At a glanceWednesday, March 18, 2020

Collection Industry News At A Glance - March 18, 2020
Wednesday March 18, 2020
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Attorney General James and Governor Cuomo Temporarily Suspend State Debt Collection in Response to Coronavirus

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that — effective immediately — the state will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for collection, for at least a 30-day period, in response to growing financial impairments resulting from the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Countless New Yorkers have been impacted — directly or indirectly — by the spread of COVID-19, forcing them to forgo income and business. In an effort to support these workers and families and ease their financial burdens, the OAG will halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the OAG for collection from March 17, 2020 through April 16, 2020.

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As Senate works on emergency funding, NAFCU, trades share how FIs are helping consumers

As the Senate works on coronavirus emergency funding packages, NAFCU joined with other financial trade groups Tuesday to keep lawmakers informed of how credit unions and other financial institutions are stepping up to support consumers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Why cybersecurity matters more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt global health, economic, political and social systems, there's another unseen threat rising in the digital space: the risk of cyberattacks that prey on our increased reliance on digital tools and the uncertainty of the crisis.

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Now more than ever we need fintechs to lead on consumer transparency

As the U.S. flirts with extreme market volatility and the possibility of its first recession since the 2008 financial crisis, it’s amazing to think how much consumer financial services have changed in that time. For the last ten years, fintechs have relentlessly democratized financial products by lowering the barriers to use them.

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CFPB headquarters shuts down for COVID-19

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has informed employees at its Washington, D.C., and New York offices to work remotely after a contractor tested positive for COVID-19, the bureau announced.

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As interest rates increase from record lows, mortgage applications fall back from 10-year high

It’s probably safe to say that the mortgage market is suffering from a little bit of whiplash right now. Just two weeks ago, mortgage rates fell to an all-time low, which drove mortgage applications to levels not seen since 2009 as borrowers clamored to refinance.

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Banks nearly took down the economy in 2008. Now the industry hopes to redeem itself

Investors glued to their screens as stocks tumble day after day. Central banks around the world injecting trillions of dollars into the financial system. Talk of bailing out entire industries.

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Chief mortgage regulator working on plan for potential spike in delinquencies from coronavirus

As the growing economic impacts of the coronavirus roll through the U.S., some of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders are already getting calls from borrowers, concerned they won’t be able to make their monthly payments. Both government and independent regulators for the mortgage industry are now working on plans to deter another foreclosure crisis.

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BankThink OCC did its part to secure customer data. Now it’s CFPB’s turn.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently made clear that banks aren’t necessarily entering third-party relationships when they allow customers to use fintech apps powered by aggregators. This presents a potential benefit for consumers, banks, aggregators and fintechs — but only if everyone works together to get it right. If not, it could create compliance burdens that limit consumer choice. Consumers have the right and ability to control, access and share their own financial information with the apps they choose. This has been true since the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. But the question remained as to how companies should manage that new reality.

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Nussle talks with CFPB’s Kraninger on CU coronavirus issues

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle spoke with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger Tuesday on credit union issues relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The conversation follows up CUNA’s letter to the CFPB last week on finalizing its Remittance Rule and CUNA’s letter to the White House that included CFPB-related suggestions to help credit unions increase member service.

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New York state suspends debt collection amid coronavirus

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday that the state is suspending debt collections amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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MN Commerce Department – Guidance for collection agencies

The Minnesota Department of Commerce licenses collection agencies and debt collectors. They have provided this guidance to "All Licensed Collection Agencies and Registered Collectors Related to Coronavirus". "Because of the concerns surrounding the transmission of COVID-19, the Department has decided to not take action against any licensee who allows their individual registered collectors to temporarily work from home as a precautionary measure. This decision is effective immediately through April 30, 2020, so long as the following criteria are met: 1) The activity is conducted from the home location of an individual working on behalf of a Minnesota licensee; 2) The individual is working from home due to a reason relating to the COVID-19 outbreak and has informed the licensee of such reason. Please notify the licensee by email at; 3) None of the activity will be conducted in person with members of the public from the home location; and 4) The licensee shall at all times exercise supervision of the activity being performed at the home office and ensure that appropriate safeguards and controls are in place to protect consumer information and data. The full guidance can be seen at:

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Credit union boosts plans for new corporate headquarters in West Chester

Kemba Credit Union is thinking bigger when it comes to growing its presence in Butler County.

