At a glanceWednesday, December 29, 2021

Collection Industry News At A Glance - December 29, 2021
Wednesday December 29, 2021
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CA DFPI provides assurance of no action to debt collection license applicants experiencing NMLS delays

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has published a notice on its website concerning delays that debt collectors and buyers seeking to comply with the new licensing requirement in the state’s Debt Collection Licensing Act are currently experiencing.

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Leveraging Fintechs and Big Data in a Fair Lending Focused 2022

Over the past decade, financial technology companies (fintechs) have been on the rise, disrupting all segments of the financial industry. Their innovative technology, swift adaptation to market trends, and ability to create personalized and efficient customer experiences enabled them to reshape the way we look at, use, and provide financial services.

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Moratorium on residential mortgage foreclosures to expire on Dec. 31

The foreclosure moratorium in Oregon will end this week on Dec. 31, 2021. The moratorium was established to prevent foreclosures for those who lost income or were unable to pay their mortgage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation also allowed impacted homeowners to defer their mortgage payments through Dec. 31, 2021. Homeowners who have fallen behind or are at risk of missing a payment on their mortgage can get free help from certified housing counselors around the state to learn about their options.

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More Americans took on holiday debt this season, owing an average $1,249

More Americans got into the spirit this holiday, even if it meant spending more than they could afford. Between buying presents, plane tickets and party supplies, 36% of consumers went into debt, owing an average of $1,249, according to a survey by LendingTree.

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How Advanced Tools Such as AI Can Help CUs Curb Fraud in the Digital Banking Age

Technology has become foundational to society as the pandemic continues to impact all corners of the globe. Consumers have rushed to digital channels to tackle daily tasks including grocery shopping, handling healthcare appointments and meeting banking needs. As individuals focus on online platforms and mobile apps, organizations have been forced to follow suit or risk seeing consumers flock to digitally savvy competitors.

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Biden-Harris Administration Extends Student Loan Pause Through May 1, 2022

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced a 90-day extension of the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through May 1, 2022. The extension will allow the Administration to assess the impacts of the Omicron variant on student borrowers and provide additional time for borrowers to plan for the resumption of payments and reduce the risk of delinquency and defaults after restart. The Department will continue its work to transition borrowers smoothly back into repayment, including by improving student loan servicing.

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Genisys Credit Union wins Alphonse Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award

What’s it like to have a career and be financially independent?

This is one of the experiences young people get through Genisys Credit Union’s Financial Reality Fair program and one of the reasons the credit union earned the Alphonse Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award.

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NMLS Slowdown Frustrates Debt Collector License Applicants As Application Deadline Looms

California had been one of 16 states that did not require licensing of debt collectors.  That changed last year with the enactment of the Debt Collection Licensing Act.  2020 Cal. Stats. ch. 163 (SB 908).   The law takes effect on New Year's Day.  The Department of Financial Protection & Innovation began accepting applications for licenses on September 1 of this year.

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FTC bans phantom debt collectors from industry

On December 13, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that, under the terms of a settlement, a group of phantom debt collectors were permanently banned from the debt collection industry. The term “phantom debt” is generally used to refer to debt that doesn’t exist or has already been paid.

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CFPB opens investigation into buy now, pay later credit programs

Five lending companies were subject to an investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as of Dec. 16, 2021 to examine the risks of buy now, pay later (BNPL) options.

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Capital One Cyber Settlement to Cost $190 Million

Capital One Financial Corp. agreed to pay $190 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that customers filed against the firm after a hacker broke into its cloud-computing systems and stole their personal information.

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What Has Caused a Quantum Leap in BNPL Consolidation Trends?

The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) industry is booming, having generated over $90 billion in 2020, and projected to reach $3.98 trillion by 2030. Now, PayPal’s latest move to acquire Paidy – a Japanese BNPL startup – for $2.7 billion, and Square’s purchase of Afterpay, an Australian financial technology company, for over $29 billion, are only boosting the market and proving the success of partnerships and consolidation.

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Holiday shopping fuels the return of credit card debt

Holiday shopping returned with a vengeance this year. But going into debt is one gift you can’t return. After Americans paid off a record $83 billion in credit card debt in 2020, helped by government stimulus checks and fewer opportunities for discretionary purchases, credit card balances are heading higher once again. Overall, credit card balances rose by $17 billion in the third quarter of 2021, according to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In the fourth quarter, fueled by the return of holiday plans, consumers charged billions more.

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FTC Seeks to Move Beyond Notice and Consent to Restrict Data Collection and Use

The FTC indicated that it will use its rulemaking authority under the FTC Act’s Section 18 to create a new rule that will likely seek to rein in broad data collection and use.

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U.S. holiday spending rose at fastest pace in 17 years, despite Delta and Omicron

"The latest COVID-19 variant is upending holiday plans for tens of thousands of travelers — but it didn't do much damage to holiday shopping," The Associated Press reports.

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Is the CFPB using its market monitoring orders to build enforcement cases?

As we previously noted, on October 21, the CFPB issued orders to six large technology firms seeking information about their payment product business plans (the “October 21 Orders”). According to the Bureau, the purpose of orders was to “shed light on the business practices of the largest technology companies in the world.”

