At a glanceFriday, April 03, 2020

Collection Industry News At A Glance - April 3, 2020
Friday April 3, 2020
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Trump says VA won’t collect debts, will extend benefits deadlines amid coronavirus outbreak

President Donald Trump said he will direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to postpone all debt collections and extend deadlines for benefits applications where possible in an effort to lessen the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on veterans and their families.

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Audit finds SBA’s information security program ‘not effective’ despite cyber improvements

The Small Business Administration’s information security program remains “not effective,” despite improvement in cybersecurity oversight of incident response, risk management and contingency planning. An SBA Office of Inspector General audit found persistent weaknesses when independent accounting firm KPMG tested 10 of the agency’s systems against Federal Information Security Modernization Act requirements.

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4 Major Cybersecurity Risks of Working From Home

Unprecedented numbers of people are working from home for the forseeable future, and we're dealing with everything from childcare to simply trying to find a quiet space for a call or to get work done. Our homes have become our offices, and in the rush to keep things going, we're using new systems and adhering to security policies in a way that's spotty at best. 

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Zoom vulnerabilities draw new scrutiny amid coronavirus fallout

As Americans stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic, video conferencing group Zoom has seen a surge in use. But the uptick in business has exposed vulnerabilities in Zoom systems and painted a target on the company for both lawmakers and hackers. 

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Mnuchin says small business rescue loans launch Friday, despite lender confusion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was pressing ahead with the Friday launch of a $349 billion coronavirus rescue loan program for small businesses, after conceding to bank demands to fix aspects of the program that they said could cause participating lenders legal and financial risks.

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CFPB Issues Credit Reporting Guidance During COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today released a policy statement outlining the responsibility of credit reporting companies and furnishers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the pandemic, many lenders are being flexible when it comes to consumers’ making payments. The Bureau’s statement underscores that consumers benefit if lenders report accurate information about these arrangements to credit bureaus so that the credit reports of consumers are accurate.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Settles with Short-Term Lender for Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) announced a settlement with Cottonwood Financial, Ltd., which does business under the name Cash Store. Cash Store is based in Irving, Texas and owns and operates roughly 340 retail lending outlets in Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. The Bureau found that in the course of marketing, servicing, and collecting on high-interest payday, auto-title, and unsecured consumer-installment loans Cash Store violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The consent order requires Cash Store to pay over $1.3 million in redress and penalties.

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Why debt among older Americans is going up

While much has been made of millennials and their struggles with student loan debt, seniors are increasingly challenged by mounting financial burdens. The outstanding amount owed in 2019? An estimated $1.15 trillion, according to Policy Genius. Then numbers were similarly high for 60-something seniors whose collected debt was $2.14 trillion. Carrying that kind of debt entering retirement can make a sense of financial security harder to come by.

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Exclusive: Top U.S. banks may shun small-business rescue plan on liability worries – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. banks have threatened to give the federal government’s small-business rescue program a miss on concerns about taking on too much financial and legal risk, five people with direct knowledge of industry discussions told Reuters.

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Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat says bank is ‘working around the clock’ on small business relief program

Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat said the bank is “working around the clock” on an online portal for the new $350 billion small business relief program. The program, which Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said will be up on Friday, is meant to enable struggling businesses to retain employees by applying for loans that are forgiven if used for workers’ payroll. It was a key part of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill signed last week by President Donald Trump.

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Consumer Alert: Be on the Lookout for Debt Relief Scams

Whenever a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic happens, scammers try to take advantage of people’s economic fears to steal their money. As North Carolinians continue to adjust to the financial impacts of this pandemic, we want you to be on the lookout for debt relief scams. In these scams, scammers offer to help reduce consumers’ debt, but end up driving you further into debt.

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Fintechs Authorized to Make Small Business Loans as Part of Government Stimulus

Last week the government passed a stimulus package called the CARES Act which included $349 billion in loan guarantees for small business. This was a major topic covered in our recent webinar where various fintech companies in the small business lending space shared how they were ready and willing to help small businesses. However, the question remained whether fintechs would be included to help get funds distributed to the many small businesses who are desperately in need of capital.

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FBI warns about Zoom bombing as hijackers take over school and business video conferences

It was just a matter of time once people began using Zoom more frequently to collaborate remotely, that their conversations would be hijacked in a phenomenon known as Zoom bombing.

