communities on the CFPB’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Debt Collection Practices. 

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Clear and Present Danger?: New Ruling Highlights TCPA Perils Faced by Providers of Autodialer and Mass Message Services

It is a truism in this great nation of ours that weapons don’t kill people, people do. So weapons manufacturers are rarely, if ever, liable for their sale—even if some remarkably high number of those weapons will eventually be used for illegal conduct. The second amendment, of course, assures that all Americans have the right to bear arms as long as they are part of a well-regulated, state-run militia. So… there.

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WebRecon Stats for April 2019: Lawsuits up, YTD trends remain the same

For the first time since January, all lawsuit categories were up in April (FDCPA +11.5%, FCRA +22.3%, TCPA +1.7%) though CFPB complaints were down (fairly dramatically at -21.3%) from the prior month.   FDCPA (-8.3%) and TCPA (10.9%) are still trending down YTD while FCRA is back trending up YTD (+5.3%) after briefly dipping into negative YTD territory last month.

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Consumer bureau proposes rule to curb debt collector harassment

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Tuesday proposed a rule meant to curb harassment by debt collectors with hard limits on how and when debtors can be contacted by collection agencies.   The proposal from the CFPB also bars debt collectors from taking certain actions that could harm debtors’ credit ratings or lead to costly litigation between debtors and collectors.

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Republicans move to abolish CFPB

If a handful of Republicans in the Senate have their way, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will not exist for much longer, as for at least the third time in the last few years, Republicans are trying to kill the CFPB. And just like the two previous times it’s been attempted, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is leading the way. Cruz on Tuesday announced that he is reintroducing a bill, titled the “Repeal CFPB Act,” which would do exactly that: eliminate the CFPB. As stated above, this is Cruz’s third time to try to legislatively destroy the CFPB. Back in 2015, Cruz introduced a bill in the Senate that would have eliminated the CFPB, calling the CFPB a “runaway agency.” The bill did not pass, and in 2017, Cruz tried again.

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6 takeaways from the Fed’s financial stability assessment

WASHINGTON — A Federal Reserve report released this week shows how financial markets' desire for higher yields creates the potential for losses, although capital and liquidity safeguards are tempering any concerns about a catastrophic crash. The central bank's semiannual Financial Stability Report identified a sharp increase in both leveraged lending and corporate debt, as well as the threat of an economic slowdown at home and abroad, as the leading sources of risk to the financial system. In general, there were few glaring differences between the report released Monday and the Fed’s inaugural assessment of financial stability in November.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Proposes Regulations to Implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The proposal would provide consumers with clear protections against harassment by debt collectors and straightforward options to address or dispute debts. Among other things, the NPRM would set clear, bright-line limits on the number of calls debt collectors may place to reach consumers on a weekly basis; clarify how collectors may communicate lawfully using newer technologies, such as voicemails, emails and text messages, that have developed since the FDCPA’s passage in 1977; and require collectors to provide additional information to consumers to help them identify debts and respond to collection attempts.

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CFPB Proposes Debt-Collection Rules That Allow Unlimited Texts

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled new proposed rules for debt collectors on Tuesday that would restrict how often they can call borrowers, while making clear that firms can send unlimited text messages and emails to consumers. The regulations -- the result of a process started under former CFPB director Richard Cordray -- would mark some of the first major rule changes for the industry in four decades if they are adopted.

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Convoke Named One of Virginia’s Fastest Growing Companies for 2019

ARLINGTON, Va.May 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Convoke, a leader in SaaS solutions for the debt collection market, has been named one of Virginia's Fantastic 50 Companies by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce for the third year in a row.  Virginia's Fantastic 50 award program is a signature event of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and is the only annual statewide award recognizing Virginia's fastest growing businesses.

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Gillibrand bill would expand CFPB data collection to spot lending discrimination

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced Monday that she will introduce a bill to require broader data collection on thousands of loan and credit applications in a bid to crack down on lending discrimination. Gillibrand, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said that she would sponsor a proposal to drastically expand the amount of data reported to and analyzed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from banks, lenders and credit card companies. 

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Germantown, MD. –Companies often sit on hundreds, or even thousands, of commercial judgments. After years of collection efforts, many of these judgments are left uncollected with little value remaining to the company. Now, however, there is a new market for generating ‘found money’ from these stale judgments. Kaulkin Ginsberg Company (KGC) represents a widely recognized leader in purchasing bankruptcy remnant assets that is looking to pay immediate cash for portfolios of old, commercial judgments, including those against defunct, dissolved, or illiquid businesses.

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Feds’ Consumer Watchdog Agency Is Legal, Ninth Circuit Rules

(CN) – An agency with limited quasi-judicial powers is constitutional, despite having a director – currently President Donald Trump appointee Kathy Kraninger – who can only be removed by the president for inefficiency, neglect of duties or malfeasance, the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday.   At issue is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created in 2010 through passage of the Consumer Financial Protection Act by Congress. The bureau is housed in the Federal Reserve, but has the authority to investigate and administratively punish financial wrongdoing.

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In Senate Testimony, FTC Highlights Work to Protect Consumers, Promote Competition

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, the Federal Trade Commission described its work to protect consumers and promote competition through vigorous enforcement, education, advocacy, and policy work, and by anticipating and responding to changes in the marketplace.

