At a glanceFriday, January 28, 2022

Collection Industry News At A Glance - January 28, 2022
Friday January 28, 2022
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Debt Study: The average American has $155,000 in debt

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The average American has around $155,000 in debt according to a new study by Nerdwallet. That’s an increase of more than 6% from last year. This same study found that revolving credit card debt is actually down almost 14% for most families. This means you are likely paying about $100 dollars less in interest payments throughout the year. Sara Rathner a personal finance expert with NerdWallet says any amount of savings is a good thing. She adds the problem is, we are paying more in other areas of our life.

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Arkansas groups erase millions in medical debt

Nearly 24,000 Arkansans in all 75 counties have had their outstanding medical bills paid off thanks to a coalition of nonprofits seeking to raise awareness of the negative impacts of debt. The $35.2 million debt erasure was made possible by donors including the Arkansas Community Foundation, the Hope Credit Union and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

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Majority of borrowers say taking on federal student loan debt is not worth it, CNBC survey finds

Nearly one-third of undergraduates borrow money from the federal government to pay for college. That’s about 43 million Americans who owe a staggering total of nearly $1.6 trillion in outstanding student loans.

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CFPB Issues Request for Information on Convenience Fees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking comments from the public and businesses related to fees that are not subject to competitive processes that ensure fair pricing.

The public comments will serve to assist the CFPB and policymakers in exercising its enforcement, supervision, regulation and other authorities to create fairer, more transparent and competitive consumer financial markets, according to the request for information (RFI.)

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CFPB Addresses “Confusion” Over Earned Wage Access Program

On January 18, acting CFPB General Counsel Seth Frotman sent a letter to three representatives of consumer advocacy groups addressing the CFPB’s November 2020 advisory opinion on earned wage access (EWA) products.  The letter responded to concerns that the advisory opinion was being used as justification by the proponents of a pending New Jersey law that would allow third-party EWA providers to charge fees or permit “tips” for their products without having to abide by the state’s 30% usury cap.

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Virginia Attorney General Reduces Collection Fees For Student Loan Borrowers

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares  introduced a new policy aiming to provide immediate relief to student loan borrowers with overdue fees.

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Auto Marketing Company Banned from Industry Under FTC Order

A marketing services company and its owner will be banned from the auto industry under an Order issued by the Federal Trade Commission after the Commission found that they illegally misled consumers to believe their websites were affiliated with a government stimulus program and sent consumers deceptive mailings about prizes they had supposedly won

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Neustar Supports RMAI’s 2022 Annual Conference with Gold Sponsorship

January 27, 2022 (Sacramento, CA) – Receivables Management Association International is pleased to announce that Neustar, Inc., a TransUnion company, will participate in the 2022 Annual Conference February 7-10, 2022, as a Gold Sponsor. The conference brings together key participants in the receivables management industry, with opportunities to network and make new connections, to learn from timely education sessions, and to find new products and services to help businesses grow.

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NCB Management Services, Inc. Partners with Interactions to Power Consumer-Centric Conversations

TREVOSE, Pa. and FRANKLIN, Mass. -- NCB Management Services, Inc. (NCB), an industry leader in accounts receivable management (ARM) and a well-respected debt buyer, and Interactions, one of the world’s largest standalone artificial intelligence (AI) companies, today announced the live launch of the Interactions Virtual Collection Agent (VCA). The two companies worked closely together for several months to prepare, integrate and test the VCA to provide streamlined, conversational self-service experiences for NCB customers, 24/7.

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US Banks Look for Interest Earning to Rebound in ’22

A new economic forecast says U.S. banks will see more growth from the “bread and butter” business of taking deposits and lending money, Reuters writes. The U.S. economy is likely to keep expanding, and the Federal Reserve has said it’s ready to raise interest rates for the first time in three years – which could usher in the end of the low-interest-rate environment banks have experienced.