Schools, churches, and local governments around the country have all reported getting Zoom bombed, some with racist taunts, profanities or porn. The Boston office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation "has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images, and threatening language," the FBI said in a statement Monday. In one case, a Massachusetts high school teacher's class was interrupted by someone who "yelled a profanity and then shouted the teacher's home address in the middle of instruction," according to the FBI.

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State gives guidance on mortgage payments, student loan debt, banking

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued guidance for lenders and borrowers Monday regarding debt collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evictions are suspended for homes and rental units in Illinois per an executive order by Gov. JB Pritzker, and IDFPR is urging mortgage servicers to defer payments for 90 days for those suffering hardship as a result of the pandemic.

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AG Shapiro: First Commonwealth Bank joins ‘PA CARE Package’ initiative, offering expanded consumer relief

HARRISBURG, Pa, (WHTM) ―Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that First Commonwealth Bank has agreed to join the ‘PA CARE Package’, Pennsylvania’s consumer relief initiative. By joining these efforts, First Commonwealth Bank, along with the Office of Attorney General, will ensure Pennsylvania consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for additional economic relief.

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Which bills to pay during the coronavirus pandemic

April 1 is here. Meeting routine financial obligations, such as rent and student loans bills, will be a challenge for the millions of Americans who find themselves without a paycheck thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.  Overwhelmed? Scared? Begin by making a list of all your bills, experts say. At the top should be the things you most need. “Normally, rent and mortgage are the most important,” said Anthony Alexis, a partner in Goodwin’s Financial Industry and Consumer Financial Services Litigation. 

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Marriott says 5.2 million guest records were stolen in another data breach

Marriott has confirmed a second data breach in three years — this time involving the personal information on 5.2 million guests. The hotel giant said Tuesday it discovered in late February the breach of an unspecified property system at a franchise hotel. The hackers obtained the login details of two employees, a hotel statement said, and broke in weeks earlier during mid-January.

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7 trade associations send petition to FCC about TCPA exception during COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Financial-services providers want to reach their customers to inform them about products and programs that can be beneficial during the coronavirus pandemic, and they’re asking for help from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clear a regulatory path.

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Student loan collection agency lays off 248 from three Twin Cities offices

In announcing layoffs of 248 Minnesotans, student loan collection agency National Recoveries Inc. cited an executive order that postpones all federal student loan payments, interest and penalties in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

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PayPal Takes Action to Assist Small Businesses Affected by Coronavirus

SAN JOSE, Calif.March 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) today announced a set of relief measures to help its more than 24 million merchants around the world impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The company is waiving certain fees and will be deferring repayments on business loans for some of its most affected small business customers.

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Nearly 60% of Americans Say Household Income Negatively Impacted by COVID-19

TransUnion unveils research assessing pandemic’s consumer finances impact; launches new consumer educational hub to help

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The “AFCC Debt Settlement Market” 2020 report includes the market strategy, market orientation, expert opinion and knowledgeable information. The AFCC Debt Settlement Industry Report is an in-depth study analyzing the current state of the AFCC Debt Settlement Market. It provides a brief overview of the market focusing on definitions, classifications, product specifications, manufacturing processes, cost structures, market segmentation, end-use applications and industry chain analysis. The study on AFCC Debt Settlement Market provides analysis of market covering the industry trends, recent developments in the market and competitive landscape.

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Cyberattacks rank as the biggest data protection concern facing SMBs

World Backup Day is March 31, and while cyberattacks are a potential threat to their data, many SMBs say they don't have a data backup or disaster recovery process, according to data protection company Infrascale.

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NAFCU, trades to FCC: Allow FIs to communicate coronavirus-related information with members

NAFCU Monday joined with other financial services trade associations to ask the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure financial services providers can contact consumers on matters related to the coronavirus pandemic during the national emergency.

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Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so.

This guidance is intended for planning purposes. Employers and workers should use this planning guidance to help identify risk levels in workplace settings and to determine any appropriate control measures to implement. Additional guidance may be needed as COVID-19 outbreak conditions change, including as new information about the virus, its transmission, and impacts, becomes available.

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FTC Data Shows Jump in Coronavirus-related Complaints from Consumers

Consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission related to the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) have surged in recent weeks.   Since the beginning of the year, the FTC has received more than 7,800 coronavirus-related reports from consumers, double what they were about a week ago.

