At a glanceWednesday, June 24, 2020

Collection Industry News At A Glance - June 24, 2020
Wednesday June 24, 2020
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PPP recipients can apply early for loan forgiveness, SBA says

New Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) guidance released Monday night declares that PPP recipients can apply for loan forgiveness early but that doing so could cost them money.

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Mastercard to buy technology firm Finicity in $825 million deal

(Reuters) - Mastercard Inc said on Tuesday it would buy Finicity in a deal valued at $825 million, adding a fintech firm that helps banks share customer data with other financial firms. The world’s second-largest payments processor also said Finicity’s existing shareholders can get an earn-out of up to an additional $160 million, if performance targets are met.

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Duluth, Georgia, June 24, 2020 — Crown Asset Management, LLC announced  today that it has hired Shawn P. Bradley as Director of Finance. Mr. Bradley was previously a Senior Director of Business Development for Ovation Partners, an Austin, TX based private credit fund. Prior to Ovation, Mr. Bradley spent nine years at CIBC Bank USA, as a Managing Director in the Specialty Finance Group, where he helped grow the loan portfolio to over $1 billion. He has extensive experience in distressed debt lending and capital markets. He holds both a BBA and MBA from Saint Xavier University where he also played intercollegiate football.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Settles with Contract for Deed Companies for Engaging in Deceptive Acts and Practices and Violating Credit Reporting Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) settled with Harbour Portfolio Advisors, LLC (Harbour); National Asset Advisors, LLC (NAA); and National Asset Mortgage, LLC (NAM), companies that worked together to issue contracts for deeds to consumers. Under the terms of the contracts, consumers repaid a fixed principal over a term of years with interest. Harbour’s business plan was to acquire foreclosed properties in bulk, at auction, from entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and resell them to individual consumers. Harbour targeted potential buyers who were for the most part unable to obtain conventional financing and offered them financing through contracts for deed. 

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Contactless payments: The future is here

If contactless payments were once a solution in search of a problem — as skeptics long maintained — their moment has finally arrived. Before the pandemic, it wasn’t much of a hassle for most U.S. shoppers to insert a physical card and type a few buttons on a terminal. Sure, some early tech adopters embraced Apple Pay. But most of us were content to pay in ways that, while a bit slower, were familiar, consistent and reliable.

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Pandemic and protests: How the tumult of 2020 will forever change banking

A global pandemic. Economic free fall. Hundreds of billions of government relief funneled through banks. A reckoning over racism and inequality.  We will not be the same after this — and neither will banking.  The coronavirus crisis hit a hard reset button for nearly every aspect of life, including how people and businesses bank.  And soul-searching across America and beyond — touched off by a Minneapolis police officer's killing of George Floyd and the widespread civil unrest it sparked — is taking that hard reset to a deeper level.

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CFPB Issues Interim Final Rule on Loss Mitigation Options for Homeowners Recovering from Pandemic-Related Financial Hardships

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued today an interim final rule (IFR) that will make it easier for consumers to transition out of financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and easier for mortgage servicers to assist those consumers.

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Supreme Court ruling in CFPB case could impact FHFA’s plan to end GSE conservatorship

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is under the microscope as the Supreme Court prepares to issue a major ruling, expected this week, on whether the agency’s single-director structure is constitutional. The decision is seen as also impacting the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is set up in a similar way and has a challenge pending in court related to its structure. If the nation’s highest court rules in Seila Law v. the CFPB that the single-director structure is unconstitutional, it could impede the FHFA’s efforts to free Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from government conservatorship, said Jaret Seiberg, managing director of Cowen Washington Research Group.

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CFPB Issues Interpretive Rule on Method for Determining Underserved Areas

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today issued an interpretive rule to provide guidance to creditors and other persons involved in the mortgage origination process about the way in which the Bureau determines which counties qualify as “underserved” for a given calendar year.

