At a glanceFriday, March 18, 2022

Collection Industry News At A Glance - March 18, 2022
Friday March 18, 2022
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Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion Support U.S. Consumers With Changes to Medical Collection Debt Reporting

The three nationwide credit reporting agencies (NCRAs) – Equifax (NYSE: EFX), Experian (LON: EXPN), and TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) – today announced significant changes to medical collection debt reporting to support consumers faced with unexpected medical bills. These joint measures will remove nearly 70% of medical collection debt tradelines from consumer credit reports, a step taken after months of industry research.

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Regulation by Definition: CFPB Broadens Definition of “Unfairness” to Rein in Discrimination

In a significant move, the CFPB announced on March 16 a revision to its supervisory operations to address discrimination outside of the traditional fair lending context, with future plans to scrutinize discriminatory conduct that violates the federal prohibition against “unfair” practices in such areas as advertising, pricing, and other areas to ensure that companies are appropriately testing for and eliminating illegal discrimination.  Specifically, the CFPB updated its Exam Manual for Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAPs) noting that discrimination may meet the criteria for “unfairness” by causing substantial harm to consumers that they cannot reasonably avoid.

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CFPB: Over 4 million U.S. seniors affected by medical debt

4.5 million U.S. adults at or over the age of 65 had medical debt, many with significant hardships in 2018. This is according to data from the FINRA Foundation National Financial Capability Study (NFCS), compiled and released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Office of Older Americans.

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Average U.S. mortgage rates rise; 30-year loan breaches 4%

The increase came amid expectations that with inflation at a four-decade high, the Federal Reserve would raise its benchmark short-term interest rate at its policy meeting this week to cool the economy. That action came Wednesday, as the Fed increased the key rate - which it had kept near zero since the pandemic recession struck two years ago - by a quarter point. And the central bank signaled potentially up to seven additional rate hikes this year.

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OCC Assesses $60 Million Civil Money Penalty, Issues Cease and Desist Order Against USAA

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today assessed a $60 million civil money penalty against USAA, Federal Savings Bank, for violations of the OCC’s Bank Secrecy Act regulations. The OCC also issued a Cease and Desist Order against the bank based on its failure to establish and maintain an effective Bank Secrecy Act/Anti Money Laundering (BSA/AML) program

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FinCEN Announces $140 Million Civil Money Penalty against USAA Federal Savings Bank for Violations of the Bank Secrecy Act

WASHINGTON—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced that it has assessed a $140 million civil money penalty against USAA Federal Savings Bank (USAA FSB) for willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations.

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AG Ferguson files lawsuits against two companies for sending more than 200,000 deceptive letters to Washington small business owners

SEATTLE Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed consumer protection lawsuits against two companies and their owners for sending more than 210,000 deceptive letters to small business owners in Washington. The letters deceptively appear to originate from the government, and demand payment for a “Certificate of Status” or a workplace poster that are available from the government free of charge or for a fraction of the monetary demand. More than 15,000 Washington businesses paid these two defendants more than $1.2 million in response to their deceptive letters.

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FTC Imposes Restrictions on Electronic Payment Systems for Opening Merchant Accounts for Fictitious Companies, Assisting a Business Opportunity Scam

The Federal Trade Commission has filed an administrative complaint against Electronic Payment Systems and its owners, John Dorsey and Thomas McCann, for allegedly opening credit card processing merchant accounts for fictitious companies on behalf of Money Now Funding, a business opportunity scam that the FTC previously sued. By ignoring warning signs that the merchants were fake, Electronic Payment Systems assisted Money Now Funding in laundering millions of dollars of consumers’ credit card payments to the scammers from 2012 to 2013.

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Major U.S. banks raise base lending rate after Fed’s interest rate move

March 16 (Reuters) - Big U.S. banks said on Wednesday they were raising their base lending rates by a quarter of a percentage point each, hours after the U.S. Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate in a bid to contain stubbornly high inflation.

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FCC Announces New Prices for Reassigned Numbers Database

The Federal Communications Commission announced changes to subscriber options and pricing for the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND). The changes, which will go into effect April 27, 2022, add more subscription tiers, agent discounts and pricing options.

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What to know about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

Student loan debt can be overwhelming, especially for borrowers who aren’t in a high-paying field. If you’re a teacher with student loans, you may have loan forgiveness options. Here’s what you need to know about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

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Nearly 1 in 10 Americans carry medical debt

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) performed the analysis, which was based on data from the 2020 Survey of Income and Program Participation, a nationally representative survey that asks every adult in a household whether they owed money for medical bills in 2019 and how much they owe. It looked at people with medical debt of more than $250.

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Legal aid firm goes after California ‘junk’ debt buyer for illegal debt collection practices

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) — Bay Area Legal Aid is taking debt collector Achievable Solutions, Inc. to court over allegations of abuse and illegal debt collection practices that “exploit and manipulate the normal operation of California’s overburdened courts” for a quick payday.