Read More Executive Order 2020-16

SPECIAL NOTE: Collection agencies need to take speedy action.
State of Illinois suspends repossessions, with Executive Order in response to COVID-19.

Beginning March 27, 2020 and continuing for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, 810 ILCS 5/9-609, regarding the possession or usability of a vehicle, and the provisions of the Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/3-114, regarding the repossession of vehicles, are suspended. No provision contained in this Executive Order shall be construed as relieving any individual of the obligation to make payments or comply with any other obligation that an individual may have pursuant to a loan agreement or otherwise.

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Hawaii Attorney General and Office of Consumer Protection caution against COVID-19 scams

Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors and Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection Executive Director Stephen Levins are alerting Hawaii residents to a wave of COVID-19 scams occurring as a result of the global Coronavirus pandemic.  These scams focus on all areas of consumer vulnerability in an attempt to capitalize on fear and rapidly changing developments.

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FTC Announces September 22 Workshop on Data Portability

The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop on September 22, 2020, to examine the potential benefits and challenges to consumers and competition raised by data portability.  Data portability gives consumers more control over their data, allowing them to move data—such as emails, contacts, calendars, financial information, health information, favorites, friends, or content posted on social media—from one service to another or to themselves. Data portability may also promote competition by allowing new entrants to access data they otherwise would not have, enabling the growth of competing platforms and services.

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Coronavirus could disrupt how you handle your credit card debt

The coronavirus has put the brakes on the economy. However, many individuals still face due dates for payments on lingering credit card balances. A new survey from finds that 59% of credit card holders – or 110 million adults – entered the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent slowdown with credit card debt. Many of them – 56% – had been carrying that debt for at least one year.

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February pending home sales jump over 9% annually, ahead of major coronavirus impact

Homebuyer demand was strengthening markedly just before COVID-19 began its spread across the U.S. Pending home sales, which measure signed contracts on existing homes, rose a stronger-than-expected 2.4% in February compared with January. Sales were up a steep 9.4% annually, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is the highest pace in exactly three years.

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Attorney General Becerra Urges U.S. Department of Education to Provide Promised Student Debt Relief to Public Servants

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today urged the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to provide promised relief for public servants who apply for student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) programs. While many of the programs' applicants have completed the public service and payment requirements necessary to qualify for forgiveness of the balance on their federal student loans, nearly all of them have had their applications denied.

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N.C. Insurance Commissioner orders deferral of premium payments to help consumers affected by the COVID-19 health emergency

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has activated an emergency declaration that will defer insurance premium payments for residents in all 100 counties. This order was activated March 27th as a result of President Trump’s March 25th Major Disaster Declaration for the State of North Carolina.
This order also applies to collection agencies, motor clubs and premium finance companies licensed by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. The order will defer not only premium payments but will also defer statutory time requirements. Notices of cancellation, for example, will be deferred.

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4 reasons companies worry about digital debt collection

New advancements always create some amount of anxiety. As new tools and services become available, be sure to educate yourself and get ahead of the curve.

Committing to work with a collections agency can help to reduce the strain of losses on your business. Whether you’re an eCommerce platform with mounting chargebacks, a small lender, or a rapidly growing bank, working with the right collection agency can reshape how you manage delinquent payments. 

Some digital debt collection options also offer self-service products or platforms that allow companies to manage their collections efforts with an internal team supported by powerful, digital tools while other digital companies offer full-service collections.

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Coronavirus’ effect on small merchants tests the limits of fintech lending

The U.S. government will shortly funnel trillions of dollars into the economy to soften the coronavirus’ impact on a variety of industries and small businesses. Payment companies that are also lenders will soon find out if it’s enough to save the market. Firms like PayPal, Kabbage and Square collectively process payments for millions of small businesses. These companies also use those payment flows to underwrite lending and to collect loan payments, often shoring up liquidity for small businesses. Rescue packages in the U.S. and Europe are designed to keep businesses whole during weeks of inactivity, attempting to create short-term sustainability to resume those payment flows over the long term.

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DEBT COLLECTORS, facing growing demands to freeze the collection of debt across the country amid the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, are mobilizing their lobbyists to push back. In New York, residents are receiving a 30-day reprieve from the collection of state-owned medical and student debt. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot this week similarly announced an end to the collection of city debt, including late parking fines, through at least April 30.

