At a glanceWednesday, April 29, 2020

Collection Industry News At A Glance - April 29, 2020
Wednesday April 29, 2020
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AG Neronha Issues Guidance to Protect CARES payments for Rhode Islanders

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha issued guidance today, reminding creditors, debt collectors and financial institutions that stimulus payments resulting from the federal government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are exempt from seizure or garnishment by debt collectors.
"The purpose of the guidance issued by our Office today is to ensure that these relief payments can be used by Rhode Islanders for essential needs, such as food and housing, during these extraordinary circumstances," said Attorney General Neronha.

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5 fintech war stories from the front lines of PPP lending

Fintechs in the payments industry saw problems coming when the CARES Act’s SBA Paycheck Protection Program opened the floodgates for millions of coronavirus-stricken small businesses to apply for loans via largely unprepared financial institutions.
When lender requirements were announced on March 30, fintechs raced to develop streamlined digital solutions as alternatives to time-consuming, manual loan-application steps.

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FTC warning about making money fast from home schemes

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning consumers to be smart when looking at job opportunities amid the coronavirus pandemic, especially ones claiming you can make money quickly from home.

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Coronavirus loan program approves more than $52 billion in relief

The Trump administration said it’s approved more than $52 billion in loan requests for small businesses so far in the relaunch of a coronavirus relief program, even as lenders said they’ve struggled to submit applications and advocates worry that funds will run out before many mom-and-pop businesses get help.

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Berger, Calabria talk forbearances, GSE fees

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger spoke with Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Dr. Mark Calabria Tuesday about the agency's efforts to support mortgage borrowers impacted by the coronavirus and to provide relief to credit unions and other mortgage servicers.

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Kaulkin Ginsberg Gets Experts Together to Discuss Strategies for Reopening ARM Firms as States Begin to Soften Restrictions

Accounts receivable management (ARM) companies responded rapidly to the worldwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many collection agencies, collection law firms, and debt buyers quickly incorporated work-from-home models and now must address their reopening strategies. As a trusted voice in the ARM industry for 30 years, Kaulkin Ginsberg once again assembled some of the most well informed experts to share their viewpoints on reopening operations and collections while the unemployment rate soars to levels not seen since the Great Depression. This free webinar will take place on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 PM EST.  The panelists will be discussing, among other things:  Whether Federal restrictions will be imposed upon bill collectors; State regulatory updates as some states extend stay-at-home requirements until May 30; Different plans and strategies to re-open call centers; What to do when your agency is back to work but the debtor is not. Participation in this live webinar is encouraged from all facets of the ARM industry. Registration is free, so please invite your staff, colleagues, and friends. The webinar will last about 90 minutes, including live Q&A.

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PhantomLance spying campaign breaches Google Play security

Kaspersky has warned of an ongoing campaign in which malicious apps hosted by Google Play are covertly spying and stealing Android user data. On Tuesday, cybersecurity researchers said the campaign, dubbed PhantomLance, has been active for at least four years and is ongoing.  According to the team, "dozens" of malicious apps connected to PhantomLance and harboring a new Trojan have been discovered in Google Play, the tech giant's official Android mobile application repository. 

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Attorney General James Leads Multistate Coalition Fighting to Protect Consumer Credit During Coronavirus Pandemic

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today co-led a coalition of 22 attorneys general warning the nation’s three Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) that they will not hesitate to enforce safeguards set in place to ensure consumers’ credit is properly protected and that their credit reports are fairly and accurately reported as Americans continue to struggle from the economic fallout of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health crisis. In a letter to Experian Information Solutions, Inc.; Equifax Information Services, LLC; and TransUnion LCC.

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Extra $2 billion available for U.S. coronavirus relief loans: SBA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will be able to lend an additional $2 billion to small businesses through its Paycheck Protection Program, after a number of borrowers in the first round of funding for the coronavirus relief declined or returned their loans, the top official on the program said on Monday.

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Collection Industry Trade Group Sues Massachusetts Attorney General to Halt Emergency Regulations

We recently reported on Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's implementation of temporary regulations halting collection of debt from Massachusetts' consumers in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. With certain exemptions, the regulations declare the performance of many regular debt collection activities—including placing telephone calls to debtors or initiating collection actions—an unfair or deceptive practice under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.

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Nearly 10% of FHA and VA borrowers are in forbearance

Thanks to the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, approximately 10% of borrowers whose mortgages are backed by the Federal Housing Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs are in forbearance. The data comes courtesy of a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, which polled more than 50 mortgage servicers that collect payments on nearly 77% of the mortgage market. According to those servicers, nearly 7% of the 38.3 million loans they service were in forbearance as of April 19, 2020.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Adds Enhancements to Consumer Complaint Database

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced the addition of a geospatial view to the Consumer Complaint Database. With this addition, consumers will now be able to view complaints by state with a U.S. map visualization.

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AG Healey Announces New Efforts to Protect Small Businesses

Boston — In response to growing concerns from small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Attorney General Maura Healey announced new efforts this week to provide support and help secure the financial relief they need.

