At a glanceWednesday, June 26, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - June 26, 2019
Wednesday June 26, 2019
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Early Bird Registration for the Debt Connection Symposium and Expo 2019 Ends July 19!

Debt Connection Symposium and Expo 2019 will be held on September 10-12, 2019 at the Red Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.  There is an early bird rate of $1,295 that will end on July 19, 2019, on July 20, 2019 the rate goes up to $1,395.  Register today to get that early bird rate!

Registration is open to Industry Professionals, both Operational and Marketing, from Creditors, Debt Sellers, Collection Agencies, Collection Attorneys, Debt Buyers, Scoring & Analytics Vendors, Skip/Locate Vendors, Collection/Recovery Software and Hardware Vendors. This conference represents a solid opportunity for substantive interaction between clients and vendors, and a comfortable setting to discuss new opportunities.   Click here to register today:

For more information on other conference information, please go to

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Weekly mortgage rates fall further, but only refinance applications rise

It’s almost as if falling mortgage rates are becoming hum-drum, at least for homebuyers. Total mortgage application volume increased 1.3% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Volume was 40% higher than a year ago, largely because lower mortgage rates are strengthening the refinance market. Rates have fallen in three of the last four weeks and are now at the lowest level since September 2017. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.06% from 4.14%, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment. That is 78 basis points lower than a year earlier.

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Overseeing the Fintech Revolution: Domestic and International Perspectives on Fintech Regulation

Thank you, Chairman Lynch, Ranking Member Hill and distinguished members of the Task Force. My name is Charles Clark. I am the Director of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. My department is responsible for the regulation, supervision and examination of Washington’s more than 17,000 state-licensed non-depository entities and more than 90 state-chartered depository institutions, including 38 state-chartered banks. Our department also provides education and outreach to protect consumers from financial fraud.

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Loan rate-cap bill would harm consumers

The California Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday (June 26) on a bill that caps consumer loan rates and threatens to sever a vital credit lifeline for many. Oddly, three commercial lenders who offer the kind of loans subject to this regulation support it.

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FDIC and CFPB Host Webinar on Elder Financial Abuse Prevention

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are co-hosting a webinar to outline strategies to address and prevent elder financial abuse. In particular, the webinar will focus on the benefits of appropriate collaboration between financial institutions and law enforcement regarding this issue, and will provide financial institutions with resources and strategies to develop strategic relationships. The webinar will take place on July 25, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.

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Fintechs must offer same consumer protections as CUs, banks

Technology has improved consumer access to financial services, but certain new financial technologies, or fintech, does not have the regulatory structure in place that exists with credit unions and other financial institutions, CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services Task Force on Financial Technology Tuesday, the task force conducted a hearing featuring domestic and international regulators sharing their perspective on fintech regulation. “Although CUNA supports the innovations developed and brought into the marketplace by fintech, we remain concerned the regulatory environment might create an environment in which consumers do not receive the same protections from unregulated businesses that offer services traditionally offered by credit unions and banks,” writes CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “A regulatory scheme that ensures consumers receive the same protections and those offering these services are subject to similar regulations and supervision credit unions and banks is important to safeguard consumers and the banking system.”

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Robocall ‘crackdown’: FTC blocks more than a billion illegal calls, but problem festers

The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that it had blocked more than a billion illegal robocalls in a "crackdown" coordinated with the Justice Department as well as state and local law enforcement agencies. The agencies collectively took 94 actions against robocallers touting bogus services such as credit card interest rate reduction and medical alerts. The actions included seven new FTC cases, including four settlements. Consumers get "tens of billions" of illegal robocalls annually, according to the FTC. So, the latest enforcement action is admittedly a "drop in the bucket," said Andrew Smith, the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau director.

