At a glanceFriday, July 05, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - July 5, 2019
Friday July 5, 2019
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PayThink Blockchain has lit a fire under payment developers

Cryptocurrencies are the only type of currency to be casually exchanged in every country. Bitcoin may have been what grabbed the attention of the world…however, let’s not forget that it was and still is blockchain technology which holds it all together. By creating a distributed ledger on the blockchain, bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies were accepted and exchanged all around the world. As of August 2018, there were more than 1,600 different types of cryptocurrencies in circulation. All you need is a computer or mobile device and an internet connection.

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US adds solid 224,000 jobs; Fed rate cut may be less certain

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers sharply stepped up their hiring in June, adding a robust 224,000 jobs, an indication of the economy’s durability after more than a decade of expansion.   The strength of the jobs report the government issued Friday could complicate a decision for the Federal Reserve late this month on whether to cut interest rates to help support the economy. Most investors have anticipated a rate cut in July and perhaps one or two additional Fed cuts later in the year. That scenario may be less likely now.

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Judge lets New York pursue student loan debt relief fraud case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge said New York's attorney general may pursue a lawsuit accusing Debt Resolve Inc and nine other defendants of involvement in a scheme to induce thousands of struggling student loan borrowers into paying for debt relief services they could have gotten for free. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan on Wednesday rejected requests by Debt Resolve, Chief Executive Bruce Bellmare, his predecessor Stanley Freimuth, and the other defendants to dismiss the September 2018 lawsuit. Eric Krejci, a lawyer for Debt Resolve, Bellmare and Freimuth, declined to comment. They had argued that Attorney General Letitia James failed to plead facts "supporting this allegedly 'fraudulent' debt relief scheme with particularity" against them.

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FCC presses for automatic, default blocking of ‘robocalls’

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- There's a crack-down on those annoying, incessant calls that never seem to stop from telemarketers and scammers. The FCC is now opening the door for phone companies to automatically block so-called 'robocalls' before ever reaching your number. Washington Correspondent Alana Austin gets to the bottom of this issue disturbing so many consumers. FCC Chair Ajit Pai presses for automatic, default blocking of so-called 'robocalls' by phone providers. Washington Correspondent Alana Austin speaks with the Chair about the new rule. (Source: GrayDC)
"Unbelievable calls all the time," complained Mazen Fares.

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Attorney General James Leads 25 State Attorneys General In Fighting Against Debit Card Overdraft Fees

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today led a coalition of 25 State Attorneys General opposing any effort by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to roll back or limit its Overdraft Rule. The rule, currently in place, permits banks to charge fees to consumers for overdraft services on ATM and one-time debit transactions only after consumers have been provided with important information about those services and fees in a model notice, and onlyafter those consumers have made the affirmative choice to opt in to such services.

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Consumer bankers urge lawmakers to pass plain-language loan disclosures

The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is urging lawmakers to support the Student Loan Disclosure Modernization Act, which would require federal student loans to carry plain-language disclosures on the true cost of the loan.
In a letter to the bill’s sponsors, Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), CBA officials point out that private student loans offered by banks already have these disclosures. These disclosures on private loans contribute to a 98 percent repayment rate of private student loans.

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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

Have you booked your room at the Red Rock Hotel?  We have insured that all Debt Connection Symposium and Expo 2019 conference attendees get a conference-discounted rate of $190 for a standard room.  So if you do not have your room reserved, please act fast, space is limited, and we expect to sell out.   

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Debt Collector Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Fraud

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Charles V. Stanley Jr., 65, of Agua Dulce, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez to six years in prison for conspiring to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.   According to court documents, Stanley was the owner and operator of Creditor Specialty Service Inc. (CSS), a debt collection company that operated in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Various companies contracted with CSS to collect debts, including credit unions based in Folsom, Sacramento, and Bakersfield. At Stanley’s direction, CSS employees collected money from debtors but underreported to creditors the amounts CSS actually collected. During the scheme, Stanley caused CSS to file lawsuits or settle with debtors without client authorization. After one credit union terminated its contract with Stanley, he continued to demand and collect money from its debtors, and persisted in this fraudulent conduct even after a court ordered Stanley to cease collecting from the credit union’s debtors.

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New report explores the extent of revolving in the U.S. credit card market

 We released a data point which explores patterns of revolving and repayment of credit card accounts in the United States. This data point offers insights on how consumers use their credit cards as a line of credit rather as a payment mechanism, a topic which has not been the subject of extensive prior research.

