At a glanceFriday, July 24, 2020

Collection Industry News At A Glance - July 24, 2020
Friday July 24, 2020
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Senate passes bill to prevent debt collectors from garnishing stimulus checks

The Senate on Thursday passed bipartisan legislation that would protect coronavirus relief payments from being garnished by banks and debt collectors.   The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent. 

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Legislation would regulate use of license plate scanners, data collected

Proposed legislation would allow state and local law enforcement to use license plate scanners to determine ownership of vehicles and routes traveled, but puts limits on the use and storage of collected data. Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, pre-filed the bill for the legislative session that starts in February.   The bill comes as the Alabama Department of Transportation considers allowing law enforcement agencies access to ALDOT rights-of-way and structures to install license plate readers and other surveillance equipment.

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FBI Alert Warns of Increase in Disruptive DDoS Attacks

The FBI is warning of an increase in distributed denial-of-service attacks using amplification techniques that are targeting U.S. organizations. The bureau notes that it's seen an uptick in attack attempts since February.

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Scammers Who Used Robocalls to Target Cash-Strapped Consumers Banned from Selling Debt Relief Services and Telemarketing

The operators of a Florida-based company that allegedly defrauded financially-distressed and often older-adult consumers with deceptive robocalls claiming they could save them money by reducing the interest rates on their credit cards has settled Federal Trade Commission charges that their conduct was both deceptive and illegal.

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Attorney General Becerra Announces Arrests and Charges in International Investment Fraud Scheme, Secures Freeze of Financial Assets and Real Property

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney Xavier Becerra today announced arrests and filing of charges against Christopher Mancuso, John Black, and Joseph Tufo for allegedly operating a multimillion-dollar investment fraud scheme that targeted more than 70 victims around the world. The defendants allegedly lured victims in by promising incredible returns on their investments at little to no risk, but would then keep the money and split it amongst themselves. As part of today’s action, the California Department of Justice also secured orders freezing the defendants’ assets, including bank accounts, cryptocurrency, and real property.

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Imagined.Cloud welcomes Rick Regan

Jacksonville, FL – Rick Regan, Co-Founder, joins to head North American sales. Rick’s experience providing enterprise solutions in the ARM and BPO industries strengthens executive team. With over twenty years of proven client engagement, Mr. Regan brings the knowledge and understanding necessary to build lasting relationships within the industry.

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Bank of America will pay $300K to settle DOJ mortgage lending discrimination claim

Bank of America and the U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement over allegations the bank denied mortgages and home equity loans to adults with disabilities who were under legal guardianship. The bank’s alleged actions relating to mortgages ran from 2010 to 2016, and violated the Fair Housing Act, according to the Justice Department. The government also said the bank’s practice regarding home equity loans lasted until 2017.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announces Settlement with Foreclosure Relief Services Company and Its Owner

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On July 20, 2020, the United States District Court for the Central District of California entered a stipulated final judgment resolving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (Bureau) allegations against Certified Forensic Loan Auditors, LLC (CFLA) and Andrew Lehman (Lehman). CFLA is a foreclosure relief services company headquartered near Houston, Texas, and Lehman is CFLA’s president and CEO. 

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Cardholders Saw Credit Limits Shrink, Card Accounts Closed Involuntarily in Past 60 Days

CHARLOTTE, N.C.July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- About 70 million people – more than one-third of credit cardholders – said they involuntarily had a credit limit reduced or a credit card account closed altogether in a 60-day period stretching from mid-May to mid-July, according to a new survey from CompareCards. 

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Remitter USA Inc. appoints David Nathanson as its Executive Vice President and head of Sales

Remitter USA Inc, ARM industry’s leader in AI powered digital communication solutions that helps lenders and BPOs optimize customer engagement and maximize revenue, announced today that David Nathanson is the newest member of its executive team. David brings over 20 years’ experience successfully building and leading high performing teams in the banking, financial services, BPO, data, and software spaces.  He joins Remitter as Executive Vice President and Head of Sales after spending the past ten years in a variety of senior leadership roles at Experian.

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U.S. banks given regulatory green light to safekeep cryptocurrencies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A leading U.S. banking regulator said on Wednesday that national banks may provide custody services for cryptocurrencies.The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said in a new letter that providing custody and safekeeping services for cryptocurrencies, including holding “keys” needed to access cryptocurrency holdings, is a modern version of traditional banking activities and should be allowed.

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Feds Eye Payments Processors, Phony Websites Over Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are cracking down on scams known as credit card laundering or transaction laundering, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).  Such fraud occurs when individuals and companies have websites making them look like legitimate businesses, such as for selling flowers, but are out to trick financial firms, the report stated.

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CFPB Consumer Complaints Up 50 Pct During Pandemic

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has recorded record-high numbers of complaints every month since the pandemic hit in mid-March, according to a press release from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. However, according to an analysis from the PIRG Fund released Friday (July 17), the CFPB has shirked its duty somewhat during the pandemic by weakening protections against predatory payday lenders. “The CFPB was off to a good start after the last economic crisis,” said Mike Litt, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s consumer campaign director, according to the release. “But it’s looked the other way during the current one.”