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Texas Breach Law Will Change in 2020, To Require Attorney General Notification

New requirements to the Texas data breach statute, including a requirement to notify the Texas attorney general of a breach, are set to go into effect January 1, 2020. The legislation, signed by Texas Governor, Greg Abbot, on June 14, 2019, requires that the Texas attorney general be notified of a breach within 60 days. The AG notification is required only if 250 or more Texas residents are affected. The notification to the attorney general must include a description of the breach, number of residents affected, measures taken in response to the breach, measures planned to be taken after notification and whether law enforcement has been engaged with the investigation.  The legislation also adds a 60 day timing requirement for notice, from the current “as quickly as possible” standard.

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News CFPB Signals Greater Clarity Coming for Abusive Standard (1)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appears poised to give companies more information about how it uses its unique authority to sue companies for abusive practices. CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger said at a June 25 symposium that the bureau’s power to bring claims of abusiveness along with traditional unfairness and deception claims has resulted in confusion in the marketplace. She indicated that the CFPB is likely to consider guidance or even a rule that would provide a more firm definition of...

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Texas Amends Debt Collection Law to Add New Requirements for Debt Buyers

On June 14, 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 996, which amends Chapter 392 of the Texas Finance Code dealing with debt collection.  The amendments are effective September 1, 2019.

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The Impact of the Receivables Management Certification Program on Litigation

June 24, 2019 (Sacramento, CA) – Today, the Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) releases a white paper analysis of the impact of the Receivables Management Certification Program (RMCP) on litigation.  A before-and-after analysis of lawsuits filed against businesses certified through the RMCP found that after certification, litigation against RMAI’s certified businesses, as an average, decreased by 20.8% in the seven-year span from 2012 to 2018. Looking at a breakdown of the litigation by areas of law, the lawsuits filed against violations to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) experienced similar declines after certification.

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FTC, Law Enforcement Partners Announce New Crackdown on Illegal Robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission and its law enforcement partners today announced a major crackdown on illegal robocalls, including 94 actions targeting operations around the country that are responsible for more than one billion calls pitching a variety of products and services including credit card interest rate reduction services, money-making opportunities, and medical alert systems.

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Berger, Hunt address misconceptions about CUs’ bank acquisitions

Contrary to some bank lobbyists' arguments, the increase in credit unions' acquisitions of banks is "a strategic decision" – both for credit unions to grow and banks to benefit financially – according to an S&P Global article featuring NAFCU's Dan Berger and Carrie Hunt. Instead of targeting their displeasure about these acquisitions towards credit unions, bankers should reflect on the shortcomings of their industry and look to their own to understand why banks are selling to credit unions.

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You still have time to participate in the Audit Benchmarking Oversight Survey for Creditors and Servicers, which ends July 15.  We’ve kept these short, but meaningful.  All responses are confidential, and can be anonymous.  All participants can receive a copy of the results by providing their contact information to us.  No individual company information or contact information will be provided in the analysis and results.

Audit oversight survey for creditors
To participate in the Creditor Audit Oversight Survey, please use the link below

Audit oversight survey for agencies, attorneys and specialty vendors
To participate in the Agency Audit Oversight Survey, please use the link below:

There is no cost to participate.  If you’d like to remain anonymous with your responses, but still get a copy of the results, you can write me directly that you participated, but didn’t provide any contact info.

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Microsoft: We’re fighting Windows malware spread via Excel in email with bad macro

Microsoft is drawing attention to a cybercrime campaign that relies on Office features to compromise Windows systems. Office applications remain a favorite tool for cyber criminals to exploit to compromise Windows PCs en masse. Earlier this month Microsoft warned that attackers were firing spam that exploited an Office flaw to install a trojan. The bug meant the attackers didn't require Windows users to enable macros. However, a new malware campaign that doesn't exploit a specific vulnerability in Microsoft software takes the opposite approach, using malicious macro functions in an Excel attachment to compromise fully patched Windows PCs.    

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Bill That Limits Payday Lenders’ Profits Might Actually Hurt The Poor

A California bill that was already passed by the Assembly and is now in the Senate would put a cap on how much payday lenders may charge Californians for loans between $2,500 and $10,000. It would also bar California Financing Law (CFL) licensees from imposing penalties for prepayments. According to AB 539’s co-author, Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), the bill fixes a loophole that allows payday lenders to charge higher interest rates on loans that are higher than $2,500. This, she wrote in an op-ed, prompted lenders to “push consumers toward much larger loans.”

