At a glanceFriday, October 25, 2019

Collection Industry News At A Glance - October 25, 2019
Friday October 25, 2019
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SCOTUS decision in Seila Law holding CFPB structure unconstitutional would not impact OCC or HUD

The constitutional question that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide in Seila Law is whether the CFPB’s single-director-removable-only-for-cause structure violates separation of powers.  A ruling by the Supreme Court that separation of powers requires the President to be able to remove the CFPB Director without cause would not impact either the OCC or HUD. 

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Supreme Court Appoints Former Solicitor General to Defend CFPB

The U.S. Supreme Court has appointed former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement to argue in support of the CFPB’s structure in the case of Seila Law LLC V. Consumer Protection Bureau. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of the California law firm that argues the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutionally structured, positioning the justices to settle longstanding questions surrounding the legitimacy of the independent agency.

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Lawmakers discuss need for federal data security laws

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., emphasized the need for a federal law that addresses data breach, data privacy and ownership issues during a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday. Ahead of the hearing on data privacy rights and data valuation, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler urged the committee to consider a national standard for institutions that collect and store consumer information.

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Fintech’s fast pass to traditional banking is now cut off

Tech start-ups trying to become banks will now have to take a slower, more traditional route.   Fintech companies had welcomed a special bank charter that cleared a quicker path for them to become a bank. But that was dealt a blow this week as a federal district court in New York decided that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the regulator issuing the charters, didn’t have the authority to do so.

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CFPB to Host Symposium on November 6

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) announced today that it will hold a symposium on Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act on November 6, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. The event will be webcast on the Bureau’s website.   Section 1071 amended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to require financial institutions to collect, report, and make public certain information concerning credit applications made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. The symposium will provide a public forum for the Bureau and the public to hear various perspectives on the small business lending marketplace and the Bureau’s upcoming implementation of Section 1071. 

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Zelle Transaction Volumes Hit $49B, Spike 73 Pct YOY

Zelle’s third-quarter results show that its year-over-year payment values increased by 58 percent, while transaction volume rose by 73 percent. In addition, Early Warning Services, the network operator behind Zelle, announced that $49 billion was sent through the Zelle Network on 196 million transactions during Q3 2019. More than 600 financial institutions are currently contracted to participate on the Zelle Network, including 254 that are processing transactions, as well as the 5,516 banks represented by their customers using the Zelle app.

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AGs From 28 States Send Letter to CFPB to Stop Proposal Allowing Debt Collectors to Use Social Media

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing changes to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as “Dodd-Frank”). State attorneys general from 28 states have banded together to comment on the changes, which may impact an estimated 49 million American consumers who are contacted each year by debt collectors.

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Massachusetts AG Sues DeVos Over Debt Relief

Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Education Department seeking debt cancellation for 7,200 former Corinthian Colleges students.

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New York Court of Appeals May Settle Statute of Limitations Issues Related to Mortgage Foreclosures

For several years now, New York courts have grappled with the issue of what constitutes revocation of the acceleration of mortgage debt. Because the Appellate Division of New York has four Departments that preside over different counties within the state, the same set of facts has resulted in different outcomes. That may change, however, when the New York Court of Appeals reviews the Second Department’s decision in Freedom Mtge. Corp. v. Engel, 63 A.D.3d 631 (2d Dept. 2018).

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Court rules against OCC in fintech charter challenge

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in a dispute over the legality of the regulator's fintech charter. The court determined that the OCC is prohibited by the National Bank Act from offering a specialized bank charter to a company that doesn't accept deposits.

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FTC Report to Congress Details Fraud Reports from Older Consumers

A new report from the Federal Trade Commission shows that adults aged 60 and older are less likely to report losing money to fraud than younger adults, but the amount of money they report losing is on the rise.    
The report, Protecting Older Consumers 2018-2019: A Report of the Federal Trade Commission, outlines the FTC’s research, law enforcement, and education efforts aimed at protecting older consumers—a top priority for the agency.

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CFPB to hold symposium on small biz data collection

The CFPB announced last week that it will host a symposium on Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires the bureau to collect data on lending to small businesses. NAFCU has previously urged the bureau to exempt credit unions from rulemakings related to data collection and reporting on small business lending as the industry is subject to strict limits on member business lending and field of membership rules. Due to these restrictions, reported data may not achieve the statutory purpose.

