At a glanceWednesday, February 03, 2021

Collection Industry News At A Glance - February 3, 2021
Wednesday February 3, 2021
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FTC Staff Provides Annual Letter to CFPB On 2020 Equal Credit Opportunity Act Activities

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission has provided the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) an annual summary of its activities enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).

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Delaware ranks at bottom of PPP 2.0 lending

As of Jan. 31, more than $194.8 million had been loaned to 1,902 state businesses, ranking last of all 50 states in loans obtained and second to last in dollars allocated, according to SBA data. Despite having nearly 40% more residents than the least populous state Wyoming, Delaware obtained nearly 2,000 fewer loans and $90 million less than its smaller peer. It’s a familiar position for the First State, which started among the bottom of the program’s first round of lending in April 2020.

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AG Becerra Petitions Court to Ensure Consumer Protections Against Robocalling

SACRAMENTO, February 2, 2021 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a multistate coalition in an effort to stop companies from breaking the law with harassing telemarketing calls. In an amicus brief filed in Lindenbaum v. Realgy, LLC, the attorneys general called on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to reverse a district court’s ruling that a landmark federal law intended to stop telemarketing scams was unconstitutional and unenforceable for a five-year period ending in 2020.

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CFPB’s New Seasoning Rule is Already Showing Promise

The Urban Institute (UI) has looked at a final mortgage rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in late 2020 which would provide a 3-year pathway to safe harbor for loans that are a rebuttable presumption or nonqualified mortgage at origination. The study, by UI analysts Karan Kaul, Laurie Goodman, and Jun Zhu found that loan performance during the first three years of the mortgage term is a better predictor of subsequent loan performance than the rate spread.

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Attorney General James Renews Suspension of State Debt Collection for 10th Time as Coronavirus Continues to Impact New Yorkers’ Wallets

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that the state has renewed, for the 10th 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 — with limited exceptions — through February 28, 2021.

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Attorney General Becerra Petitions Court to Ensure Consumer Protections Against Robocalling

 SACRAMENTO –California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a multistate coalition in an effort to stop companies from breaking the law with harassing telemarketing calls. In an amicus brief filed in Lindenbaum v. Realgy, LLC, the attorneys general called on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to reverse a district court’s ruling that a landmark federal law intended to stop telemarketing scams was unconstitutional and unenforceable for a five-year period ending in 2020.

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How to motivate employees to take cybersecurity seriously

How can we push employees / users to take cybersecurity to heart? Dr. Maria Bada, external behavioral scientist at AwareGO, has been working on the answer for years.

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6 ways to improve your odds of getting a low mortgage refinance rate

Mortgage rates are hovering near record lows and the Federal Reserve has pledged to keep interest rates near zero until 2023, providing homeowners with ample time to lock in the best mortgage refi rates possible. Before speaking with banks or lenders, it’s wise to take the steps necessary to position yourself as an ideal candidate for the lowest mortgage refinancing rates.

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How to handle student loan payments during COVID

There's no denying that the coronavirus pandemic has been financially difficult on many Americans, especially those who have to make monthly student loan payments. Fortunately, there is help available.

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Biden team faces pressure over who leads key banking regulator

While the Biden administration scrambles to fill thousands of positions throughout federal agencies, the debate over who should occupy one key economic role burst into public view over the last week

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FTC Gives Final Approval to Settlement with Zoom over Allegations the Company Misled Consumers about Its Data Security Practices

The Federal Trade Commission finalized a settlement with Zoom Video Communications, Inc., over allegations it misled consumers about the level of security it provided for its Zoom meetings and compromised the security of some Mac users.

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Today’s mortgage rates continue to move away from record lows | February 1, 2021

Based on data compiled by Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, mortgage rates have risen since last Friday.

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PPP lending going a lot smoother this time around, Utah banks and grateful businesses say

SALT LAKE CITY — This month not only marks the start of a new year, but it also marks what could be a new beginning for hundreds of local businesses impacted they the economic turmoil caused by the global pandemic.

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How to know the difference between legitimate debt collections and scams

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between a real business and a scam. Chances are, you’ve been on the receiving end of a suspicious phone call before, where someone posed as a legitimate representative in order to try to get your information. Sometimes, scammers give themselves away upfront. For instance, if someone claims they’re calling about your house that’s not for sale, or saying that you owe the IRS thousands of dollars when you pay your tax bill dutifully every year by April 15 — it’s easy to ignore these calls.

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Covid, payday loans, student debt — here are the issues Biden’s consumer bureau may tackle

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to become a more aggressive consumer watchdog under the Biden administration and while the coronavirus pandemic hurls financial challenges at millions of Americans. Consumer advocates say the bureau was almost entirely declawed under former president Donald Trump, and during his tenure enforcement action steeply declined. The agency was created in 2010 after the previous economic downturn to protect people from predatory lenders.

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FTC Acts to Stop Nevada Companies From Charging Consumers Thousands To Open Credit Cards To Pay For Training Schemes

Two Nevada companies and two individuals have agreed to stop charging consumers thousands of dollars to apply for multiple credit cards in their names in order to pay for expensive and often ineffective training programs under a proposed settlement of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit.