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What You Need to Know About NY’s Proposed Debt Collection Regulations

On December 15, 2021, the New York State Department of Financial Services published proposed amendments to the state’s debt collection regulations (the Amendments). The Amendments would broaden the scope of the existing rules and therefore are likely to have a significant impact on entities that have not previously considered themselves to be debt collectors.

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Federal Agencies Issue New Breach Notification Rules for Banking Organizations and Banking Service Providers

Banking organizations must notify the appropriate agency within 36 hours of certain computer-security incidents; and banking service providers must notify affected banking organizations as soon as possible in the event of an equivalent incident.

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2021 Year in Review: Data Breach and Cybersecurity Litigations

2021 was another year of high activity in the realm of data event and cybersecurity litigations with several noteworthy developments.  CPW has been tracking these cases throughout the year.  Read on for key trends and what to expect going into the 2022.

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If Your Disclosure of a Data Breach Was “Late,” You May Have to Litigate

A professional accounting firm in Illinois received an unwanted holiday “gift” in the form of a class action complaint stemming from its alleged failure to secure personally identifiable information (PII) and to timely notify affected parties of a data breach.

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CFPB Fall 2021 Supervisory Highlights Look at Credit Cards, Debt Collection, Deposits, Fair Lending, Mortgage Servicing, Payday Lending, Prepaid Accounts, and Remittance Transfers

The CFPB has released the Fall 2021 edition of its Supervisory Highlights. The report discusses the Bureau’s examinations in the areas of credit card account management, debt collection, deposits, fair lending, mortgage servicing, payday lending, prepaid accounts, and remittances that were completed between January 2021 and June 2021. Accordingly, the majority of examinations discussed in the report would have taken place under the leadership of former Acting Director Uejio.

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Biden-Harris Administration Extends Student Loan Pause Through May 1, 2022

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced a 90-day extension of the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through May 1, 2022. The extension will allow the Administration to assess the impacts of the Omicron variant on student borrowers and provide additional time for borrowers to plan for the resumption of payments and reduce the risk of delinquency and defaults after restart. The Department will continue its work to transition borrowers smoothly back into repayment, including by improving student loan servicing.

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Found Guilty of Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, and Money Laundering Bear Man Sentenced to Three Years in Federal Prison

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today that a resident of Bear, Delaware was sentenced on Tuesday to 36 months in prison for committing wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering against several banks, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”), and Sutter Health, a California healthcare company. Proven losses from the defendant’s schemes totaled approximately $225,000.  United States District Judge Leonard P. Stark pronounced sentence.

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Biden extends pause on student loan repayment through May 1

Washington (CNN)President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he is extending the pause on student loan payments until May 1. The payments, which were set to restart on February 1, have been paused since the beginning of the pandemic. Biden pointed to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in the country as the reason for the extension.

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FTC Finalizes Order with Mortgage Analytics Firm, Requiring it to Strengthen Security Safeguards, Increase Oversight of Vendors

The Federal Trade Commission has given final approval to a settlement with a mortgage industry data analytics firm that will require the company to bolster its data security protections and oversight of its vendors to ensure third-party providers are also complying with those safeguards.

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Countdown to California License Application Deadline: ACA Has Resources to Help

Dec. 31, 2021, the deadline to apply for a license now required by the California Debt Collection Licensing Act (DCLA), is fast approaching—but if you’re not one of the approximately 600 applicants on the books so far, there is still time to complete the process.

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CFPB Releases Exam Procedures for IT Compliance Reviews

The new year is a good time to review policies and procedures and best practices for compliance management. While preparing for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s release of Reg F, agencies—understandably—may have missed a recent guide from the bureau about information technology compliance.

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CFPB orders five providers of buy-now-pay-later products to provide information

At the end of last week, the CFPB sent orders to five companies that offer buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) products directing them to provide information to the Bureau.  The orders were issued as market monitoring orders under the Dodd-Frank Act, which directs the Bureau to monitor for risks to consumers in the offering or provision of consumer financial products or services and authorizes the Bureau to require covered persons and service providers to provide information needed to perform such monitoring.

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Attorney General Bonta Applauds Department of Education Extension of Student Loan Payment Moratorium

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement that it would extend the student loan payment moratorium to May 1, 2022:

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New FDCPA Rules Are Now in Effect: Is Your Company Compliant?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently implemented a new set of rules applicable to collections agencies and others qualifying as “debt collectors” under the FDCPA. These rules, which appear within the amended “Regulation F” of the Federal Register, modernized the ways in which collectors can interact with debtors, as well as revamped rules for debt validation notices. The regulations became effective on November 30, 2021. These are just three of the more notable changes:

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CFPB is standing up for civil rights protections

This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau partnered with the Department of Justice, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Trade Commission to oppose a dangerous threat to our nation’s civil rights laws. The CFPB filed a friend-of-the-court (“amicus”) brief in Fralish v. Bank of America, a case in which an individual consumer sued his bank for closing his credit card account without providing an explanation mandated by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). Bank of America’s response to the lawsuit argues that it can disregard ECOA when it comes to the bank’s existing customers – an argument that has been made by other banks and that would undermine the anti-discrimination protections enjoyed by millions of Americans if accepted by the court.

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