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OCC fintech charter suffers a blow in court ruling

Judge Victor Marrero, ruling in favor of the New York regulator, said the National Bank Act's "business of banking" clause "unambiguously requires that, absent a statutory provision to the contrary, only depository institutions are eligible to receive national bank charters from the OCC," according to American Banker. Marrero in May rejected the OCC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

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‘Absolute scam’: Complaints about credit monitoring plans flood CFPB

WASHINGTON — Before Alex Biviano was hired as a server by a popular restaurant chain, his prospective employer sought details about his credit. To provide the information, Biviano paid what he thought would be just a $1 fee to TransUnion to see his credit report. But the process ended up costing him a lot more, he says. Biviano alleges he was deceived into enrolling in TransUnion's $20-per-month credit monitoring plan. He is among over 100 consumers who recently have complained to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about being unwittingly enrolled in services offered by one of the three credit bureaus that they say they never wanted.

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Where are US fintech’s next billion-dollar startups?

As fintech investments soar to new heights, investors are looking at the bottom and top levels of the services stack to find the next billion-dollar startups. That’s the word from seasoned investors like Andreessen Horowitz’s managing director, Angela Strange, who has invested in a number of successful financial services technology companies. For Strange and Chris Britt, co-founder and chief executive of financial services startup Chime Bank, the best opportunities are in customer-facing financial services and specific infrastructure opportunities that can support those businesses.

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Utah’s payday lenders hit hard times — 25% of stores close in 3 years

Times are suddenly tough for Utah’s payday loan industry — which makes money on the tough times of others by charging astronomical interest rates to cash-strapped people with poor credit and few other options. A new state report shows, for example:

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NWCUA auction raises nearly $872K for Credit Unions for Kids

Miracles happen when credit unions collaborate to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospitals. So does magic.   There was no shortage of either when the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) hosted the Credit Unions for Kids Masquerade Auction during MAXX Convention in Spokane Oct. 16. The event raised nearly $872,000 for the eight CMN hospitals that treat patients in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

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Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to consumer agency

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a legal challenge to the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in a major victory for critics of the powerful financial regulator.   The court on Friday announced it would take up the lawsuit Seila Law vs. CFPB. The case involves a law firm, Seila Law, that refused to comply with a CFPB request for documents. The firm challenged the agency's structure as unconstitutional, arguing that the bureau’s director enjoys an illegal amount of independence from the president’s executive branch authority

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Robocalls nearly 75% of complaints for Do Not Call Registry violations

Robocalls made up nearly three-quarters of complaints from consumers about violations of the National Do Not Call Registry over the past year, the Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday. Calls from impostors jumped from the third-most complained-about topic in 2018 to No. 1 this year. The FTC on Thursday released its 2019 Do Not Call Registry Data Book, a listing of the most common complaints across the U.S. and in individual states from consumers who say they received calls despite being on the registry.

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Bank lending slowed in third quarter, heightening recession fears

In another sign the U.S. economy may be headed for a recession, lending by the country's biggest banks slowed in the third quarter, according to financial information disclosed to investors this week. At JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank by assets, loans outstanding sank $12 billion between July and September, compared to the prior quarter. That was a drop of a little over 1%. Lending had risen $644 million in the second quarter. 

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Dimon says Libra ‘will never happen’

WASHINGTON — JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has added his name to the growing list of industry leaders and policymakers casting doubt on Facebook’s proposal to launch its own cryptocurrency. At a conference Friday, Dimon, who also heads the influential Business Roundtable, said he doesn’t think Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency will ever launch.

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Retail Sales Slump Raises Questions About Consumer Spending

One of the laws of physics, loosely phrased, is that an object in motion stays in motion, on its path, until outside forces act to change that path.   The outside forces may be coming to bear on the engine that’s led the economy on an upward path — the U.S. consumer.   As reported Wednesday (Oct. 16), data from the U.S. Commerce Department showed retail sales in the country were down 30 basis points last month. The news was less than stellar on two fronts, namely that 1) economists had expected gains — to the tune of positive 30 basis points — and 2) the data represented the first drop in seven months.

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