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Nevada Transiting Collection Agency Related Licenses to NMLS

On February 3, the Nevada Financial Institutions Division (NFID) issued a bulletin, stating that any licensed collection agency or manager must transition their license to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) by June 30. Licensees that do not submit a request to transition by June 30 will see their licenses expire without an option for reinstatement.

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The Fed is raising interest rates. What does that mean for borrowers and savers?

As the economy recovers from the global pandemic, American families and businesses are experiencing higher prices. The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee announced that it would seek to adjust interest rates higher to address inflation. The Committee also indicated that it will likely continue to raise interest rates in the future, based on market conditions. These interest rate adjustments by the Fed tend to flow through the economy in ways that may impact borrowers and savers.

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CFPB Targets Unfair Discrimination in Consumer Finance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced changes to its supervisory operations to better protect families and communities from illegal discrimination, including in situations where fair lending laws may not apply. In the course of examining banks’ and other companies’ compliance with consumer protection rules, the CFPB will scrutinize discriminatory conduct that violates the federal prohibition against unfair practices. The CFPB will closely examine financial institutions’ decision-making in advertising, pricing, and other areas to ensure that companies are appropriately testing for and eliminating illegal discrimination.

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Total Consumer Debt Grows With Student, Auto Loans Doubling

New research from credit and loan services company Credit Summit shows that a staggering amount of consumer debt has piled up over the past few years as households took on a variety of loans. The company said student loans and auto loans have more than doubled since 2010, driving up total debt loads.

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CFPB’s New Procedural Rules May Be a Game-Changer 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in late February issued procedural rules that may represent a change in the agency’s strategy to pursue enforcement actions and could also allow it to have more time to tackle its ambitious and crowded agenda.  The CFPB filed the new rules amending the Rules of Practice for Adjudication Proceedings in the Federal Register on Feb. 22. While these rules are effective immediately, the bureau is accepting comments until April 4.  

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NEW YORK, March 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian released today data through February 2022 for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices. The indices represent a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults and show that the composite rate rose three basis points to 0.46%. The bank card default rate increased 13 basis points to 2.15%. The auto loan default rate was one basis point lower at 0.52% while the first mortgage default rate was three basis points higher at 0.34%

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CFPB Issues Updated Debt Collection Examination Procedures

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has updated its debt collection examination procedures to reflect requirements for regulated entities under Regulation F. These procedures include guidance for examination of all aspects of debt collection, according to the CFPB’s summary.

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A student-loan company that just took over 5 million borrowers’ accounts has ‘a growing list of scandals and abuses,’ report says

The Student Borrower Protection Center and the Communications Workers of America released a report on Monday that found student-loan company Maximus, which services federal loans under the name Aidvantage, had been accused of "a growing list of scandals and abuses." Maximus recently took over 5.6 million federal borrowers' accounts from Navient, which was also accused of misleading behavior. SBPC said Maximus now processed almost 13 million accounts owing $449 billion of debt.

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D.C. City Council Advances Debt Collection Legislation ‘Stronger’ Than FDCPA

Washington, D.C.’s City Council is seeking to strengthen its debt collection law with call caps and limits on electronic communications, among other changes. The city council held a markup on bill 24-357, the “Protecting Consumers from Unjust Debt Collection Practices Temporary Amendment Act of 2022,” March 15.

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CFPB’s New Procedural Rules May Be a Game-Changer 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in late February issued procedural rules that may represent a change in the agency’s strategy to pursue enforcement actions and could also allow it to have more time to tackle its ambitious and crowded agenda.  

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Data Spotlight: Medical debt among older adults before the pandemic

In 2018, 8.5 percent of older Americans had medical debt, measured as having a past due medical bill. That’s a total of 4.5 million adults ages 65 and older, according to U.S. Census estimates.1 The incidence of medical debt is lower among adults ages 65 and older compared to younger age groups. This finding is likely the result of older Americans having the highest health insurance coverage rates of all age groups due to their eligibility for coverage through Medicare.2

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Designing for the people we serve

At the CFPB, we believe all of our work should be rooted in research and experience from the very people we aim to serve. For many, our website’s homepage is the front door to the CFPB. For that reason, we are excited to unveil our homepage redesign, which benefited from extensive user research and testing.

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72% of Consumers Manage Their Lending Accounts Online

Most consumers have loan accounts with outstanding balances, and most of them manage those accounts online. According to “Account Opening And Loan Servicing In The Digital Environment,” a PYMNTS collaboration with Finicity, a Mastercard company, 61% of consumers have loan accounts with outstanding balances. These include several types of loan accounts. The most common type is held by homebuyers and landowners: 33% of consumers have a mortgage account open with an outstanding balance.