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Existing home sales surge nearly 21% in June – the highest monthly gain on record

Sales of existing homes jumped nearly 21% in June compared with May, according to the National Association of Realtors. It was the largest monthly gain since the Realtors began tracking the data in 1968 and came after sharp declines over the previous three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sales were still 11.3% lower annually.  

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CFPB to Host Symposium July 29

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) announced today that it will hold a symposium on the use of cost-benefit analysis in consumer financial protection regulation on July 29, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. The event will be webcast on the Bureau’s website.

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Weekly mortgage demand from homebuyers jumps even higher, up 19% annually

As temperatures soar this summer, homebuyer demand is heating up with it. Add that to an already strong refinance market, and total mortgage application volume rose 4.1% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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Record Low Mortgage Rates Put More Cash In Pockets, But May Not Boost Economy Much

Sheera Talpaz, an assistant professor of literature at Oberlin College, has been teaching remotely, stuck indoors. So she figured having a place she could make her own would be good. And now she's found one and is buying her first house. "I'm really happy because I like the home," she says. "And I think I will just simply enjoy my day-to-day life more living in it." The timing was right. Interest rates just crossed a historic threshold. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan dropped below 3% last week for the first time since records began in 1971.

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Credit Unions Accelerate Modernization With FinTech Collabs

Credit unions continue to drive modernization efforts, often with a focus on their growing business member segment, and often with a FinTech as a co-pilot. This week’s look at bank-FinTech collaboration finds more credit unions embracing the collaboration trend to accelerate innovation, while a legacy financial institution turns the traditional bank-FinTech tie-up model on its head.

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Why coins are scarce and what government, banks are doing about it

Federal regulators and financial industry representatives are expected to release a set of recommendations in the coming weeks about how to jump-start the circulation of coins, which has slowed to a crawl during the coronavirus pandemic, according to two participants in the discussions.

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The Twitter Hack Shows a Major Cybersecurity Vulnerability: Employees

On Wednesday, Twitter fell victim to hackers who used a “coordinated social engineering attack” to compromise some of Twitter’s highest-profile accounts—including those belonging to Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Kanye West—to launch a crypto scam targeting those users’ followers. The scammers ended up with multiple accounts and more than $120,000 in untraceable Bitcoin payments—an amount that pales in comparison to the damage to Twitter’s brand.

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New Jersey Assembly Pre-Files A Debt Adjusters Bill For The 2020 Session

On July 2, 2020, New Jersey Assemblyman Mckeon, Assemblywoman Decroce, and Assemblywoman Quijano pre-filed for introduction in the 2020 Session, Assembly Bill, No. 2207, “[a]n Act concerning the licensing of debt adjusters and amending.” This bill would allow certain for-profit debt adjustment companies to conduct business in New Jersey, since, “[u]nder New Jersey’s current “debt adjusters law,” which is administered and enforced by the Department of Banking and Insurance, only nonprofit social service agencies and nonprofit consumer credit counseling agencies may operate debt adjustment services in the State.”

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Remitter International Inc today announced its expansion into the Canadian marketplace to bolster its presence across North America with strategic partner M&G Solutions. Remitter, ARM industry’s leader in AI powered digital contact solutions helps lenders and BPOs optimize customer engagement and maximize revenue. Rapid growth is expected as M&G Solutions leverages its strong relationships with Canadian companies in need of Remitter’s offering.  “The Remitter platform gives lenders digital scalability for their omnichannel contact solutions strategies, and gives consumers frictionless self service delivery; both demands that continue to increase” said Brad Bone. 

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Consumer Alert: Maryland District Court Resumes Debt Collection “Affidavit Judgment” Cases

Effective Monday, July 20, the District Court of Maryland once again started to hear debtcollection “affidavit judgment” cases. In an affidavit judgment case, a creditor provides the court with an affidavit showing how much is owed. If the consumer does not file a notice of intention to defend and fails to appear in court on the date of the hearing, the court can enter a judgment without a hearing.

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Court Rules in FTC’s Favor Against Student Debt Relief Scammers

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission in a case against the operators of a student loan debt relief scheme. The defendants are banned from telemarketing or providing debt relief services.

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TransUnion Enhances Document Verification Solution as New Research Finds Identity Fraud at Center of Many Digital COVID-19 Scams

New research from TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) Consumer Financial Hardship studies found that phishing is the top digital fraud scheme worldwide related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among consumers reporting being targeted with digital COVID-19 schemes globally, 27% said they were hit with pandemic-themed phishing scams. To help prevent identity fraud that can result from phishing, TransUnion announced today new enhancements to its Document Verification solution.

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Crown Asset Management Announces Promotion of Lisa Rozzelle to Relationship Manager

Crown Asset Management, a leading Accounts Receivable Management firm headquartered in Duluth, GA, announces the promotion of Lisa Rozzelle to the position of Relationship Manager. In this role, Ms. Rozzelle will provide the guidance, management, and oversight of ongoing relationships between Crown Asset Management and our agency and law firm partners. 