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FTC Annual Highlights 2019

As we share this message, the country is facing significant challenges and uncertainty as we cope with the Coronavirus pandemic. I could not be prouder of how the Federal Trade Commission and its dedicated staff have rallied behind our critical missions: to protect consumers and promote competition. The FTC rapidly transitioned to almost-entirely remote operations and, as of this writing, has barely missed a beat. Today more than ever, it is critical that the FTC continue to pursue vigorous enforcement, effective advocacy, and thoughtful policy work on behalf of American consumers. Times like these highlight the talent and resilience of our staff, and I am honored to work alongside them.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Outlines Mortgage Loan Transfer Process to Prevent Consumer Harm

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today outlined practices to provide mortgage servicers clarity, facilitate compliance, and prevent harm to consumers during the transfer of residential mortgages.  A mortgage servicer typically collects and processes loan payments on behalf of the owner of the mortgage note, conducts escrow-related processes, and handles loss mitigation, as appropriate. Servicing transfers are common and may occur in several ways

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CFPB Issues Guidance on Residential Mortgage Transfers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Friday issued guidance for transferring mortgage servicing rights to a servicer or sub-servicer. “As consumers do not have a choice with respect to the transfer of servicing, compliance with regulatory requirements is especially important in risk mitigation and consumer harm,” the CFPB said.

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Coronavirus pushes up demand for financial literacy, but money to pay for it is tight

This is a tough time for small nonprofits. Donations were declining even before the coronavirus. Now they fear it could get even worse. With rising unemployment, financial literacy groups are seeing more demand for their services, and they’re looking for funding from new sources — including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz is working 10-hour days right now. He’s the executive director of Capital Area Asset Builders, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that offers low-income residents free financial coaching. They’ve seen a 25% increase in phone calls and emails from laid-off restaurant workers and construction workers.

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More U.S. companies return payroll loans after new Treasury guidance

WASHINGTON/BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. companies on Thursday began refusing government loans they were just awarded, after the Treasury Department said that publicly traded firms would have a hard time proving they really needed the coronavirus relief funds.

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AG James Calls on Mortgage Servicers to Provide Substantial COVID-19 Relief for Homeowners

“This pandemic is not only wreaking havoc on our health, but on the pocketbooks of millions of Americans,” said Attorney General James. “If we plan to rebuild our economy, we must ensure that homeowners are granted the relief they need. We cannot afford to repeat the costly mistakes of the 2008 foreclosure crisis, which is why I am calling on mortgage service providers to take steps to help homeowners impacted by this crisis.”

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Credit cards start cutting limits for people facing tough times

Major U.S. credit card issuers are starting to lower customer spending limits as the coronavirus pandemic leaves millions of Americans jobless and struggling to keep up on loans. Discover Financial Services just became the largest lender yet to acknowledge it’s begun reining in lines of credit. In a regulatory filing late Wednesday, the firm said it’s also easing off efforts to sign up new customers and that it expects to take a hit from programs letting existing borrowers skip payments or delay the accrual of interest.

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Attorney General Becerra Calls on Federal Government to Increase Protections for Homeowners During COVID-19

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today, as part of a coalition of 35 attorneys general, sent letters to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mark Calabria requesting further action to protect homeowners during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In the letters, the coalition argues that more expansive action is necessary to mitigate the long-term economic effects of the pandemic for families across the country.

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What to Expect From the Next Round of PPP Loans

The Paycheck Protection Program was supposed to bring fast financial relief in the form of $349 billion in potentially forgivable loans to a large swath of the country's small businesses. In reality, the relief was neither as fast nor as far-reaching as initially hoped. The money ran out in about two weeks, leaving out thousands--if not millions--of small businesses. Even those who applied early and received approvals are still waiting on funds.  

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FTC Chairman’s Statement Regarding the Court’s Approval of the Facebook Settlement

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons issued the following statement regarding the Federal Court’s approval of the Facebook settlement:   “We are pleased with the Court’s decision. As the Court notes, the historic $5 billion settlement is ‘by far’ the largest monetary penalty ever obtained by the United States on behalf of the FTC and the ‘second largest in any context.’ At the same time, the Court also highlights that the conduct relief included in this settlement will require Facebook ‘to consider privacy at every stage of its operations and provide substantially more transparency and accountability for its executives’ privacy-related decisions.

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Ally Bank waives some overdraft fees so customers receive full stimulus

Ally Bank announced that some customers would have their overdraft fees waived to ensure that they receive their full stimulus checks from the federal government. In a press release issued last month, Ally Financial CEO Jeffrey Brown said that his company was committed to "do it right" for its banking customers. "At Ally, we recognize there has never been a more critical time to deliver on our promise to 'do it right', and we are committed to supporting the people we serve safely and confidently through this crisis," he said.

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Credit Card Launderer for Tech Support Scams to Pay $6.75 Million to Settle FTC Charges

A Canadian company, RevenueWire, and its CEO, Roberta Leach, will pay $6.75 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges they laundered credit card payments for, and assisted and facilitated, two tech support scams previously sued by the FTC.

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‘Pure Hell for Victims’ as Stimulus Programs Draw a Flood of Scammers

The federal government’s stimulus checks were meant to help people exactly like Krystle Phelps of Owasso, Oklahoma.  She and her husband, Christopher, who have two children, recently lost their incomes after Oklahoma shut down the bars near Tulsa that she cleaned and that he supplied with vending machines. But when Phelps, 33, went to the IRS website to check on the status of her family’s stimulus funds, she learned someone else had filed taxes on her husband’s behalf and used his identity to obtain their $3,400 payment.

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Industry Events

Kaulkin Ginsberg Gets Experts Together to Discuss Strategies for Reopening ARM Firms as States Begin to Soften Restrictions

Kaulkin Ginsberg

12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
April 30 - 30 , 2020

Click Event Detail Below for Link to Register

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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