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FTC Outlines Agency’s Response to Coronavirus Challenges

Federal Trade Commission Executive Director David B. Robbins issued the following statement:   The FTC is taking a variety of measures to respond to the new and challenging circumstances associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. Our two main priorities, as always, are: the health and safety of our people, their families, and the entities and individuals who appear before us; and the continuity of our mission to protect consumers and competition. To that end, we have implemented the following changes:

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Banks cutting back on branch services to contain spread of coronavirus

Banks across the country have been closing branches or scaling back retail operations as part of efforts to curb cases of the novel coronavirus. Yet others are adamant about staying open to foster public confidence in the banking system’s stability during the global health crisis. Numerous banks as of Monday had said they would restrict branch services to drive-through only in order to comply with health experts’ recommendations of distancing people from each other in public places. Epidemiologists have stressed that limiting human interaction in the early weeks of the outbreak is crucial to slowing the disease’s spread and preventing the health care system from becoming overwhelmed.

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Newark, Delaware – March 17, 2020 – SIMM Associates is proud to continue its sponsorship of Delaware Technical Community College’s (DTCC) 16th annual Mardi Gras gala fundraising event. The event raised over $110,000 with SIMM participating as a Platinum sponsor. This event is DTCC’s largest and most public annual fundraising endeavor. Over the past 16 years, the event has raised more than $1.6 million, which is used to help students in need pay for tuition, books, and other essentials while attending DTCC. All monies raised are managed by the Delaware Technical Community College Educational Foundation. The non-profit, tax-exempt corporation was established in 1968 to raise funds to provide assistance to Delaware Tech students to bridge the gap between their needs and resources of the College.

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Bank regulators are open for business, but not business as usual

WASHINGTON — As everyday life grinds to a halt in response to the coronavirus outbreak, add the bank regulatory agencies to entities upending their normal routines. At least one agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has reported that an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Although the federal government remained open Monday, federal bank regulators communicated telework policies and told examiners to conduct reviews remotely whenever possible, following social distancing recommendations from public health experts.

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Telecom Companies Agree to Keep America Online During COVID-19 Crisis

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai unveiled a new initiative Friday to help ensure that everyone across the nation has reliable broadband and telephone connectivity during the COVID-19 outbreak.  The Keep America Connected Pledge asks U.S. telephone and broadband service providers to agree that, for the next 60 days, they will open Wi-Fi hotspots to all Americans who need them, not terminate any services to residential or small business customers who can’t pay their bills due to complications from the pandemic, and also waive any late fees those customers might incur due to economic disruptions prompted by the coronavirus. 

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Federal Trade Commission Cancels March 18 Workshop on Draft Vertical Merger Guidelines

Due to the developing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and consistent with guidance from the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Trade Commission has canceled its planned March 18, 2020 workshop on the draft Vertical Merger Guidelines. The FTC workshop was to be the second of a two-part series hosted with the U.S. Department of Justice.

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FS industry transitioning to banking-as-a-platform model – Barclays research

The era of competition between banks and fintechs is over, with connectivity now seen as the key to a new financial services ecosystem where the 'banking-as-a-platform' model dominates, according to a report from Barclays. Barclays quizzed nearly 2000 FS industry leaders at Money 20/20 events in Europe, Asia and the US about the current and future state of a fast evolving sector. More than two thirds of respondents identify collaborating and partnering with fintechs for mutual benefit as the preferred approach for traditional banks in the future.

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Bankshot Demand for small-dollar loans is likely to spike. Will banks be ready?

The economic costs of the coronavirus pandemic to U.S. households are mounting rapidly. So rapidly, in fact, that these effects generally don’t show up yet in government statistics. To cite just a few anecdotes: Airlines are canceling thousands of flights in what many employees fear is a precursor to layoffs. Amtrak has asked non-essential workers to take unpaid leave. A well-known Seattle restaurant owner plans to temporarily close 12 locations on Sunday, leaving about 800 people out of work.

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Ninth Circuit rules passive debt buyers qualify as “debt collectors” under FDCPA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in McAdory v M.N.S. Associates, LLC and DNF Associates, LLC, in a 2-1 decision, that companies that engage third parties to collect consumer debts they acquired when the debts were in default, known as “passive debt buyers,” qualify as “debt collectors” subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

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Oklahoma Accused of Negligence in Massive Data Breach

(TNS) — A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the Oklahoma Department of Securities over a massive December 2018 data breach that allegedly caused the names, Social Security numbers and other personal information of more than 300,000 people to be published to the internet. The department caused the data breach by negligently misconfiguring a new firewall that it was installing with the aid of a consultant, the lawsuit alleges.

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NAFCU brief details economic outlook amid coronavirus

NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long has developed a new brief to help credit unions understand the current economic situation – and potential implications – in the wake of the coronavirus, as well as how credit unions could individually be impacted.

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Had Enough? Californians Turn Down Higher Taxes, Debt

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Everyone knows that living in California comes with a price: Its residents pay some of the nation’s highest taxes on the money they earn, the gas they pump and the clothes they wear. But for the moment, at least, it appears voters have had enough. The defeat Tuesday of the largest borrowing proposal in the history of California schools — $15 billion for repairs — has opened the question of whether Californian voters put a temporary halt to the growth of government debt because of the unsettled political scene, or because they are on the cusp of a tax revolt akin to one in the 1970s that brought landmark changes to property taxes.