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This National Small Business Week, the focus is on cybersecurity

It’s National Small Business Week, a time when we celebrate the businesses that make our communities thrive. For the FTC, it’s an opportunity to let business owners know that when it comes to protecting your business from cyber threats, you’re not alone. The federal government has resources to help you address common cyber threats and create a culture of cybersecurity at your company. The materials at were introduced last year in cooperation with DHS, NIST, and the SBA. They include videos, interactive quizzes, and fact sheets on these topics:

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Berger hits bankers back in new letter to CFPB

In response to a letter from two bank trade associations, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger urged CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger to "exercise its statutory exemption authority more effectively to exclude credit unions from burdensome regulations that are meant to target bad actors in the financial services industry."

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AG Jeff Landry Continues Bipartisan, Multi-State Push Against Illegal Robocalls

BATON ROUGE, LA – Today, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and 41 of his fellow state attorneys general called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take further action to stop the growing proliferation of illegal robocalls and spoofing.   In legal comments delivered to the FCC, General Landry and his colleagues urged the federal government to adopt proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing on calls into the United States from overseas, as well as spoofing in text messaging and alternative voice services. These provisions are included in the FCC appropriations authorization bill (the RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018). 

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PayThink New ‘unknown’ data breach shows the danger of multicloud

Data breaches are an ongoing problem that's getting worse given the recent news that a massive unprotected database of unclear ownership was found online, potentially exposing personal data for 80 million U.S. households.

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CBA discusses banking regulations with Senate leaders

The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) reached out to leaders of the Senate Banking Committee to discuss a variety of concerns related to banking regulations.   In a letter to committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH), CBA President and CEO discussed the use of proper regulatory guidance, the need for experienced bank examiners, and the importance of regulatory coordination among supervisory agencies.

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CFPB: 5 ways you can guard against identity theft

Protecting your sensitive personal information from misuse is a way to safeguard your credit. Unfortunately, hacking and data breaches have exposed the personal information of a majority of Americans. These events are difficult to predict, but there are steps you can take to protect your information both before and after a breach. So how do you decide what options are best for you? 

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Banks have eased lending terms for business clients this year, Fed survey finds

The numbers: Banks eased lending terms for large and midsized commercial borrowers in the first three months of the year, according to a Federal Reserve survey of senior loan officers released Monday. Standards on most business loans remained unchanged.

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Compromise TCPA FCC Proposal Gathers Steam: Recent FCC Submission Fleshes out Potential ATDS and Revocation Paradigms

The Baron and I are working hard to break the logjam and assist the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to reach a ruling on the TCPA Public Notice proceeding following the ACA Int’l. Last week we met the Chief and staff of the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau—the folks responsible for putting pen to paper on the TCPA Omnibus II— and walked through how the compromise proposal would work, brick by brick. As to a compromise formulation for automated telephone dialing system, we explained that a definition for “automatic” dialing was needed. Although both the Ninth Circuit’s Marks case, and the FCC’s own rulings from 2003 focusing on “human intervention,” have looked at the idea of “automatic” dialing, neither ruling gave a definition for the term.  The compromise ATDS proposal would interpret the phrase ATDS to include dialers that randomly or sequentially generate numbers and dial them OR any system that dials automatically from a list without human intervention in that the system, as used, fails to achieve an abandonment rate of 3% or less of answered calls.

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Soaring bankruptcies in Farm Belt force banks to boost defenses

Banks that serve U.S. farmers are increasingly restructuring existing loans and boosting the collateral needed for new ones as the numbers of late and missed payments have risen. While regional banks are healthy, they're clearly boosting their defenses against the risks they face. In March, a report by First Midwest Bank in Chicago showed past-due agricultural loans up 287% in 2018 over the previous year. Meanwhile, cases handled by the Iowa Mediation Service involving farmers unable to make payments rose 20%. Farmer bankruptcies in six Midwest states rose 30% to 103 in 2018, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. To hold back the tide, Farmers National Bank in Prophetstown, Illinois, is restructuring more and more loans to keep growers solvent while trimming the bank's own risk.

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Fintechs want to become nationwide lenders, but they just hit a major roadblock

New York’s banking regulators can proceed with their case to prevent fintech companies from acting like banks, a judge ruled Thursday. The regulators want to block the federal government from giving fintech companies national licenses that would allow them to pay consumers’ checks and lend them money. Online lending from the “fintech” sector is booming — prompting a legal duel between state and federal banking regulators on whose rules the budding industry must follow. Manhattan Federal Judge Victor Marrero ruled that the New York State Department of Financial Services could proceed with two of its three claims against the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an independent bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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Nuance Voice Biometrics to Improve Customer Experience and Boost Security at Santander

BURLINGTON, Mass. and LONDON, May 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nuance Communications, Inc. (NUAN) today announced Santander is making phone banking more seamless and secure through Voice ID, a system that leverages Nuance’s market-leading, fraud-preventing biometrics technology.

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Boston Fed Weighs Up Regulatory Blockchain Nodes

The Boston Federal Reserve released a white paper on Wednesday that hopes to tackle some of the problems regulators will face if blockchain technology is widely adopted.   Noting, in kinder words, that the nascent technology was once thought of as being something particular to anarchist kooks, the regulator said that the growing adoption of blockchain means it has to deal with it.

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Industry Events

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

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 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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