Consumer Finance Monitor

CFPB, Federal Agencies, State Agencies, and Attorneys General

05/24/2018 05:00 PM
CFPB obtains default judgment in lawsuit against debt relief companies
The CFPB has obtained a default judgment in the lawsuit it filed in October 2017 in Maryland federal district court against two commonly-owned debt relief companies, their affiliated payment processor, and three individual principals for alleged violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Consumer Financial Protection Act.  (The debt relief company defendants were Federal... Continue Reading…

05/24/2018 02:33 PM
OCC small dollar lending bulletin gets mixed reviews from consumer advocates
The bulletin issued yesterday by the OCC encouraging the banks it supervises “to offer responsible short-term, small-dollar installment loans” quickly met with mixed reviews from consumer advocates. The Pew Charitable Trusts issued a press release in which it praised the OCC’s action for “remov[ing] much of the regulatory uncertainty that has prevented [banks] from entering... Continue Reading…

05/24/2018 02:18 PM
President Trump signs banking bill providing Dodd-Frank relief; Ballard Spahr to hold June 19 webinar
This afternoon, President Trump signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the Act) into law.  The Act was passed by the House on Tuesday by a vote of 258 to 159 and by the Senate on March 14 by a vote of 67 to 31. Although the Act does not make the... Continue Reading…

05/24/2018 07:37 AM
OCC small-dollar lending bulletin: one step forward but one step back?
The OCC has issued a bulletin (2018-14) setting forth core lending principles and policies and practices for short-term, small-dollar installment lending by national banks, federal savings banks, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. In issuing the bulletin, the OCC stated that it “encourages banks to offer responsible short-term, small-dollar installment loans, typically two... Continue Reading…

05/23/2018 04:21 PM
New Jersey Attorney General seeks active role in ED investigations
The New Jersey Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal, has sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Betsy Devos in which the NJ AG invites the ED to work with his office “to ensure that any investigations of fraudulent activities by educational institutions are completed properly, rather than ended prematurely or allowed to grow dormant.” The... Continue Reading…

05/22/2018 07:04 AM
President Trump signs joint resolution disapproving CFPB Bulletin concerning discretionary pricing by auto dealers
Yesterday afternoon, President Trump signed into law S.J. Res. 57, the joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that disapproves the CFPB’s Bulletin 2013-2 regarding “Indirect Auto Lending and Compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.”  The Government Accountability Office had determined that the Bulletin, which set forth the CFPB’s disparate impact theory of... Continue Reading…

05/21/2018 02:26 PM
Maryland enacts law establishing Student Loan Ombudsman and significantly amends other consumer financial services statutes
On May 15, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law a bill that, among other things, establishes the role of Student Loan Ombudsman within the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation and sets forth various duties related to that position. Maryland SB 1068, titled the Financial Consumer Protection Act of 2018, represents a scaled... Continue Reading…

05/21/2018 01:27 PM
Democratic Senators urge CFPB to continue public disclosure of complaint data
A group of 35 Democratic Senators have sent a letter to Mick Mulvaney and Leandra English urging the CFPB to continue to publicly disclose consumer complaint information. In remarks last month at an American Bankers Association conference, CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney is reported to have strongly criticized the CFPB’s policy of publicly disclosing consumer... Continue Reading…

05/21/2018 01:05 PM
A reply to Professor Sovern
As readers of this blog already know, Professor Jeff Sovern and I come at most issues from different sides of the street.  Over the years, through our respective blogs and at various programs, we have engaged in spirited but respectful debate about many consumer finance issues.  For that reason, I was particularly disappointed to read... Continue Reading…

05/17/2018 03:19 PM
Federal regulators’ Spring 2018 rulemaking agendas: items of interest to consumer financial services providers
In addition to the CFPB’s Spring 2018 rulemaking agenda that we have already blogged about, the Spring 2018 rulemaking agendas of several other federal agencies contain some items of interest to consumer financial services providers. Items of particular interest are: OCC.  The OCC plans to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking “for modernizing the... Continue Reading…