At a glanceWednesday, August 19, 2020

Collection Industry News At A Glance - August 19, 2020
Wednesday August 19, 2020
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Colorado Administrator proposes amendments to debt collection rules

Colorado’s UCCC Administrator has proposed amendments to the rules implementing the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (CFDCPA).  The Administrator also announced that a Zoom stakeholder meeting will be held on August 25 to discuss the proposed amendments and to solicit topics for rulemaking.

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Wieckowski bill to license debt collectors advances in Assembly

SACRAMENTO – A bill by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to require the licensing of debt collectors and debt buyers in California moved one step closer to becoming law when it was approved today by the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee.  SB 908 now advances to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. It has already passed the Senate.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Proposes New Category of Qualified Mortgages to Encourage Innovation and Access to Affordable Mortgage Credit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued today a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to create a new category of seasoned qualified mortgages (Seasoned QMs) in order to encourage innovation and help ensure access to responsible, affordable in the mortgage credit market.

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New York AG suspends medical debt collection for 5th time

Due to financial hardships brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, New York's attorney general said Aug. 14 that her office will continue halting collections for past-due medical debt owed to the state. This is the fifth time New York Attorney General Letitia James suspended collection of medical debt since the pandemic began. The order concerns medical debt that has been specifically referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection, including debt owed to five state hospitals and five state veterans' homes. The order extends through Sept. 4, after which Ms. James' office will reassess the needs of residents and possibly call for another extension.

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California’s proposal for its own CFPB is back on track

California is planning to strengthen its regulation of financial companies by replicating on a state level what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created to be. The state legislature has revived an idea Gov. Gavin Newsom first proposed in January to remake the California Department of Business Oversight into a beefed-up regulator of fintech companies, credit reporting agencies, debt collection forms and others firms.

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CFPB Wants Your Comments on New Kind of QM

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing a new category of qualified mortgage (QM) which it says is intended to "encourage innovation and help ensure access to responsible, affordable in the mortgage credit market." (we assume they meant "affordable credit in the mortgage market.") The category, "seasoned qualified mortgages" involves, as the name suggests, holding riskier loans in the originator's own portfolio for three years. It is unclear, from the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) issued on Wednesday, who will then assume or securitize the loans.

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FHA Mortgage Delinquencies Reach a Record, Led by New Jersey

(Bloomberg) -- Federal Housing Administration mortgages -- the affordable path to homeownership for many first-time buyers, minorities and low-income Americans -- now have the highest delinquency rate in at least four decades.

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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly to sign 2-week moratorium on evictions, foreclosures

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In an effort to provide some relief to Kansans struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Laura Kelly announced Monday she plans to sign an executive order placing a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

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FTC Sends Refund Checks Totaling More Than $700,000 to Small Business Owners Defrauded by Deceptive Robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing refunds totaling more than $700,000 to small business owners who were deceived by a robocall scheme.  According to the FTC, the defendants, operating as Pointbreak Media, Modern Spotlight, National Business Listings, and Modern Source Media, called small business owners, claimed to be acting on Google’s behalf, and threatened that Google would label their businesses “permanently closed” unless they spoke with a “Google specialist.”

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Will Congress fix credit report problem CFPB won’t?

Our latest report, last week, found that July set yet a fifth consecutive month of record consumer complaints to the CFPB. Complaints about credit report mistakes, always among the leaders, have surged dramatically during the pandemic. The CFPB hasn't done anything about it, but Congress has an opportunity in its next relief package to ban negative credit reporting.

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NCB Management Expands to Lincoln, Neb.

TREVOSE, Pa. -- Ralph Liberio, President & CEO announced today that NCB Management Services, a nationally respected Debt Buyer and Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) organization has signed a new, multi-year lease on a second, adjacent call center facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. This expansion will allow NCB to double its current capacity over the next several months. Liberio commented, “I am extremely excited and pleased to be in a position to bring good-paying call center jobs to the exceptional customer-centric workforce in Lincoln, NE”.

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Attorney General James Renews Suspension of State Debt Collection for Fifth Time as Coronavirus Continues to Impact New Yorkers’ Wallets

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that the state will, on Sunday renew for the fifth time, an order to halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the state of New York that has been specifically referred to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for collection. In response to continuing financial impairments resulting from the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the OAG will renew orders again from this coming Sunday, August 16, 2020, through Friday, September 4, 2020 — a date which coincides with Governor Cuomo’s most recent executive order tolling statutes of limitation and other legal time periods.