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5 cybersecurity considerations for getting back to work securely

As governments begin lifting emergency orders, company leaders are considering policies, technology and processes that will protect their workforces. Many of these factors rightly center around health and safety, but we must also acknowledge that all of us are still targets for cyberattacks. The new work-from-home world has poked countless holes in security perimeters, so organizations must prioritize cybersecurity preparation as well.

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Mortgage lending will surge to a 14-year high this year, MBA says

If you’re in the mortgage business, expect to have your busiest year in 2020 since the height of the housing bubble in 2006. Combined lending for home purchases and mortgage refinancings probably will total $2.65 trillion this year, the most since the $2.74 trillion seen 14 years ago, as low rates spur demand, according to Michael Fratantoni, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association. The home-financing volume will be almost evenly split between purchases and refis, he said. About $1.3 trillion will be to finance home purchases and $1.35 trillion likely will be refinancings, Fratantoni said on Monday, speaking on a video conference sponsored by Moody’s.

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TransUnion Launches CreditVision Acute Relief Suite to Help Lenders and Insurers Identify and Support the 106 Million Accounts in Relief Programs

As millions of consumers continue to request and receive various payment accommodations, TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) today officially launched its CreditVision® Acute Relief Suite to assist lenders and insurers in supporting consumers while still managing risk within their portfolio.

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CFPB to eliminate DTI requirement from qualified mortgage standards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Monday two notices of proposed rulemaking surrounding what’s commonly known as the QM Patch. One of those rulemakings would remove the debt-to-income requirement from qualified mortgages. Back in January, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger sent a letter to several prominent members of Congress, saying the bureau has decided to propose an amendment to the QM Rule that would “move away” from DTI as a factor in mortgage underwriting.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Takes Steps to Address GSE Patch

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) to address the impending expiration of the Government-Sponsored Enterprises Patch (GSE Patch). The GSE Patch is scheduled to expire in January 2021 or when the GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) exit conservatorship, whichever comes first.

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Coronavirus hardship loans: What they are, how they work and how to get one

With more than 40 million Americans filing for unemployment since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, increasing numbers are having trouble making ends meet. Whether it's for paying the mortgage, keeping the lights on or securing the next meal -- there are times when you need to drum up some cash.

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U.S. banks are ‘swimming in money’ as deposits increase by $2 trillion amid the coronavirus

A record $2 trillion surge in cash hit the deposit accounts of U.S. banks since the coronavirus first struck the U.S. in January, according to FDIC data. The wall of money flowing into banks has no precedent in history: in April alone, deposits grew by $865 billion, more than the previous record for an entire year.

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Hiring rose in 46 states in May yet jobless rates still high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers added jobs in 46 states last month, evidence that the U.S. economy’s surprise hiring gain in May was spread broadly across the country — in both states that began reopening their economies early and those that did so only later.  Unemployment rates fell in 38 states, rose in three and were largely unchanged in nine, the Labor Department said Friday. The disparities ranged from Nevada, with the highest rate (25.3%), Hawaii (22.6%) and Michigan (21.2%) to Nebraska (5.2%, the lowest) and Utah (8.5%). The overall U.S. unemployment rate in May was a still-high 13.3%, a decline from 14.7% in April.

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U.S. Home-Mortgage Delinquencies Reach Highest Level Since 2011

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. home-mortgage delinquencies climbed in May to the highest level since November 2011 as the pandemic’s toll on personal finances deepened.  The number of borrowers more than 30 days late swelled to 4.3 million, up 723,000 from the previous month, according to property information service Black Knight Inc. More than 8% of all U.S. mortgages were past due or in foreclosure.

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Visa Introduces Advanced Identity Score to Help Financial Institutions Prevent New Account Fraud

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced a digital tool to help U.S. financial institutions with their efforts to combat new account fraud – estimated at $10 billion a year – and give consumers greater peace of mind.