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D-Link Agrees to Make Security Enhancements to Settle FTC Litigation

The FTC has been keeping a close watch on the Internet of Things since the Internet of Things became a thing to watch. That includes law enforcement actions against companies alleged to have sold vulnerable connected devices that put consumers’ sensitive information at risk. Affected devices could even become – in effect – zombies that do the bidding of malicious botnets that threaten the Internet. The settlement of the FTC’s case against D-Link offers a reminder of both the threats that vulnerable IoT and smart home products pose to consumers and the practices that prudent IoT companies routinely implement.

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Attorney General James Announces $5.8 Million Multistate Settlement With Lexisnexis

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today announced a multistate settlement with LexisNexis Risk Solutions and several of its affiliates (LexisNexis) for defrauding state law enforcement agencies out of more than $2.8 million. LexisNexis deliberately failed to pay those agencies agreed-upon fees — $900,000 in New York alone — for the resale of car crash reports. New York’s share of the settlement is approximately $1.7 million, or 30 percent of the total $5.8 million multistate settlement.

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CFPB is taking a fresh look at bank overdraft fee rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just wrapped up a public comment period on a rule that extends some protections to consumers who overdraw their checking accounts. The CFPB must examine the rule under a federal law that requires agencies to review rules that might affect small businesses. Before the Federal Reserve Board set the 2009 overdraft rule, banks could automatically enroll people in overdraft protection and slap them with a fee — typically around $35 per transaction. With the rule in place, people can choose to have banks reject purchases at the point of sale instead to avoid those fees.

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FTC and Partners Sponsor “Back-to-Basics” Advertising and Data Security Workshop in Atlanta

The Federal Trade Commission and its regional partners will hold a public workshop in Atlanta on Thursday, August 15, 2019, on truth-in-advertising basics and data security compliance.  Designed for business owners, advertising and marketing executives, and attorneys, Green Lights & Red Flags: FTC Rules of the Road for Business features a roster of experts discussing established consumer protection and antitrust principles, new developments in the law, and their practical application in today’s marketplace. FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra and Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr will deliver remarks.

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Betsy DeVos cancels Obama-era regulation aimed at holding for-profit schools accountable

At a recent financial aid conference, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said that every school should help its students graduate with high-quality career prospects and minimal debt.   Students should be equipped, DeVos added, with information that allows them to be responsible consumers. “They need to have the best possible tools, data, advice and support,” DeVos said, at the Georgia World Congress Center in late November.

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Georgia court agency hacked in ransom attack

Hackers have infected computers at a Georgia courts agency, demanding a ransom payment and causing officials to shut down court websites.  The Administrative Office of the Courts was offline Monday as the state government tried to contain the hack. The agency maintains court documents, provides computer applications to some local courts and publishes guidance on court operations.  All websites were inaccessible. It’s unclear how many computers and court services were affected.

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Supreme Court Illuminates Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements

As the centennial of the Federal Arbitration Act (the FAA), 9 U.S.C. §1, et seq. approaches, the efficacy of that statutory regime has never been stronger. Reinforced by a plenitude of Supreme Court decisions, some of them quite recent, this federal law assuring the enforceability of agreements to arbitrate remains indefatigable. Indeed, in these very pages only a year ago, we had occasion to expound upon the aptly named Epic Systems v. Lewis, 584 U.S. __ (2018), at the time the high court’s latest confirmation that arbitral accords shallbe upheld by the federal courts. See Michael A. Sabino and Anthony M. Sabino, “‘Epic’ Decision by Supreme Court Orders Arbitration, Prohibits Class Action,” 259 N.Y.L.J. at p. 4, cl. 4 (June 6, 2018); see also New Prime v. Oliveira, 586 U.S. ___, ___ slip op. at 1 (No. 17-340) (Jan. 15, 2019) (Gorsuch, J.) (“The Federal Arbitration Act requires courts to enforce private arbitration agreements”).

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Transworld Systems Inc. Acquires Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A.’s Financial Services Business

LAKE FOREST, Ill.July 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Transworld Systems Inc. ("TSI" or the "Company") – the leading analytics-driven provider of accounts receivable management, healthcare revenue cycle and loan servicing solutions – announced today it has completed its purchase of the Altisource Financial Services business – including Nationwide Credit, Inc. (NCI) – from Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A.