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Connecticut Department of Banking Revokes Collection Agency License

The Connecticut Department of Banking has revoked a debt collection agency’s license after it did not provide records of its business operations requested for examination.

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CFPB Identifies Consumer Reporting Companies the Public Can Hold Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its annual list of consumer reporting companies. The list identifies dozens of specialty reporting companies that collect and sell access to people’s data, including individuals’ finances, employment, check writing histories, or rental history records, often without their knowledge. Using the list, people can exercise their right to see what information these firms have, dispute inaccuracies, and file lawsuits if the firms are violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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Don’t let sloppy servicing keep you from benefitting under the PSLF Fix before it expires on October 31, 2022

For years, the CFPB has documented the problems that consumers faced due to shoddy student loan servicing, which knocked teachers, servicemembers, and other public service workers off track and kept them from getting the relief that the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program promised. In fact, it was a decade agothat the CFPB warned that servicer failure was adding unnecessary cost to servicemembers’ loans and keeping them from making progress toward loan forgiveness. And those problems continued: just a few months ago , we reported how servicers illegally misled consumers about their eligibility for PSLF, giving false statements about which loans and employers are eligible for the program.

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Convenience Fees: Not So Convenient for the Collectors

A recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision may have sweeping implications across the consumer debt collection industry in Maryland. In Alexander v. Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC, the Fourth Circuit held that a mortgage loan servicing company violated the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act and the Maryland Consumer Protection Act by charging debtors a convenience fee for making a one-time payment online or by phone, when the agreement creating the debt does not specifically allow the fee to be charged. 

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Remaining Defendants Banned from Providing Student Loan Debt Relief Services in Settlements with FTC

The remaining defendants in a deceptive student loan debt relief scheme are permanently banned from providing all student loan debt relief products and services in settlements with the Federal Trade Commission.

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40% of millennials say credit card debt is their biggest financial setback, survey finds

Credit cards come with many benefits, such as providing a way for consumers to earn rewards on their purchases and build their credit scores. But revolving credit card debt that's carried over from month to month can be an expensive burden due to high interest rates.

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Over 80 lawmakers call on Biden to release memo outlining authority to cancel student debt

Over 80 House and Senate members wrote a letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday urging his administration to publicly release the memo outlining his legal authority to cancel student debt.

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CFPB reports average household pays $1K in credit card interest and fees annually

Credit cards are one of the largest sources of consumer debt, along with mortgages, student loans and auto loans. But unlike other common forms of debt, credit cards typically come with high interest rates and steep annual fees.

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Consumer watchdog signals broad crackdown on hidden fees for banks, credit cards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday signaled a broad crackdown on hidden and excessive fees charged by banks, mortgage lenders and other financial entities.

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What Institutional Student Lenders Need to Know About Changes to the CFPB’s Exam Manual

The Dodd-Frank Act gave the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) direct supervisory authority over any institution that engages in private education lending, regardless of whether the lender is a depository institution or a non-depository institution, or the size of the lender. The CFPB also has direct supervisory authority over “larger participants” in the student loan servicing market, as those institutions are defined in 12 USC § 1090.106.

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Owners Sued After Company Dissolved: New Ruling Highlights Why TCPA Liability Doesn’t Always Die With Company Making Calls

As we’ve covered repeatedly on TCPA.World on the of the most unfair things about this whacky TCPAWorld of ours is that individual employees, officers and directors of companies that violate the TCPA can be sued directly or conduct they took on behalf of their employer.

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Replacing noninterest income

Many credit unions want to adjust their revenue sources and ease the pressure on potentially lost income streams such as overdraft fees, nonsufficient funds fees, interchange income, and mortgages.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches Initiative to Save Americans Billions in Junk Fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched an initiative to save households billions of dollars a year by reducing exploitative junk fees charged by banks and financial companies. Today’s request is a chance for the public to share input that will help shape the agency’s rulemaking and guidance agenda, as well as its enforcement priorities in the coming months and years.

