At a glanceFriday, February 11, 2022

Collection Industry News At A Glance - February 11, 2022
Friday February 11, 2022
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New VA rule relieves financial distress for thousands of veterans with medical bills

Getting sick or injured can often result in a heavy financial burden for many families, leaving them with mounting medical bills. Aggressive debt collection and coercive credit reporting can make matters worse by pressuring families to pay medical bills. On top of the initial medical crisis, this financial distress can make it even harder for a family to recover.

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If you’re a homeowner struggling to make housing-related payments due to the pandemic, help is available or coming soon

If you are a homeowner and COVID-19 has made it difficult for you to pay your mortgage, utilities, property taxes, or other home expenses, financial assistance may already be available for you. The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) was established by the American Rescue Plan Act to help homeowners financially impacted by COVID-19 with housing-related costs. This federal assistance program provides money to states, Tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia to assist homeowners with housing-related costs.

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Mortgage Delinquencies Decrease in the Fourth Quarter of 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 10, 2022) - The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.65 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) National Delinquency Survey.

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California Adopts New Debt Collection Regulations

New regulations from the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (Department) affecting licensure of debt collectors became effective as of January 1, 2022.  The regulations provide the process and requirements to apply for a license as a debt collector, including application through the NMLS, and specify the acts that constitute grounds for license denial.

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Banks Moving Off the Sidelines to Snag Piece of Growing Buy Now, Pay Later Market

Banks are getting ready to embrace buy now, pay later (BNPL) — likely in a major way. The urgency is there, as more than 40% of consumers would prefer to use BNPL options from their banks instead of other companies. Yet, banks have been relatively late to the game.

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Hospital Payment Guidelines Under Review by Maryland Stakeholder Working Group

Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission’s (HSCRC) Workgroup on Hospital Payment Plan Guidelines review of draft guidelines on payment plans is underway as part of requirements in the state’s new medical debt law, HB 565, that took effect Jan. 1.

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DC OAG Reaches $4 Million Settlement with FinTech Over Claims of Predatory Lending

On February 8, the District of Columbia attorney general announced a settlement with a FinTech company for alleged violations of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA) by marketing high-costs loans carrying interest rates exceeding D.C.’s interest rate caps. The complaint, filed in June 2020, alleged that the company offered two loan products to D.C. residents with APRs ranging from 99 to 251 percent, exceeding D.C.’s rate cap limit of  24 percent.

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Allowing FCUs to serve underserved areas would advance financial inclusion

Congress can promote financial inclusion and help small businesses by ensuring federal law permits all federal credit unions to serve underserved areas, CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection. The subcommittee conducted a hearing on the role Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions.

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2022 Officers & Directors Elected to Lead Receivables Management Association International

February 10, 2022 (Sacramento, CA) – Members of Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) elected Officers and Directors to its Board for 2022. Of the ten-member Board, nine are continuing service from the previous year. The 2022 Officers and Directors are:

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Comparing overdraft fees and policies across banks

The CFPB recently published research on banks’ continued reliance on overdraft fees and the lack of competition on overdraft terms, highlighting our ongoing and growing concern about the impact of bank overdraft fees on families. Recent weeks have seen an uptick in changes banks are making to their overdraft programs.

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RMAI Honors an Outstanding Member and a Former Board President

February 9, 2022 (Sacramento, CA) – The Receivables Management Association International celebrated its 25th Annual Conference in Las Vegas, February 7-10, 2022. With a strong attendance of more than 1,200 representatives from the industry, leaders from RMAI took the opportunity to honor an outstanding member and a former board president.

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No Surprises Act: How we are protecting people from the side effects of surprise medical bills

Millions of people, including people you serve, need medical care each year. Because of internal billing processes, some patients have received surprise medical bills for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Patients generally do not see detailed costs up front, before they receive care. Afterward, they might make the decision to stay away from the health care system, just to prevent unwelcome surprises.

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Credit Unions, FinTechs Warm-Up to Collaboration Instead of Competition

The old financial services landscape used to be divided between the traditional financial institutions (FIs) and the FinTechs, locked in a battle for customer loyalty and wallet share. The FinTechs? They went all out to poach FIs’ members. The FIs? They were determined to use scale and decades of experience to hang onto those members. Now, amid the great shift that has forced credit unions (CUs) to address their digital shortcomings, partnerships have taken shape to offer the experiences that consumers demand. Along the way, FinTechs benefit from the CUs’ scale.

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Americans lever up on credit card, mortgage debt ahead of higher interest rates

Americans piled on more mortgage and credit card debt in the last quarter of 2021, according to new survey data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Total household debt increased by $333 billion to $15.58 trillion in the final three months of last year. Over the entirety of 2021, household debt grew by $1 trillion — the largest increase seen since 2007.