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Seila Law Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Review Ninth Circuit Ruling that CFPB’s structure is Constitutional

Seila Law has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that the CFPB’s single-director-removable-only-for-cause structure is constitutional. The petition follows the entry of an order by the Ninth Circuit granting Seila Law’s motion for a stay of the Ninth Circuit’s mandate in the case pending resolution of the petition by the Supreme Court. There is currently no circuit split regarding the CFPB’s constitutionality, with both the Ninth Circuit and the en banc D.C. Circuit in PHH having ruled that the CFPB’s structure is constitutional. Nevertheless, Seila Law argues that “further percolation” would not benefit the Supreme Court in resolving the question of the CFPB’s constitutionality. In support, Seila Law references the Ninth Circuit’s comment in its decision that “the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions from the en banc D.C. Circuit in PHH ‘thoroughly canvassed’ the arguments involved in the constitutionality debate.” Seila Law contends that, in light of these “extensive” opinions, “[a]dditional opinions from other courts of appeals will add little to this Court’s consideration of the issue.”

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Banks spend $1 trillion on digital, but few reap the rewards

While global banks have been pouring money into information technology — to the tune of $1 trillion over three years — only a handful appear to be fully committed to a digital transformation and are therefore reaping the benefits, according to an Accenture study. Just 19 of the 161 largest retail and commercial banks that the consulting firm examined have been focusing enough on digital strategies to "make the shift to a different sort of bank," Accenture said in the report, released Thursday. And those that did were rewarded for their efforts, the firm said.

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Court rules student loan companies are subject to state consumer laws, contrary to Trump administration’s stance

A federal appeals court ruling Thursday could stymie the Education Department’s efforts to shield from state regulation companies that manage the department’s $1.5 trillion portfolio of student loans.   The 24-page opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit challenges a decision in October barring Nicole Nelson from suing Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, the company servicing her federal student loans, for allegedly violating Illinois’ consumer fraud laws. Nelson alleges Great Lakes touted its expertise as a student loan adviser, yet steered her into an expensive repayment option.

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NAFCU counters ABA inquiry with NCUA letter

Late last week, the American Bankers Association's (ABA) sent a letter to the NCUA requesting an assessment of credit unions and their commitment to underserved populations. NAFCU's EVP of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt hit back immediately, responding with a letter, also to the NCUA, that NAFCU supports the agency remaining focused on priorities that will help the credit union industry.

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PayThink Before they regulate AI, Congress needs to define it

The emerging debate on machine learning and artificial intelligence can sometimes sound like a science fiction externality, destined to rise in complexity until it fights humans for supremacy.  But AI is a tool employed every day, across every industry: streamlining our shopping, banking and entertainment experiences. These data tools give computers some logical task that until recently, had to be done by humans. AI is not a threat. It empowers humans.  The Senate Banking Committee recently met to hear concerns about “data brokers and the impact on financial data privacy, credit, insurance, employment and housing,” where the impact of machine learning and AI was prominently featured. A number of senators have raised questions about the use of AI in the past but there was a noticeable uptick in concern at the recent hearing.

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Who’s using installment loans at the point of sale?

Installment lending, whether it’s online or at the physical point of sale, is a market sector that has been experiencing a global boom in consumer demand for the last several years. Installment loans are different than credit cards since they are not open lines of credit and are typically used for a specific purchase. This can help consumers overcome the stigma of borrowing in certain markets such as Germany, where cash and bank transfers tend to dominate the payments landscape; or in the U.S., where millennials fear amassing unwanted debt.

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CFPB Fair Lending Report 2018

We are committed to ensuring fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit for both individuals and communities. This report describes our fair lending activities in innovation, outreach, prioritization, guidance and rulemaking, supervision, and enforcement for calendar year 2018.

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Why employee negligence is the main factor in data breaches

Cybersecurity is big business these days. Last year, cybercriminals exposed 2.8 billion consumer data records in 342 breaches, costing U.S. organizations more than $650 billion. Attacks on the nation’s financial services industry cost more than $6.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019 alone, up from just $8 million in the same period last year. In 2018, personally identifiable information, such as date of birth and/or Social Security Numbers, accounted for 97% of data breaches, and healthcare was the most affected sector, falling victim to almost half of all breaches. While investments in information security products and services have been steadily rising, with $114 billion invested last year alone, the cybercriminals aren’t slowing down.  A new state-of-the-industry report found that 47% of business leaders admitted that human error, such as the accidental loss of a device or a document, had caused a data breach at their organization.

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FTC says credit repair company en-CROA-ched on consumer rights

The first rule of credit repair is that no credit repair company can remove accurate and timely negative information from someone’s credit report. For credit repair companies that would claim otherwise, there’s CROA – the Credit Repair Organizations Act. It makes it illegal for credit repair companies to lie about what they can do to clear up a clouded credit report, or charge upfront fees before they do the job they promised to do.

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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 2019 Annual Convention & Expo

ACA International

Event Location
San Diego , California
July 14 - 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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