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Marlette Promotes Swift to President of Card Services

WILMINGTON, DE. (Jan. 26, 2022) – Marlette Holdings, Inc, the owner and operator of Best Egg, the AI-powered online financial platform, is pleased to share that it has promoted Jason Swift to the position of President of Credit Card Services.

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Comments Are In: CFPB Proposed Rule for Small Business Lending Data Collection Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act

As we reported last year, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), among other things, required the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to adopt regulations governing the collection of certain small business lending data. Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act amended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), as follows: “in the case of any application to a financial institution for credit for [a] women-owned, minority-owned, or small business, the financial institution shall – (1) inquire whether the business is a women-owned, minority-owned or small business.

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Most Americans can’t afford a $1,000 emergency expense

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- When the unexpected strikes, most Americans aren't prepared to pay for it. A majority, or 64%, of Americans don't have enough cash on hand to handle a $1,000 emergency expense, according to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or NFCC, released on Wednesday.

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Equifax, Experian and TransUnion Extend Free Weekly Credit Reports Through End of 2022

The three nationwide credit reporting agencies – Equifax (NYSE: EFX), Experian (LON:EXPN) and TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) – are taking joint action to extend the pandemic response service offering free weekly credit reports to consumers through the end of 2022. This benefit will continue to help consumers across the country manage their financial health during the ongoing hardship and economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

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Mortgage refinance demand plunges 13% as interest rates climb toward two-year high

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) increased to 3.72% from 3.64%, with points decreasing to 0.43 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment. That rate was 77 basis points lower the same week one year ago.

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Experian Go™ Program Will Allow Millions of Credit Invisibles to Start Building Credit in Minutes

COSTA MESA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To further financial inclusion across the United States, Experian® today launched Experian Go™, a free, first-of-its-kind program to help “credit invisibles,” or people with no credit history, begin building credit on their own terms. Experian Go is the only program available today that helps consumers establish their financial identity by creating an Experian credit report.

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FTC Returns More Than $3.7 Million To Consumers Harmed by Online Lender Avant

The Federal Trade Commission is returning more than $3.7 million to consumers who lost money because of unfair and deceptive loan servicing practices by online lender Avant, LLC.

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Indiana House bill takes aim at discriminatory lending and home appraisals

An Indiana House Democrat has authored a bill aimed at stopping discrimination in residential real estate lending and appraisals. House Bill 1326 by Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, prohibits discrimination in appraisals and lending based on the applicant's race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin or on the residents of the neighborhood in which the property is located. 

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United States: OCC Conditionally Approves FinTech Company Applications To Charter National Bank

On January 18, 2022, the OCC conditionally approved Social Finance, Inc. ("SoFi") applications to charter a full-service national bank. In the OCC letter, SoFi Interim Bank, National Association ("SoFi Bank, N.A.") has received conditional approval and also received approval to acquire Golden Pacific Bank, National Association as part of the transaction. SoFi Bank, N.A. will have $5.3 billion in total assets. The OCC is requiring, among other conditions, initial paid-in capital of $750 million upon consummation of the transaction. The bank will continue to offer local commercial-focused offerings and deposit products that Golden Pacific previously offered.

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Student loan refinance rates edge up, but 10-year fixed rates still a bargain

Rates for well-qualified borrowers using the Credible marketplace to refinance student loans rose for both 10-year fixed-rate loans and 5-year variable-rate loans. For borrowers with credit scores of 720 or higher who used the Credible marketplace to select a lender during the week of Jan. 17, 2022:

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A fintech behind the first ‘crypto mortgage’ sees a multi-billion dollar market in allowing borrowers to pledge their bitcoin to gain access to the real estate market

A financial tech company is rolling out what it calls the world's first crypto mortgage through which borrowers obtain bitcoin-backed loans to buy real estate — combining the relatively new asset with one of the most established avenues of building wealth in America. 