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Household debt jumped by $1 trillion in 2021, the most since 2007

(CNN)A big year for car and home shopping helped push Americans to take on a lot more debt last year. Household debt increased by $1 trillion in 2021, the biggest annual increase since 2007, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In the fourth quarter alone, household debt grew by $333 billion to $15.58 trillion, the largest quarterly rate of increase since 2007 as well.

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Millions could get a leg up financially if credit scores included alternative data

An estimated 50 million Americans could have more financial opportunities if their credit histories and scores incorporated alternative data, such as rental payments, utilities, and trended data, according to a new study.

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Pennsylvania Letter-Vendor Case Will Continue Despite Request for Stay

A Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case similar to Hunstein v. Preferred Management Collection & Management Services will continue in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania after a judge denied the defendant’s request to stay the filing pending the outcome of the Hunstein case, which is scheduled for oral argument Feb. 22.

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CFPB Encourages Consumers To “Hold Accountable” Consumer Reporting Companies By Filing Disputes and FCRA Lawsuits

On January 27, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its updated annual list of consumer reporting companies for the purpose of encouraging consumers to seek access to their files, and sue if they believe there is a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violation. 

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Carr Announces Settlement with Rent-A-Center

ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today announced that his office has entered into a settlement with Rent-A-Center. The settlement resolves allegations that the company engaged in deceptive sales and marketing tactics and violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in the course of its rent-to-own sales of furniture, electronics and appliances. 

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Ninth Circuit Approves California’s Net Neutrality Law, Shifts Focus to FCC

The Situation: California enacted a net neutrality law in response to the Federal Communications Commission's ("FCC") 2018 decision to reclassify broadband internet access service and repeal the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules.

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Santander to begin laying off mortgage employees

Pink slips will start arriving for Santander Bank’s employees working in the mortgage and home equity businesses following the bank’s announcement to stop originating such loans in the United States.

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Oklahoma bill introduced to limit use of automated dialing systems

A bill was recently introduced in the Oklahoma legislature that would impose new limits on the use of automated dialing systems.  If enacted, the bill would become effective November 1, 2022.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, along with Committee members Sens. Menendez (D-NJ), Smith (D-MN), Warren (D-MA), Van Hollen (D-MD), and Warnock (D-GA), sent a letter to JPMorgan Chase seeking to better understand the company’s credit card collection practices, including reports that JPMorgan has resumed the practice of robo-signing to sue customers.

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New VA rule relieves financial distress for thousands of veterans with medical bills

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) took a major step  towards protecting veterans and their families by announcing a change to when it will report information on outstanding medical bills to consumer reporting companies. Under the VA’s new rule, the agency will only report a medical bill after all other collection efforts have been exhausted, largely eliminating coercive credit reporting as a debt collection technique. Coupled with the other announced changes by the VA, which provide additional protections to the most financially vulnerable veterans, these changes will result in a 99% reduction of unfavorable debt that it reports to consumer reporting companies.

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What’s a “junk payment?” CFPB’s inquiry sparks trade backlash

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Director Rohit Chopra raised hackles by releasing a broad query recently into so-called “junk fees” charged on ordinary monetary items such as loans, home mortgages and charge card.

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Consumer advocates urge FDIC to stamp out high-interest loans

A coalition of 15 consumer groups wrote a letter Friday to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), pressing the agency to crack down on partnerships between fintechs and banks that allow excessive interest rates.

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This student loan forgiveness plan can lead to a ‘huge tax bomb’ and accrue thousands in interest

Student loan forgiveness through income-driven repayment sounds like the best of all worlds: a monthly payment sized to match your paycheck that disappears -- along with any remaining balance -- after a set number of years.

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New Updates to College Scorecard Make Tool More Useful for Students and Families With Data About College Costs, Graduation Rates, and Post-College Earnings

Today, the U.S. Department of Education released updates to the College Scorecard that make the tool more useful for students and families weighing college options.  The tool also includes new and updated information that may be beneficial to school counselors, college access providers, researchers, and other critical stakeholders.

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Appraisal discrimination is illegal under federal law

Home ownership is one of the best paths for building intergenerational wealth. But for some homebuyers and owners, a home’s valuation may be skewed by one’s skin color or the demographics of the surrounding community. A biased home appraisal can worsen racial inequities and distort the housing market. That’s why, for more than 50 years, federal law has forbidden racial, religious, and other discrimination in home appraisals. But we still see reports of appraisers who don’t follow the law and base their value judgments on biased, unfounded assumptions about borrowers and the neighborhoods in which they live.

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Request for Information Regarding Fees Imposed by Providers of Consumer Financial Products or Services

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau or CFPB) is seeking comments from the public related to fees that are not subject to competitive processes that ensure fair pricing. The submissions to this request for information will serve to assist the CFPB and policymakers in exercising its enforcement, supervision, regulatory, and other authorities to create fairer, more transparent, and competitive consumer financial markets.

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Portfolios For Sale

$5,938,417.42 Consumer Loans
BAL Financial LLC

(617) 595-5794

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Industry Events

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