At a glanceFriday, January 15, 2021

Collection Industry News At A Glance - January 15, 2021
Friday January 15, 2021
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CFPB Issues Small Entity Compliance Guide Summarizing October 2020 rule

The Bureau has issued a small entity compliance guide summarizing the October 2020 debt collection rule.  The guide is available here.

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OCC Finalizes Rule Requiring Large Banks to Provide Fair Access to Bank Services, Capital, and Credit

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released its finalized rule to ensure fair access to banking services provided by large national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign bank organizations.

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Anchorage Becomes First OCC-Approved National Crypto Bank

Crypto custodian Anchorage has secured conditional approval for a national trust charter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), making it the first national “digital asset bank” in the U.S.

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Walmart launches fintech startup to build digital financial products for customers, employees

Walmart (WMT), the world's largest retailer, announced on Monday that it is launching a financial technology (fintech) startup in partnership with Palo Alto, Calif.–based venture capital firm Ribbit Capital, a backer of Robinhood, Credit Karma and Affirm.

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Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustments

The Bureau is adjusting for inflation the maximum amount of each civil penalty within the Bureau’s jurisdiction. These adjustments are required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 and further amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. 

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OCC Fines Former Wells Fargo General Counsel $3.5 Million in Settlement

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced it has assessed a $3.5 million penalty against James Strother for his role in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.'s systemic sales practices misconduct.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and National Credit Union Administration Sign Memorandum of Understanding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement to improve coordination between the agencies related to the consumer protection supervision of credit unions over $10 billion dollars in assets.

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Buy now, pay later boom brings ‘shift away from credit to debit’

Americans are increasingly taking advantage of the buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) offerings thanks to a growing number of financial technology companies.

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Is the Pendulum Swinging the Other Way? Court Finds TCPA Claims Viable Prior to Severance of Government Backed Debt Exemption by Supreme Court

As the Czar reported in late December (here), the plaintiffs’ bar had evened the score (3-3) with two recent decisions finding that the TCPA was constitutional as applied to calls made prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in Barr v. American Ass’n of Political Consultants, 140 S. Ct. 2335 (2020), on July 6, 2020.  Unfortunately, plaintiffs have now pulled ahead with yesterday’s decision in Stoutt v. Travis Credit Union, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6019 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 12, 2021).

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NCUA, CFPB sign memorandum of understanding

NCUA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a memorandum of understanding agreement to improve coordination between the agencies related to the consumer protection supervision of credit unions over $10 billion dollars in assets.

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The CFPB Taskforce Recommends Limits On FCRA Class Action Awards In Report

On January 5, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law Report issued a two-volume report on “how to improve consumer protection in the financial marketplace.”  The Taskforce, comprised of five members, was established in January 2020 and was charged with examining the consumer financial services environment and developing recommendations for improvement. 

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Today’s mortgage refinance rates move lower | January 14, 2021

Based on data compiled by Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, current mortgage refinance rates dropped slightly compared to yesterday’s. Rates for 30-year refinance held firm, while 20-year and 15-year rates dropped closer to historical lows recorded previously. The average rate across all loan types is 2.500%.

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    Remitter appoints Dave Snow as Vice President of Sales

    Industry leader in AI powered digital communication payment recovery solutions, Remitter USA Inc, has today announced that Dave Snow will be joining their dynamic executive team as Vice President of Sales. He joins Remitter with more than 10 years experience across the consumer finance and accounts receivable industries, having served in senior sales, business development and leadership roles at Spruce Finance, Counterpointe SRE and TrueAccord.

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    Ag lending update: Fewer new loans to farmers

    Fewer new loans to farmers continued to drive a pullback in agricultural lending activity. A historically low number of new loans contributed to an increase in average loan size and drove a slight decrease in the overall volume of non-real estate loans at commercial banks in the fourth quarter. Stronger prices for agricultural commodities, alongside continued support from government payments, may have reduced financing needs for some farmers and contributed to the slower pace of lending.

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    Credit Card Debt Continues Its Pandemic Plunge

    Credit card debt has continued to drop in the U.S., down to $978.8 billion in November, the Federal Reserve reports. The latest numbers are part of a steady decline since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Credit card debt had hit a record high in February 2020, reaching $1.0943 trillion.

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    Mortgage refinance demand spikes 20% as borrowers fear missing out on record-low rates

    After setting more than a dozen record lows last year, mortgage rates began 2021 on an upward climb, and that lit a fire under borrowers, fearing they might miss the last of the lowest rates. Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan spiked 20% last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. That was the highest level since last March. Volume was 93% higher than a year ago.