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The OCC Issues Proposed True Lender Rule that Should Clarify Online Lenders and Bank Relationships

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has proposed a rule that would determine when a national bank or federal savings association (bank) makes a loan and is the “true lender” in the context of a partnership between a bank and a third party – potentially an online lender. The proposed rule has been anticipated for several weeks following the selection of Brian Brooks as acting Comptroller of the Currency. Brooks has moved quickly to assert more clarity into the regulatory relationship regarding online lenders and Fintech in general.

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New AICPA tool automates PPP loan forgiveness process

A new, free tool developed by the AICPA and fintech lender Biz2Credit is designed to help borrowers and their CPA advisers complete the forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Available at, the dynamic platform automates the forgiveness process for small business owners who received funds from the PPP. The tool incorporates the PPP forgiveness calculator developed by the AICPA and is available to any business approved for a PPP loan, regardless of the lender it worked with to receive funding.

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Working from home poses cybersecurity challenges for businesses

SALEM — Offices across the state are reopening as coronavirus cases decline, but people, out of concern for their safety, are still opting to work from home. That poses a challenging problem for companies trying to keep their data and networks secure amid a remote workforce, according to Andy Sauer, director of cybersecurity at Steel Root, a cybersecurity and IT services company in Salem.  

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FCC Encourages Blocking of Illegal and Unwanted Robocalls

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2020—The Federal Communications Commission today adopted rules to further encourage phone companies to block illegal and unwanted robocalls before they reach consumers. To encourage the blocking of scam robocalls and maliciously spoofed  telemarketing campaigns, and continue the Commission’s implementation of the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, the rules offer companies two safe harbors from liability for the unintended or inadvertent blocking of wanted calls, thus  eliminating a concern that kept some companies from implementing robust robocall blocking  efforts.

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A bank is paying people to bring in their spare change to help local businesses amid the coin shortage

(CNN)A Wisconsin bank is bringing change to their community by helping local businesses struggling because of the nationwide shortage of coins caused by the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the Community State Bank launched a Coin Buy Back Program which offers a $5 bonus for every $100 worth of coins turned in to any of its seven locations. Anyone who brings by coins, whether they’re a bank customer or not, can receive up to a maximum coin bonus of $500.

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Fed expands Main Street Lending Program to more not-for-profits

The Federal Reserve Board announced Friday that it has modified the Main Street Lending Program to provide greater access to credit for not-for-profit organizations such as educational institutions, hospitals, and social service organizations.

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Consumer complaints to the CFPB are skyrocketing as the coronavirus outbreak continues

Americans filed a record-breaking number of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in March as the coronavirus pandemic started flooding hospitals and sending unemployment rates soaring. Every month since, consumer complaint numbers have been breaking record highs set the previous month, according to a Friday report from the consumer advocacy group U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group, a left-leaning think tank.

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Fraud concerns loom over move to forgive small business loans

The banking industry is pressing Congress to convert millions of emergency small business loans into grants with minimal paperwork — an idea that some lawmakers and watchdog groups warn could expose the government to massive fraud.

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Remote Oversight Training – July Sale from RMS

Resource Management Services, Inc. offers a July special on Collection Oversight Training.  Just in time for Consumer Financial Protection Week!  Just because you can't visit right now, doesn't mean you can't continue education and oversight.  Learn about Compliance Management Systems, Policies and Procedures and Third Party Collection Oversight with our special remote learning options.   The CFPB indicated that, even remotely - they will continue to promote their "culture of compliance" and maintain enforcement efforts. Collections was one of the five key areas mentioned in their recent webinar.  Learn tips and techniques for effective oversight - learn remotely, and get ideas for remote reviews.  Save 50% now, in honor of Consumer Financial Protection Week!  Use code: CFPW50

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Attorney General Becerra Seeks Court Order to Immediately Block Education Secretary DeVos Rule Threatening K-12 Public School Pandemic Relief Funds

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel are today leading an expanded coalition of nine attorneys general and several local jurisdictions in seeking a preliminary injunction to immediately block U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ unlawful attempt to siphon pandemic relief funds away from K-12 public schools while litigation is ongoing. 

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CFPB Takes Action to Help Employers Develop Emergency Savings Programs to Boost Worker Financial Resilience

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today announced that it issued a Compliance Assistance Statement of Terms Template (CAST Template) under its Compliance Assistance Sandbox (CAS) Policy to Build Commonwealth, Inc (Commonwealth). Employers interested in creating an automatic savings (Autosave) program as a way for employees to build emergency savings and increase their financial resiliency would then be able to use the CAST Template as the basis for an application to receive approval from the Bureau to create such a program.

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NCUCA 6th Annual Conference

October 28 - 30 , 2020
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Auto Finance Summit 2020 – Virtual

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October 20 - 22 , 2020