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Are millennials with student debt buying homes?

While many millennials are saddled with student loans and credit cards, they still plan on becoming homeowners despite their debt. About two out of five millennials have student loan debt and owe approximately $498 billion out of the $1.6 trillion in outstanding loans, said Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization. The average total loan amount for each individual between 25 and 34 years old is about $33,000.

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White House vows to start doling out emergency loans to small businesses this week

Trump administration officials vow to launch a massive new loan program for small businesses by Friday in a frenetic effort to prevent them from laying off workers or going out of business as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down large segments of the economy. The $2 trillion bipartisan financial-rescue package signed by President Trump two days ago includes $350 billion in desperately needed relief for small-company operators whose sales have plunged or whose businesses have been ordered closed. Many could fail if the widespread disruptions to the economy persist for more than a month.

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Bank Regulators Urge Small-Dollar Lending in Covid-19 Crisis (1)

Federal regulators urged banks to begin offering small-dollar loans to customers facing financial hardships from the new coronavirus outbreak. Banks are encouraged to offer open-ended lines of credit, closed-end installment loans, or “appropriately sized” single-payment loans, five regulators said in a two-page guidance document released Thursday. Most banks have not been offering small-dollar loans in part because of past statements from regulators warning about some products.

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Pre-coronavirus credit card debt carried over for 110M Americans

Fifty-nine percent of American credit cardholders entered the coronavirus pandemic with outstanding credit card debt, according to a recent study from This percentage is equivalent to around 110 million U.S. adults.

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Experian Supports the Signing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

Costa Mesa, Calif., March 27, 2020 – Experian North America has issued the following statement in support of today’s historic CARES Act.

Craig Boundy, CEO of Experian North America:

“These unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. Experian supports the signing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). We are encouraged by this historic effort to protect consumers and businesses alike. The relief bill is a great step toward economic recovery, directly supporting Americans through expanded unemployment coverage and by providing grants and loans to small businesses.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Request for Information to Assist Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Protection Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued today a request for information (RFI) to assist the Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law (Taskforce) with recommendations on harmonizing, modernizing, and updating the federal consumer financial laws.

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Attorney General Josh Stein Takes Additional Steps to Protect North Carolina Consumers During COVID-19 Pandemic

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein took two additional steps today to help protect North Carolinians as many face financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Stein is suspending all of the North Carolina Department of Justice’s collections efforts of state debts effective immediately and until further notice. He is also asking all local and municipal utilities to commit to maintaining access to water, power, gas, and other vital services for residents.  “North Carolinians who are struggling with their health, have been laid off from their job, or are facing cuts to their income in the wake of COVID-19 should not have to bear additional burdens that will further harm their health or their finances,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “That’s why I’m suspending the Department of Justice’s debt collection efforts and why I’m asking local and municipal utilities to ensure that North Carolinians have continued access to water, gas, and power. Now, more than ever, we must do the right thing for fellow North Carolinians.”

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CFPB Provides Flexibility During COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today announced that it is providing needed flexibility to enable financial companies to work with customers in need as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau is postponing some data collections from industry on Bureau-related rules to allow companies to focus on responding to consumers in need and making changes to its supervisory activities to account for operational challenges at regulated entities.

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Industry Events

Digital Banking 2020

American Banker

Austin Convention Center 500 East Cesar Chavez Street
Austin , TX
June 08 - 10 , 2020

(212) 803-8456

NACTT 55th Annual Seminar 2020

National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT)

Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina 333 West Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
San Diego , CA
July 08 - 11 , 2020

800-445-8629 | 803-765-0860

Debt Connection Symposium & Expo 2020

Resource Management Services, Inc.

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
11011 W Charleston Blvd , Las Vegas, NV 89135
September 15 - 17 , 2020


LendIt Fintech USA

Save 15% with our Discount Code: DC15%

Javits Center, New York
New York
September 30 - October 01 , 2020

LendIt Fintech Europe 2020

LendIt Fintech Europe

Hilton London Angel Islington 53 Upper Street
London , N1 0UY, UK
October 19 - 20 , 2020


Auto Finance Summit 2020

Royal Media

Wynn Las Vegas
3131 S Las Vegas Blvd , Las Vegas, NV 89109
October 20 - 22 , 2020

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