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FTC and Law Enforcement Partners to Announce Robocall Enforcement Sweep Tomorrow in Chicago

The Federal Trade Commission, in conjunction with other federal, state, and local law enforcement, will announce “Operation Call it Quits,” the latest joint-agency crackdown on telemarketers responsible for more than a billion illegal robocalls.

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FTC Announces Final Rule Implementing Law Providing Free Credit Monitoring for Active Duty Military Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized the rule implementing a 2018 law that requires the nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) to provide free electronic credit monitoring services for active duty military consumers. The Free Electronic Credit Monitoring for Active Duty Military Rule, which will be published in the Federal Register shortly, implements legislation included in the 2018 Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by requiring CRAs to notify active duty military consumers about any “material” additions or modifications to their credit files.

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New York moves to ban confessions of judgment for out-of-state loans

New York lawmakers took steps to prevent predatory lenders from using the state's court system to seize the assets of small businesses nationwide. The state Assembly approved a bill late Thursday prohibiting the use of confessions of judgment against individuals and businesses located outside of the state. The Senate passed the measure earlier this week.

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PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL: AG Shapiro Secures $5.3 Million in Debt Relief for 570 Pennsylvania ITT Tech Students in Multistate Settlement

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that a bipartisan coalition of 44 Attorneys General reached a settlement with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC (“CUSO”) that includes more than $168 million in debt relief for more than 18,000 former students of ITT Tech schools nationwide. In Pennsylvania, 570 former ITT Tech students are eligible for $5.3 million in debt relief. The settlement holds CUSO accountable for its participation with now-defunct ITT Tech in subjecting students to deceptive and abusive lending practices. ITT Tech filed for bankruptcy in 2016.

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Agencies Issue Final Amendments to Regulation CC Regarding Funds Availability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board today jointly published amendments to Regulation CC that implement a statutory requirement to adjust for inflation the amount of funds depository institutions must make available to their customers. The amendments apply in circumstances ranging from next business day withdrawal of certain check deposits to setting the threshold amount for determining whether an account has been repeatedly withdrawn. Regulation CC implements the Expedited Funds Availability Act of 1987 (EFA Act). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended the EFA Act to grant the Bureau and the Board joint rulemaking authority for funds-availability schedules, disclosure policies, payment of interest, and other EFA Act provisions implemented by Regulation CC.

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Married to debt: Couples are taking out loans to pay for their weddings

Skyler Ramirez has a loan for his house, his car — and now his fiancee’s engagement ring. The 26-year-old had already picked out the diamond solitaire from Tiffany & Co., when he happened upon an ad for wedding-related loans while he was checking his credit score on Credit Karma. “I thought, ‘Hey, I’m going to be making a pretty sizable purchase,’" said Ramirez, a general contractor in Fort Myers, Fla., who proposed on Valentine’s Day. “I didn’t want to be using cash or pulling money from savings or investments accounts.” It took about 15 minutes to get approval for the five-figure loan. At an interest rate of about 8 percent, it will take more than three years — and $300 a month — to pay it off. And it might not be the last loan he takes out as he prepares to get married.

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FTC Stops Operators of Fake Credit Repair Scheme

At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted and frozen the assets of Grand Teton Professionals, an alleged credit repair scheme that charged illegal upfront fees and falsely claimed to repair consumers’ credit. The company and other defendants are charged with violating the FTC Act and several provisions of the Credit Repair Organizations Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.

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Auto Finance Peer Group members will want to mark their calendars for September 10th, 1:30 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. for this special peer networking discussion.   The Auto Finance Peer Group break out session provides auto creditors the opportunity to meet with industry peers to discuss auto recovery issues, challenges and best practices. During the break out session, there will be discussions related to the current economic situation, its impact on auto recoveries, and the best practices of industry leaders to manage recovery operations through these challenging times. The session will be an interactive open forum providing attendees the opportunity to share their experiences, thoughts and plans for the future.  Auto Finance Peer Group is a member’s only group.