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California Proposes Financial Watchdog Agency

California is expected to create a financial protection watchdog agency by month’s end. NPR reports lawmakers are moving quickly to create the new department of state government because the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been rendered useless under the Trump administration. “Consumer protections are an area where California wants to show that we care,” Assemblywoman Monique Limón told the radio network. “As the fifth-largest economy in the world we think that it is very important and it’s the right thing to do.”

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Attorney General Becerra Announces Approval of Final Regulations Under the California Consumer Privacy Act

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced approval by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) of final regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Proposed final regulations were submitted to the OAL by Attorney General Becerra on June 1, 2020. During OAL’s review process, additional revisions were made to the proposed regulations. The approved regulations go into effect immediately.

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Idaho Department of Finance Extends Remote Work Guidance to Dec. 31

The Idaho Department of Finance has extended its temporary guidance regarding remote work  due to COVID-19 from Sept. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020, and will be issuing a memo to all licensees.

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NY Attorney General extends suspension of medical and student debt collection owed to the state

ALBANY, N.Y. — For the fifth time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the New York State Attorney General's office is suspending the collection of medical and student debt referred to the office.

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Mortgage refinancing will be 0.5% more expensive, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise fees

If you're looking to refinance your home during the pandemic, it'll soon cost you more.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a new fee of 0.5% to protect themselves from losses on their refinanced mortgages given ow interest rates.      The change, beginning on September 1, adds 0.5% of the loan amount to the consumer’s cost.

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AG Healey Issues Advisory to Small Businesses about Protections under State’s Eviction Moratorium

BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey has issued an updated advisory to small businesses across Massachusetts regarding the protections provided under the state’s eviction moratorium.

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OCC’s Brooks questions need for government-owned payment systems

WASHINGTON — Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks questioned the idea of government-owned payment rails as the future of money transmission on Thursday, arguing instead for a decentralized system led by private companies.

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FTC Adds Charges Against Auto Marketer For Deceptive “Prize” Mailers

The Federal Trade Commission has issued an administrative complaint against a marketer, Traffic Jam Events, LLC, and its owner, David J. Jeansonne II, charging multiple counts of deceptive conduct. The administrative complaint mirrors a prior federal court complaint, which the Commission voluntarily dismissed to pursue a broader administrative proceeding.

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Cybersecurity: These two basic flaws make it easy for hackers to break into your systems

Hackers can gain access to the internal networks of corporations by exploiting two security failings in as little as 30 minutes. Ethical hackers and cybersecurity researchers at Positive Technologies perform penetration testing against organisations in a wide variety of sectors, but find common security vulnerabilities across all industries. The findings have been detailed in a new report, Penetration Testing of Corporate Information Systems.

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How Financial Tech Changed Public’s Perception on Lending

In modern times, the financial industry uses more technologies than ever before and this is something that has begun to change the way that people look at lending opportunities. Whether you are a lender wanting to figure out if a potential loan recipient is a worthwhile risk or you are a consumer applying for a personal or business loan, this change to financial tech has likely changed your views of lending.

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Feds crack down on lenders targeting small businesses with high-interest loans, abusive collection tactics

Federal and state regulators are cracking down on lenders targeting small businesses with high-cost loans and abusive collection tactics, generating unease in a lightly regulated industry that has flourished as it put merchants in a vise.

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The Class of 2020: unemployed, taking on debt and struggling to pay the bills

In an April 2020 survey conducted by Student Loan Hero, 72% of graduating seniors reported that the Covid-19 crisis had already impacted their post-graduation plans. And, while the unemployment rate has improved since then, 18.6% of people between the ages of 16 and 24 are still unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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For the fifth consecutive month, consumer complaints to the CFPB set a new monthly complaint volume record in July, according to an analysis by U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group. This snapshot focuses on spikes in complaints about credit reporting. While credit reporting complaints have always been among the leading complaint categories, during the pandemic the total number of credit reporting complaints has surged by 86 percent. As a percentage of overall complaints, they accounted for 65 percent in July, compared to 54 percent in February.

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Santander Consumer USA’s Subprime Auto Loan Dispute Resolved

Attorney General T.J. Donovan today announced a settlement with Santander Consumer USA, Inc. resolving complaints of unfair or deceptive practices relating to subprime auto loans. The settlement resolves the Attorney General’s claim that Santander Consumer USA’s subprime lending practices violated consumer protection laws by exposing consumers to unnecessarily high levels of risk and knowingly placing these consumers into auto loans that had a high probability of default.

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