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NAFCU to FCC: Reject recommended fee structure for reassigned numbers database

In  a letter sent yesterday to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), NAFCU Senior Regulatory Counsel Elizabeth LaBerge reiterated the association's support for a reassigned numbers database to aid in the elimination of illegal robocalls, but cautioned against certain recommendations that could increase credit unions' costs.

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Attorney General Frosh Announces Settlement Ending the State’s Challenge to T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

BALTIMORE, MD (March 11, 2020) - Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today  announced that Maryland and 11 other litigating states reached a settlement with T-Mobile,  resolving the states’ challenge to the merger with Sprint.

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This made personal loans the fastest-growing debt category

Unsecured personal loans continue to hold the place as the fastest-growing form of consumer lending in the U.S., with the total balance expected to reach $180 billion in 2020, according to TransUnion. That’s a 150% increase in just five years, from $72 billion in 2015. What is the reason for this surge in popularity? How did the personal loan, previously considered a last resort for escaping debt, become mainstream in a time span of just a few years?

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Open Banking Expands Into SMB Lending, Smaller Banks

Open banking and bank-FinTech collaboration can be an effective way for financial institutions (FIs) to launch new digital products. But the latest initiatives reveal a growing interest in transforming internal processes, particularly among smaller banks looking to upgrade their core infrastructure and elevate small business lending operations. Below, PYMNTS rounds up the latest tie-ups and data sharing efforts as institutions explore how open banking models might accelerate their modernization efforts.

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Virus could deal blow to leveraged loans. What’s that mean for banks?

WASHINGTON — A rollercoaster stock market. A quickly planned White House meeting with bank CEOs. Uncertainty about the next shoe to drop. With the coronavirus outbreak spurring increasing worries about the economic fallout, there are shades of 2008 in 2020. Which segment of the financial sector could be hardest hit, if any, is still a matter of debate. But some industry watchers say a worsening crisis could unmask the historically high levels of risky corporate debt, including leveraged loans, with a spillover effect for banks.

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Fed boosts money it’s providing to banks in overnight repo lending to $175 billion

The Federal Reserve is again increasing the amount of money it’s providing to banks for overnight borrowing, raising the top level now to $175 billion. In an announcement Wednesday afternoon, the New York Fed said it would boost the top level it provides in overnight operations to at least $175 billion from the $150 billion level it had just set Monday. “Consistent with the FOMC directive to the Desk, these operations are intended to ensure that the supply of reserves remains ample and to mitigate the risk of money market pressures that could adversely affect policy implementation,” the Fed’s statement read. “They should help support smooth functioning of funding markets as market participants implement business resiliency plans in response to the coronavirus.”

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Coronavirus scams to watch out for

Fraudsters of all stripes are taking advantage of the coronavirus scare, and some of their scams are a direct threat to banks and their customers. Granted, New York hardware stores charging $79.99 for a bottle of hand sanitizer get the spotlight. But there are also hackers in the shadows sending emails and creating websites designed to trick people into clicking on malicious links disguised as helpful resources. Consumers can end up with malware on their computers that steal online banking credentials or credit card numbers.

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GOP-controlled Senate rejects DeVos rule restricting aid for defrauded students

Senators on Capitol Hill voted on Wednesday to reject a student loan rule proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that would have changed how defrauded students sought relief.   The GOP-controlled Senate passed S.J.Res.56, which is a version of a bill that reverses DeVos’ new rule on how her department processes debt relief claims made by students who had been defrauded by mainly for-profit colleges that were deemed predatory.

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Automated Collection Services, Inc.

(925) 872-0331

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Credit Control, LLC

(314) 442-7400

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Financial Recovery Services, Inc (FRS)

(888) 411-4691

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FMA Alliance, Ltd.

(800) 955-5598

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FMS, Inc.

(918) 581-5418

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IC System

(800) 443-4123

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(440) 260-1804

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National Bankruptcy Services, LLC

(800) 766-7751

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National Loan Exchange, Inc.

(800) 264-3683

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(800) 533-8675

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Ryan LLC

(972) 934-0022

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   Contact Solutions / Dialers 


(678) 373-4093

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   Mail Processing 

CompuMail, Inc.

(888) 689-7001

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   Payment Processor 


(248) 567-7300

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Viking Payment Service

(586) 531-8353

   Repo Service 

Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems, Inc.

(919) 518-2277

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   Scoring / Scrubbing / Analytics 

DCM Services

(877) 326-8786

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(855) 281-3915

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(800) 685-5000

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   Skip Tracing 


(800) 884-4747

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PAR North America

(317) 818-4500

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(916) 730-3335

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Noble Systems

(888) 866-2538

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(866) 303-2558

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Solutions By Text

(800) 979-1212

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