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Maine becomes the latest state with a ‘Student Loan Bill of Rights’

Maine is the latest state to pass a law amid frustration with federal inaction over the supervision of student loan companies.   On Thursday, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed the “Act To Establish a Student Loan Bill of Rights To License and Regulate Student Loan Servicers,” which will go into effect in September.   “Paying back student loan debt is difficult enough without a profit-hungry lender trying to make it harder and more expensive,” Governor Mills said in a statement. “By signing this bill into law, Maine is taking critical action to create oversight, implement accountability, and protect the interests of our borrowers.”

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Beshear: For-Profit American National College Violated Consumer Protection Act

FRANKFORT, KY.  – Attorney General Andy Beshear today announced that the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld a Fayette Circuit Court’s finding that American National University, formerly known as National College of Kentucky, willfully violated the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.Beshear said National broke state law when it published deceptive advertisements on its website regarding the employment success of its graduates. The allegations involved all of the college’s campuses in Kentucky, which were located in Danville, Florence, Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville and Richmond.


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As More Off-Lease Vehicles Go to Market, Used Car Demand for Prime and Above Consumers Rises

While used vehicle financing has traditionally been associated with non-prime borrowers, a new TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) study has found that consumers across the credit spectrum are increasingly evaluating used vehicles as a more practical option. This trend is especially noteworthy among consumers with prime and higher credit scores, and is believed to be driven in part by the influx of off-lease vehicles to the marketplace.

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Bank of America CEO: ‘We Want a Cashless Society’

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan kicked off Fortune’s inaugural Brainstorm Finance conference in Montauk, N.Y., on Wednesday by discussing the tech-driven strides made by one of the country’s largest financial institutions. Speaking with Fortune editor-at-large Shawn Tully, Moynihan touched on BoA’s embrace of artificial intelligence-driven technology via applications like Erica, a voice-activated virtual assistant used by 7 million customers. By his estimation, the financial institution has “probably spent $30 million on code” over the past eight years to develop and improve its technological infrastructure.

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Hospitality Lending: Whose Market?

As the economy continues its upward trajectory, hotels are enjoying the benefits of strong demand from both personal and business travel. Despite these solid operating fundamentals, many lenders are apprehensive about the record length of the current economic expansion and the impact that a future downturn may have on room rates and occupancy levels. In response to these growing fears, many capital sources have either tightened their lending criteria or decided to cease hospitality lending all together. As traditional sources of financing retreat, hospitality owners have had to look far and wide for lenders that remain receptive to this asset class. This has created opportunities for lesser-known sources of capital, like Chicago-based Alliant Credit Union, to finance high quality properties.

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Senate Banking panel sets hearing on Facebook’s Libra

WASHINGTON — The Senate Banking Committee has scheduled a hearing for next month to examine Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, just one day after the social network unveiled Project Libra in its latest foray into the financial system. The hearing, “Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations,” is to take place July 16 at 10:00 a.m. No witnesses have been announced. Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the ranking member of the committee, sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in May requesting more information on the company’s reported efforts to develop a cryptocurrency and what privacy and consumer protections were being considered as part of the project.

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WebRecon Stats for May 2019: FCRA Down, Everything Else Up (and the unexpected resurgence of a familiar name)

Quick analysis: For the second time in three months, FDCPA and TCPA lawsuit numbers rose (2.8%, 13.4%, respectively) while FCRA dipped (-6.9%) from the previous month. That goes counter to the longer term trends we have been seeing that make a case for the opposite (FCRA up, FDCPA & TCPA down). At least it did until this month, when the weight of FCRA’s decline dragged the YTD number back into negative territory, bringing all three statutes down a bit YTD (FDCPA -4.6%, FCRA -1.0%, TCPA -11.1%).

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   Debt Buyer 

Starling Evan Enterprise LLC

(240) 633-9099


Industry Events

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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