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New bill would allow small businesses to get second PPP loan

Certain small-business owners may be able to apply for a second Paycheck Protection Program loan if a new bill introduced on June 18 becomes law. The legislation, called the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act, would allow businesses with fewer than 100 employees to apply for a second loan if they have used up (or are on pace to exhaust) their first PPP loan and can show a 50% loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Business owners also must show they need the money for payroll and eligible non-payroll costs.

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FTC Sending Refund Checks Totaling More Than $8.7 Million to Consumers Defrauded by Deceptively Marketed Online “Risk-Free Trial” Offers

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing refunds totaling more than $8.7 million to 187,425 consumers who signed up online for “risk-free” trial offers, but were then charged full price and enrolled in expensive continuity plans without their knowledge. The refunds are the result of several orders settling the FTC’s allegations against San Diego-based Triangle Media Corporation and related defendants.

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Fed’s Rosengren reports ‘tremendous interest’ from businesses for loan program

The Federal Reserve is seeing high demand for its business loan initiative put in place to help smaller companies get through the coronavirus-induced recession, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said Friday. As the Main Street lending facility wraps up its first full week of operation, Rosengren reported brisk interest on the borrowing side amid what looks like tepid interest from banks thus far.

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Homeowners and renters catch a break: Evictions and foreclosures are on pause for another two months

(CNN)In an effort to keep homeowners and renters in their homes as they navigate the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, federal foreclosure and eviction moratoriums are being extended for two more months.

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Banking Giant HSBC To Cut 35,000 Jobs Amid Restructuring

British bank HSBC announced plans Tuesday to cut nearly 15% of its global workforce — some 35,000 jobs — and shed $100 billion in investments as it refocuses on growth markets in Asia.

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Remarks by Director Kraninger During Consumer Data Industry Association Webinar

Today I’d like to give you a high-level snapshot of what we are hearing directly from consumers through our consumer complaint process, and how we are helping consumers during this time and ensuring they have information on their rights, protections, and options. And, finally, I want to focus on the CARES Act and credit reporting, as well as the recent guidance from the Bureau on this topic.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches Pilot Advisory Opinion Program to Provide Regulated Entities Clear Guidance and Improve Compliance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today launched a pilot advisory opinion (AO) program to publicly address regulatory uncertainty in the Bureau’s existing regulations. The pilot AO program will allow entities seeking to comply with regulatory requirements to submit a request where uncertainty exists. The Bureau will then select topics based on the program’s priorities and make the responses available to the public.

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#COVID19 Forces Positive Long-Term Changes to Cybersecurity

COVID-19 lockdowns around the world have led to an increase in some of the most common attack types, but also a realization that businesses must change going forward, according to over 80% of IT professionals polled by Bitdefender.

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CFPB complaints spiked by 31% in first months of 2020 as Americans sought coronavirus relief

Consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rose 31% in the first five months of 2020, compared with the same period last year, with many complaints specifically mentioning the coronavirus pandemic. The state of play: Through May 31, the CFPB received 142,782 complaints, according to an analysis of the bureau's records by NerdWallet.

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Trump administration releases new PPP loan forgiveness forms

The Trump administration on Wednesday released a new, shorter version of the loan-forgiveness application form for certain borrowers under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), after lawmakers urged the administration to streamline the loan-forgiveness process.

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FTC Sends Letters Warning 30 More Marketers to Stop Making Unsupported Claims That Their Products and Therapies Can Effectively Prevent or Treat COVID-19

The Federal Trade Commission announced it has sent letters warning 30 more marketers nationwide to stop making unsubstantiated claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This is the seventh set of warning letters the FTC has announced as part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health-related COVID-19 scams. In all, the Commission has sent similar letters to 250 companies and individuals.

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New Mexico suspends consumer debt collection during pandemic

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court is temporarily suspending consumer debt collection — such as garnishing wages or seizing assets — in response to the coronavirus pandemic and related economic downturn.

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