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    Potential Major Change For U.S. Prepaid Products: Paypal VS CFPB Court Vacates Two Significant Restrictions in CFPB’S Prepaid Account Rule

    On 30 December 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered an order invalidating two provisions of the “Prepaid Account Rule” (the Rule) promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Specifically, the order invalidated the Rule’s mandatory short form disclosure requirement and the requirement for a thirty-day delay before linking prepaid products to credit, on the basis that the CFPB had exceeded its statutory authority.[1] 

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    9 Ways The Recent Stimulus Bill Affects Bankruptcy

    In an effort to resolve divergent court rulings, the new Consolidated Appropriations Act gives the Small Business Administration discretion to determine which small and individual debtors may obtain PPP loans in bankruptcy 

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    U.S. banks cast wary eye at mortgage borrowers as forbearance periods end

    (Reuters) - U.S. banks are struggling to understand how their residential mortgage portfolios will perform this year, because borrower-assistance programs during the pandemic have clouded who will be able to pay when forbearance periods and enhanced jobless benefits expire.

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    LAFCU Names James McHale As Chief Financial Officer

    LANSING, Mich. — James McHale has joined LAFCU as chief financial officer.    McHale has more than 20 years of executive experience with small-to-large credit unions. Positions he has held include CFO, COO, CEO and chief risk officer.

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    California Credit Union Seeks Scholarship Applications from Los Angeles County Students

    GLENDALE, Calif.Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- California Credit Union invites college-bound students in Los Angeles County to apply for its 2021 College Scholarship Program. Through the program, the credit union provides $20,000 in scholarships annually to recognize Southern California students who are motivated in their academic studies and active in their schools and communities.

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    CFPB Accepting Applications for Advisory Committee

    From the CFPB: To ensure that the CFPB hears from a variety of external experts with diverse viewpoints, we established the Consumer Advisory Board, the Community Bank Advisory Council, the Credit Union Advisory Council, and the Academic Research Council. These advisory committees provide the Bureau with information about emerging trends and practices in the consumer financial marketplace. They also allow us to hear directly from small financial institutions.  Starting Monday, January 11, we’re accepting applications for membership on all four of our advisory committees. We’re inviting applications from individuals who can provide us with insight and advice as we carry out our work.

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    CFPB investigating Rocket Homes for illegal kickbacks

    Rocket Homes Real Estate, a real estate affiliate of Rocket Companies, is being investigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for possibly violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) when it charged fees for referring Quicken’s mortgage clients to real estate agents, according to officials.

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    FCC Issues Call Volume and Opt-Out Rules for Calls Exempted From TCPA’s Consent Requirements

    Over the years, the FCC has established a number of exemptions to the TCPA’s prohibition on unconsented autodialed and pre-recorded or artificial voice calls. Last year, Congress directed the FCC under the TRACED Act to revisit those exemptions to ensure each exemption delineates: (1) the classes of parties that may make such calls; (2) the classes of parties that may be called; and (3) the number of calls that may be made to a particular called party. On December 30, 2020, the FCC issued a Report and Order addressing its obligations under TRACED.

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    PPP loan program reopens with revamped rules to stamp out fraud

    The government on Monday was set to reopen its signature small business pandemic aid program with $284 billion in new funds and revamped rules that aim to get cash to the most needy businesses while stamping out fraud and abuse.

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    Mortgage refinances now come with a new fee — but you can still get a deal

    As mortgage rates have fallen through the floor again and again, borrowers have been hitting the interest rate jackpot. Even so, if you’re looking to score an ultra-low rate to refinance an existing home loan, you might find it a little harder than you might imagine. A new federal refinance fee has finally gone into effect, after many months of anticipation, and experts say lenders are rolling the cost into their mortgage rates.

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    United States: The CFPB Revises Reg. Z’s Qualified Mortgage Loan Criteria In Anticipation Of The GSE Patch’s Expiration

    In anticipation of the "GSE patch" expiring, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") issued several final rules in 2020 to amend Regulation Z ("Reg. Z"). Concerns have existed that the expiration of the GSE patch would restrict consumer mortgage credit unless the CFPB created a permanent version of the GSE patch or revised the General Qualified Mortgage ("QM") definition. As outlined below, the CFPB has responded by adopting the latter approach.

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    Minnesota residents have the highest average credit score—here’s how other states compare

    The average FICO Score in the U.S. hit a record high of 710 last year, according to Experian’s 2020 Consumer Credit Review. And a majority of states (33) managed to achieve or surpass this record high. Minnesota residents topped the list for the ninth straight year with an average 739 credit score. Meanwhile, Mississippi residents continued to have the lowest credit score of any state (675) — though that’s an eight-point increase from last year (667).

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    Industry Events

    RMAI 2021 Annual Conference – In Person and Virtual

    Receivables Management Association International (RMAi)

    Las Vegas, Nevada
    April 12 - 15 , 2021

    Collection and Recovery Solutions 2021 (CRS2021)

    Resource Management Services, Inc.

    Produced by: Resource Management Services, Inc. 10440 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 2 Santa Fe Springs, CA. 90670-8235
    Las Vegas , Nevada
    May 12 - 14 , 2021

    (562) 906-1101