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USCellular Data Breach: Hackers Gained Access to Users’ Personal Data, PIN Code, Billing Statements, and More

USCellular, the fourth largest mobile network operator in the United states has suffered data breach after attackers hacked its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and gained access to customer's accounts and phone numbers.   According to Bleeping Computer, the software turns out to be a malware that allowed the hackers to access US Cellular's computer remotely. This means that through the activity of the employees on the infected computer, they also gained access to the company's CRM which allowed them to view the customer's accounts and phone numbers.

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Acting CFPB Director Pledges Aggressive Approach to Supervision, Enforcement

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will increase its supervision and enforcement efforts to ensure that companies delivering COVID-19 relief are meeting their legal obligations and protecting consumers, Acting CFPB Director Dave Uejio said today. In a message to CFPB staff, Uejio directed the bureau’s Supervision, Enforcement and Fair Lending Division to “to always determine the full scope of issues found in its exams, systemically remediate all of those who are harmed, and change policies, procedures, and practices to address the root causes of harms.”

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California consumer agency strikes data-sharing deal with fintech companies

California’s newly empowered consumer protection agency signed a data-sharing deal with several financial technology companies in an effort to better evaluate benefits and risks of their products as the market for cash advance apps grows, Yahoo Finance has learned.

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FTC Sends More Than $250,000 in Additional Refunds to Victims of Mortgage Modification Scheme

The Federal Trade Commission is sending a third round of checks totaling more than $250,000 to victims of a mortgage modification scheme dating back to 2009. The FTC began mailing refunds in this matter in 2012. In total, the FTC has distributed more than $900,000.

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U.S. banking regulator freezes controversial ‘fair access’ rule

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - A U.S. banking regulator announced Thursday it was freezing a contentious new rule that would prohibit banks from refusing to lend to certain business types, a move that will allow the next regulator tapped by President Joe Biden to review and potentially undo it.

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USDA Temporarily Suspends Debt Collections, Foreclosures and Other Activities on Farm Loans for Several Thousand Distressed Borrowers Due to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2021 — Due to the national public health emergency caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the temporary suspension of past-due debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under the Farm Storage Facility Loan and the Direct Farm Loan programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

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7 essential cyber security tips for small businesses

Every year, cybersecurity becomes a bigger issue for businesses large and small. While computer experts and regular people are getting better at protecting their data, hackers and digital criminals are keeping up every step of the way.

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Today’s mortgage rates continue to rise | January 29, 2021

Based on data compiled by Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, mortgage rates have risen since yesterday.

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    Data breaches fell in 2020, but identity thieves still raked in billions

    Based on what we know so far, hackers didn't steal as much personal data in 2020 as they did in previous years, but that doesn't mean they weren't able to make plenty of money. According to a report released Thursday by the Identity Theft Resource Center, hackers and identity thieves used stolen passwords and personal information to profit in new ways from your information

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    Fed keeps key interest rate near zero, maintains $120B in monthly bond purchases to hold down long-term rates

    WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve pledged on Wednesday to keep its low interest rate policies in place even well after the economy has sustained a recovery from the viral pandemic.

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    Economy shrank 3.5 percent in 2020

    The U.S. economy shrank 3.5 percent in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses, schools and events, marking the first annual contraction since the Great Recession, according to data released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.

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    Small businesses received $35B in PPP loans during third round of lending

    The Small Business Administration said Tuesday that it has approved more than 400,000 loans worth about $35 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program, a vital lifeline for pandemic-ravaged small businesses.

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    Facing a double-whammy, millennials rack up credit card debt during the pandemic

    The pandemic’s economic hit is making an outsize impact on one generation’s debt: A greater share of millennials report they have added to their credit card debt since March compared with older generations.

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    Despite Pandemic, Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Paid Off More Debt in 2020

    DALLAS, Jan. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Although tens of millions of Americans lost their jobs or were furloughed last year due to COVID-19, nearly 20% were able to increase their credit scores by paying down more debt in 2020, according to a survey conducted by YouGov plc on behalf of ScoreSense®.

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    Maryland Issues Six-Month Work-From-Home Regulation for Licensees

    Maryland has issued a temporary emergency regulation  allowing remote work for state-regulated entities, including collection agencies.  The regulation will be published in the Maryland Register Jan. 29 and will be valid for six months while the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation works to enact a final rule on remote work arrangements.

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    Crown Asset Management, LLC (CAM) Announces the Promotion of Five Team Members

    Brian K. Williams, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “I am very proud of our leadership team which is rich in industry knowledge and experience.  Today I am pleased to announce the promotion of five of these team members in recognition of their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments”.   “2020 has been a challenging year the world over.  Our industry is no exception.  While we will continue to face challenges, CAM’s leadership team enables us to move past these challenges.  Today we announce the promotion of five members of this team.  These promotions recognize their qualifications and achievements and further build our foundation of strength and integrity.” said Scott Arnold, Chief Financial Officer.

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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

    Tentatively Postponed - Future Dates To Be Announced