At a glanceFriday, October 29, 2021

Collection Industry News At A Glance - October 29, 2021
Friday October 29, 2021
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Recent Settlement with Massachusetts AG Addresses Compliance Emphasis on Collection Calls, Repossession Notices, and Service Contract Sales

On September 1, 2021, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the Massachusetts attorney general, entered into a settlement agreement and related Assurance of Discontinuance with a sales finance company. The AOD identifies three areas that should be of particular compliance emphasis for sales finance companies doing business in Massachusetts:

  • limitations on the frequency of collection calls;
  • content requirements for pre- and post-sale repossession notices; and
  • disclosures required in connection with the sale and financing of optional motor vehicle service contracts.

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Opening Statement of Director Rohit Chopra before the House Committee on Financial Services

Chairwoman Waters, Ranking Member McHenry, and Members of the Committee, thank you for holding this hearing today. 2021 is far different than 2020. The economy is reopening and growing. Labor demand is strong, and employers have added millions of new jobs. Household spending has rapidly increased, and demand for housing is robust. While these macro indicators are promising, the recovery has been uneven.

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CA Laws for Debt Collection, Money Transfer Services, and Consumer Subscription Services Signed by Governor Newsom

California enacted six new laws in October expanding rights for consumers, including new disclosure and consumer notification requirements for debt collection and subscription services.  The new laws apply to subscription services, consumer warranties, money transfer services, and debt collection and settlement services, among others.

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THE PANEL WON’T BUDGE: Eleventh Circuit Panel Reaffirms Hunstein Post-Ramirez Over Fierce Dissent– Pages-Long Footnotes Required to Defend Position

Setting the stage, the Eleventh Circuit issued one of the biggest FDCPA cases in history earlier this year, holding that supplying debtor information to a mail vendor violated the FDCPA prohibitions on “communicating” information about a debt to third parties.

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CFPB Names New Chiefs for Supervision and Enforcement Positions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced leadership changes within the Bureau. The positions being announced today are: Assistant Director for the Office of Supervision Policy and Assistant Director for the Office of Enforcement. The CFPB supervises banks and credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets, as well as many nonbank firms in markets such as credit reporting, debt collection, and mortgages. Through supervision and enforcement actions, the CFPB has returned billions of dollars to consumers and holds companies accountable for their illegal conduct.

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FTC to Ramp up Enforcement against Illegal Dark Patterns that Trick or Trap Consumers into Subscriptions

The Federal Trade Commission issued a new enforcement policy statement warning companies against deploying illegal dark patterns that trick or trap consumers into subscription services. The agency is ramping up its enforcement in response to a rising number of complaints about the financial harms caused by deceptive sign up tactics, including unauthorized charges or ongoing billing that is impossible cancel.

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FDIC exploring the possibility of letting banks hold crypto

On Tuesday, the Chairperson of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Jelena McWilliams, said that the agency is on the path of establishing clear guidelines for the interaction between crypto and banking activity in the US. Addressing attendees of the Money 20/20 conference held in Las Vegas, she explained that her regulatory role in crypto requires her to establish the necessary rules to help innovation thrive and establish the necessary checks to alleviate associated risks.

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Post-Barr, Sixth Circuit Says Debt Collectors Can Be Liable

Continuing the fallout from the now over-one-year-old decision in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Constitution displaced the government-backed debt exception from the start, overturning the lower court and leaving government debt collectors open to liability under the automated calling restrictions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for calls made between November 2015 and July 2020.

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Remitter Completes Acquisition of US Receivables Leader Mercantile Adjustment Bureau

PHOENIX, Oct. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital Bill payment platform Remitter has finalized its purchase of Mercantile Adjustment Bureau following a successful pre-IPO USD $12m cap raise led by Canaccord Genuity. The raise was also backed by Allium Capital and Casey Capital.

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U.S. regulators exploring how banks could hold crypto assets – FDIC chairman

LAS VEGAS, Oct 26 (Reuters) - A top U.S. bank regulator said U.S. officials are looking to provide a clearer path for banks and their clients that are looking to hold cryptocurrencies, in order to keep control over the fast-developing asset.

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Mortgage lenders prematurely raise government-backed loan limits, increasing loan amounts for homebuyers

Every November, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sets new conforming loan limits for the year ahead, giving the loan amount limits at which homebuyers can get conventional loan financing. But this year, many lenders are jumping the gun, raising their limits early before the FHFA makes its announcement. 

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CDA’s loan program invites lending institutions to negotiate

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Agriculture is taking the next major step in establishing the Colorado Agricultural Future Loans Program to support beginning and underserved farmers through low-interest loans.

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Outlook on the Peer to Peer Lending Global Market to 2026 – by Loan Type, Business Model, End-user and Region

DUBLIN, Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2021-2026" report has been added to's offering. The global peer to peer (P2P) lending market exhibited strong growth during 2015-2020. Looking forward, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 31% during 2021-2026. Keeping in mind the uncertainties of COVID-19, the analyst is continuously tracking and evaluating the direct as well as the indirect influence of the pandemic on different end use sectors. These insights are included in the report as a major market contributor.

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FTC and DOJ to Hold Virtual Public Workshop Exploring Competition in Labor Markets

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division will host a virtual workshop on Dec. 6 and 7 to discuss efforts to promote competitive labor markets and worker mobility. 

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Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Dips to 2.2 Percent

Based on the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 7 basis points from 2.28% of servicers' portfolio volume in the prior week to 2.21% as of October 17, 2021. According to MBA's estimate, 1.1 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.