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Report estimates that 2.6 million student loan borrowers would be eligible for bankruptcy discharge, and other current student loan news for the week of Jan. 24

Findings from the Student Borrower Protection Center estimate that more than 2 million borrowers would be eligible to have their loans discharged if they declared bankruptcy. Additionally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has begun examining the practices of institutions that offer private student loans. Here’s what to know about this week’s student loan trends.

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Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP: Securities Fraud Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against FirstCash Holdings, Inc.

RADNOR, Pa., Jan. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The law firm of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP informs investors that a securities class action lawsuit has been filed against FirstCash Holdings, Inc. ("FirstCash") (NASDAQ: FCFS). The action charges FirstCash with violations of the federal securities laws, including omissions and fraudulent misrepresentations relating to the company's business, operations, and prospects.  As a result of FirstCash's materially misleading statements to the public, FirstCash investors have suffered significant losses.

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FTC Marks Identity Theft Awareness Week for 2022 January 31-February 4

The Federal Trade Commission will mark 2022’s Identity Theft Awareness Week January 31-February 4 with a series of free events focused on trending issues in identity theft, including how to reduce your risk of identity theft and recover if it occurs.

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USF Federal Credit Union Earns Community Development Designation

TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- USF Federal Credit Union (USF FCU) is now certified as a community development financial institution (CDFI). The CDFI Fund provides federal dollars to spur economic growth and opportunities in distressed, low-income communities. With its CDFI designation, the $1 billion USF FCU will be able to partner with groups and organizations to improve economic conditions for underserved areas in West Central Florida.

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How mobile apps can play a larger role in mortgage lending

With technologically adept younger consumers now approaching prime earning years, and mobile use surging among mortgage customers in the COVID era, lenders are looking for ways to serve them with speed and simplicity in the digital space.

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U.S. banks close record number of retail branches in 2021, Wells Fargo shutters most

U.S. banks closed a record number of retail branches in 2021 as customers increasingly turn to digital banking and the industry consolidates. On net, U.S. banks shuttered 2,927 branches last year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Banks closed nearly 4,000 branches and opened more than 1,000 branches, the analysis found.

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Mortgage rates hit 22-month high — here’s how you can get a low rate

What’s more is the supply of homes for sale has hit a five-year low, with only one month of supply available according to Redfin. So, if no more homes were to come on the market and people were to continue buying at the same rate, the current supply of homes would completely vanish after one month. Plus, the Federal Reserve is planning on raising its record-low interest rates multiple times this year.

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Some 36% of US millennials say student loan debt is stopping them owning homes

More than one third of millennials in the US say they feel locked out of buying a home because of their student loan debts, according to a new survey conducted by Legal & General, a UK-based financial services firm.

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6 important things to know about Gen Z’s homeownership goals

Gen Zers — those born between 1997 and 2012 — are as a group more positive than the slightly older millennial generation regarding what homeownership means for their future financial well-being. Research and advisory firm Gen Z Planet founder Hana Ben-Shabat looked at 1,000 people in each group and studied the distinct postures regarding culture, work and commerce

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Data Breach! Time to Tell the Regulators.

For many years, the primary concern of victims of cybersecurity events was mitigating the damage fraudsters caused in the attack. More recently, federal agencies are imposing more legal compliance obligations on organizations in the wake of cybersecurity incidents.

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Industry Events

RMAI 2022 Annual Conference

Receivables Management Association International

Aria Resort & Casino
Las Vegas , Nevada
February 07 - 10 , 2022

916 482 2462

AFCC 2022 Spring Conference

American Fair Credit Council

Four Seasons Hotel
New Orleans , LA
March 27 - 29 , 2022

(888) 657-8272

Collection and Recovery Solutions 2022

Resource Management Services, Inc.

Our live Collection and Recovery Solutions event will be held May 25 – 27 at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas. We hope you can join us! More details will be provided soon. Our team can always be reached at

May 25 - 27 , 2022