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LendingTree survey: Credit card debt is up by 30% over the past two years

LendingTree released the results of its survey on Thursday, revealing that 30% of Americans saw an increase in credit card debt over the last two years, driven primarily by inflation and loss of income. In the study, conducted with data from 1,249 consumers, 48% of consumers indicated that inflation led to the increase in credit card debt, while 34% said income loss was the largest driving factor. The study also found that 30% of consumers were able to increase their credit score during the same two-year period.

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Improve Your Cybersecurity in 90 Days: Guide for Security Pros

Being the C-suite officer in charge of security requires handling significant pressure.  Cybercriminals are thriving; in 2021, the average cost of a data breach rose 10% and there were 17% more data breaches than in 2020.

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Safely sending money to loved ones in conflict areas

Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, many people in the United States are trying to help family and friends in Ukraine and those who have fled the country, including finding ways to send them money directly. We have a number of resources aimed at helping you safely send money overseas, as well as to help loved ones make informed financial decisions and to protect against fraud.

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Arizona deal marks 5th credit union purchase of bank in 2022

Phoenix-based Arizona Federal Credit Union said it would acquire Lake Havasu City, Arizona-based Horizon Community Bank for $91.4 million, according to a Thursday press release.

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Using the Homeowner Assistance Fund program to help borrowers prevent foreclosure

As of March 1, 2022, over 768,000 mortgage borrowers remain in active forbearance. Many of these consumers are seriously delinquent and at risk of foreclosure unless they receive loss mitigation assistance from their servicers. The CFPB remains focused on preventing avoidable foreclosures to the maximum extent possible and expects mortgage servicers to do the same.

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AG Brnovich Reaches $400,000 Consent Judgment with Home Security Company

PHOENIX - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced he has agreed to enter into a consent judgment, pending court approval, with Vivint, Inc. (Vivint), a Utah-based home security company.  This consent judgment resolves claims that Vivint made false representations to induce consumers to sign a contract with Vivint.

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BayPort settles military credit claims after federal investigation

A soldier whose monthly car loan bill went up when she told BayPort Credit Union that her active duty status was supposed to cap fees and interest at 6% sparked a federal investigation alleging the Newport News-based institution charged service members excessive interest rates and improperly repossessed their cars.

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SEC Proposes Rules on Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incident Disclosure by Public Companies

Washington D.C., March 9, 2022 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today proposed amendments to its rules to enhance and standardize disclosures regarding cybersecurity risk management, strategy, governance, and incident reporting by public companies.

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Did a Prolific TCPA Plaintiffs’ Attorney Just Argue That the Statute Does Not Regulate Text Messaging? The Hearing Transcript Says Yes

For years, the plaintiffs’ bar has been filing Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class actions alleging the receipt of unsolicited, autodialed text messages. But the TCPA’s autodialer prohibition explicitly refers to “calls,” not text messages, whereas other provisions of the statute, namely the Truth in Caller ID Act, expressly extend to both “text messaging service[s].” In fact, that section of the TCPA even includes a definition for “text message.”

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New York Amends Contact Requirements for Certain Delinquent Borrowers

A&B ABstract: On February 24, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Assembly Bill 8771 (2022 N.Y. Laws 48), amending single point of contact requirements for certain delinquent borrowers.  What changes does the measure require for servicer protocols?

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IRVINE, Calif., March 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- ATTOM, licensor of the nation's most comprehensive foreclosure data and parent company to RealtyTrac (, the largest online marketplace for foreclosure and distressed properties, today released its February 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows there were a total of 25,833 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — up 11 percent from a month ago and 129 percent from a year ago.

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Preparing for the Tidal Wave and Bracing for the Tsunami: Utah Becomes the Fourth State to Pass Privacy Legislation

At last count, at least 39 states have introduced (or passed) comprehensive privacy legislation. After what was previously a watch-and-wait game of legislative whack-a-mole, we are now seeing this legislation get passed and implemented more regularly and with greater speed.

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During Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Bonta Reminds Public Servants to Take Advantage of Recent Changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a consumer alert highlighting important information regarding recent changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) programs. On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that it would implement critical improvements to the PSLF program that should provide more eligible public servants with the student loan forgiveness that they deserve.

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Justice Department Resolves Lawsuit Against BayPort Credit Union for Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

The Justice Department today announced that it has obtained a settlement agreement requiring BayPort Credit Union (BayPort) to pay nearly $110,000 to resolve allegations it violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by charging excessive interest on servicemembers’ loans and repossessing servicemembers’ cars without court orders.

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Portfolios For Sale

$2,750,001.10 Consumer Loans
BAL Financial LLC

(617) 595-5794

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$560,000,000 Credit Cards
Capital Debt Solutions, LLC

(866) 305-5102

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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! Our team can always be reached at

May 25 - 27 , 2022