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U.S. consumer watchdog eyeing Big Tech, lending competition as recovery unfolds -testimony

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Chief consumer finance watchdog Rohit Chopra will tell lawmakers on Wednesday his agency wants to minimize foreclosures on struggling American homeowners and make consumer lending more competitive, according to prepared testimony from his inaugural address.

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NYDFS publishes notice of proposed regulation on consumer-like disclosures for commercial financing transactions

On October 20, 2021, the New York Department of Financial Services published a notice in the New York State Register announcing that it has issued a proposed regulation to implement S 5470–B, which requires consumer-like disclosures for “commercial financing” transactions of $2.5 million or less.  Comments on the proposal must be submitted by December 19, 2021.

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Black Knight: Loan Performance Continued to Improve in September

The national mortgage delinquency rate fell to 3.91% in September, a decrease of 2.25% compared with August and a decrease of 41.3% compared with September 2020, according to Black Knight’s First Look report.

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Report of the CFPB Education Loan Ombudsman

Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Act”) this report analyzes complaint data from September 1, 2020, through August 31, 2021, including COVID-19 complaint data, and notes an overall decrease in complaints that is likely attributable the CARES Act relief measures and subsequent administrative extensions through January 31, 2022.

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FTC Puts Businesses on Notice that False Money-Making Claims Could Lead to Big Penalties

The Federal Trade Commission is putting more than 1,100 businesses that pitch money-making ventures on notice that if they deceive or mislead consumers about potential earnings, the FTC won’t hesitate to use its authority to target them with large civil penalties.

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TransUnion Enhances Consumer Identity Protection Offerings with Agreement to Acquire Sontiq for $638 million

TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sontiq, a leader in digital identity protection and security.

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Hunstein and the FCCPA

With its recent decision in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection & Management Services Inc., which concluded that a debt collector’s mundane transmittal of consumer information to its dunning vendor ran afoul of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Eleventh Circuit’s interpretation of an infrequently litigated FDCPA section likely surprised (and vexed) financial services companies and others subject to the act, resulting in their examining financial products, relationships, and circumstances the ruling may impact.

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FTC to Restrict Future Acquisitions for Firms that Pursue Anticompetitive Mergers

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it is restoring its long-established practice of routinely restricting future acquisitions for merging parties that pursue anticompetitive mergers. 

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1 in 5 Americans has medical debt in collections, study finds. It’s worse in the South

Americans spend twice as much on health care as people in other wealthy countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. For the past two weeks on our series The Price We Pay, we’ve explored what the U.S. government and many businesses have been doing to try to contain those costs.

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CFPB releases Spanish translation of model validation notice

Last week, the CFPB released a Spanish translation of the model-English language validation notice set forth in Appendix B of Regulation F.

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OCC Assesses $4 Million Civil Money Penalty Against Trustmark National Bank For Violations of the Fair Housing Act

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today announced a $4 million civil money penalty against Trustmark National Bank, Jackson, Miss., for violations of the Fair Housing Act.

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These California area codes will require 10-digit dialing starting Sunday

From Pasadena to Palo Alto, callers in nine California area codes will be required to use 10-digit dialing when making phone calls beginning Sunday.

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California Passes Legislation Expanding Definition of “Personal Information”

On October 5, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom of California approved legislation amending the Information Practices Act of 1977 (1977 Act), which will specifically impact agencies and businesses that own or license computerized data that includes personal information.  Upon compromise of such data, the 1977 Act requires agencies to disclose breach of the security of the system to any California resident whose personal information was compromised.

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CFPB seeking information from technology companies that operate payment systems

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is seeking information on the business practices of large technology companies operating payments systems. As online commerce and electronic payments have become more prevalent, they present new risks to consumers and the marketplace. The information will help the CFPB better understand how these companies use personal payments data and manage data access to users.

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CFPB to Hire Obama-era DOJ Official to Lead Enforcement as the Division is Strengthened

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will name Eric Halperin, a longtime consumer advocacy attorney and former official with the U.S. Department of Justice during the Barack Obama administration, to serve as its new enforcement director. This is according to original reporting at Bloomberg Law, based on conversations with internal CFPB sources who wished to remain unnamed.

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The CFPB’s data overreach hurts the businesses it claims to help

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is on track to use financial institutions as tools to harvest private data from small businesses. This mandate from Dodd-Frank is a major encroachment of the federal government into private business activities.  Like most provisions of Dodd-Frank, section 1071 imposes unnecessary reporting requirements on financial institutions and risks cutting off credit access to minorities, women and the respective small businesses they own. The mandate in section 1071 sets the stage for the CFPB, the brainchild of left-leaning Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to insert its authority into every loan agreement between financial institutions and small businesses. 

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U.S Mortgage Rates Rise Again. The Upward Trend Looks Set to Continue…

Mortgage rates were on the rise once more, holding onto 3% levels for just the 4th time since 21st April. In the week ending 21st October, 30-year fixed rates increased by 4 basis points to 3.09%. Compared to this time last year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 29 basis points.

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Some student loan refinance rates are around just 2%. Here are 6 ways you can get the absolute lowest rate

Student loan refi rates are very low right now, with some borrowers finding rates starting at just 1.89%. What’s more, unlike with a mortgage refinance, it usually isn’t costly to refinance your student loans: “Most lenders don’t charge an origination fee or application fee,” says Rebecca Safier, certified student loan counselor and debt expert at Student Loan Hero.

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Industry Events

RMAI 2022 Annual Conference

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