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Top Story Compliance Related


CFPB announces effective date for FDCPA final rules

The CFPB announced on Friday that two final rules issued under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) will take effect as planned, on November 30, 2021.

The first rule issued in October 2020, focuses on debt collection communications and clarifies the FDCPA’s prohibitions on harassment and abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices by debt collectors when collecting consumer debt.

The second rule issued in December 2020, clarifies disclosures debt collectors must provide to consumers at the beginning of collection communications, and prohibits debt collectors from suing or threatening to sue consumers on time-barred debt. Additionally, the second rule requires debt collectors to take specific steps to disclose the existence of a debt to consumers before reporting information about the debt to a consumer reporting agency.

The Bureau will publish a formal notice in the Federal Register withdrawing its April 2021 proposal that would have postponed the effective date to January 29, 2022. The CFPB's statement said that nothing in its decision not to change the effective date precludes the CFPB from reconsidering the debt collection rules at a later date.


NCUA prohibition orders

The National Credit Union Administration has announced it issued two prohibition orders in July. The orders were issued to:

  • a former manager of William Newton Memorial Hospital Credit Union, Winfield, Kansas
  • a former employee of White Sands Federal Credit Union, Las Cruces, New Mexico


Reminder to update EIN information

The IRS has issued a press release urging entities with Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) to update their applications if there has been a change in the responsible party or contact information. IRS regulations require EIN holders to update responsible party information within 60 days of any change by filing Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party - Business. It is critical that the IRS have accurate information in cases of identity theft or other fraud issues related to EINs or business accounts.

The data around the "responsible parties" for business-type entities is often outdated or incorrect, meaning that the IRS does not have accurate records of whom to contact for identity theft issues. This means a time-consuming process to identify the point of contact so the IRS can inquire about a suspicious filing. As a result, the IRS intends to step up its awareness efforts aimed at businesses, partnerships, trusts and estates, charities and other entities that are EIN holders.

Starting in August, the IRS will begin sending letters to approximately 100,000 EIN holders where it appears the responsible party is outdated. All EIN applications (mail, fax, electronic) must disclose the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (Social Security number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or EIN) of the true principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner or trustor. The IRS defines the responsible party as the individual or entity who "controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets."


OFAC sanctions Cuban police force and leaders

On Friday, OFAC sanctioned two Cuban individuals and one Cuban entity under the authority of Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world. Friday’s sanctions expand upon Treasury’s July 22, 2021 designations by sanctioning additional persons in connection with actions to suppress peaceful, pro-democratic protests in Cuba that began on July 11. The targets of Friday’s designations are OSCAR CALLEJAS VALCARCE, EDDY SIERRA ARIAS, and the POLICIA NACIONAL REVOLUCIONARIA (PNR) of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior.

Identification information on Callejas, Sierra, and the PNR can be found in the July 30, 2021, BankersOnline OFAC Update.


$2.3M in refunds to victims of debt relief schemes

The Federal Trade Commission is sending refund checks totaling nearly $2.3 million to people who lost money to credit card debt relief schemes. A complaint was filed by the FTC in July 2019 alleging that Educare Centre Services, Inc. and Tripletel, Inc. made false and unfounded promises that they would significantly reduce the interest rates on consumers’ credit cards, and also promised a 100 percent money-back guarantee if the promised rate reduction failed to materialize or if consumers were otherwise dissatisfied.

In December 2019, the FTC and Ohio amended the complaint and added Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider Globex Telecom, Inc. as a defendant. The amended complaint alleged that Globex knowingly provided the Educare scheme with the means to make calls to U.S. consumers, including illegal robocalls, to market Educare’s phony credit card interest rate reduction services.

The FTC and Ohio filed a separate complaint in 2019 that alleged that Madera Merchant Services and B&P Enterprises generated and processed remotely created payment orders or checks that allowed dishonest merchants to withdraw money from their victims’ bank accounts. Madera and B&P Enterprises supported many unscrupulous merchants, including Educare’s deceptive telemarketing scheme.

As a result of the settlements reached with these defendants, the FTC is mailing 7,786 refund checks averaging about $293 each.


Paid sick and family leave tax credits

The IRS has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the paid sick and family leave tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). The updates clarify that eligible employers can claim the credits for providing leave to employees to accompany a family or household member or certain other individuals to obtain immunization relating to COVID-19 or to care for a family or household member or certain other individuals recovering from the immunization.

This new reason for paid sick or family leave also applies to the comparable credits for self-employed individuals.


Libor transition capital rule FAQs

The OCC has issued Bulletin 2021-32 announcing frequently asked questions (FAQs). concerning the regulatory capital treatment of capital instruments whose terms reference the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor). The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (SR 21-12) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FIL-54-2021) are issuing similar FAQs.

There are two FAQs on the topic, addressing:

  • Redemption or reissuance of regulatory capital instruments
  • Regulatory capital instruments with changing distribution rates


OFAC sanctions Syrian regime prisons, officials and armed group

On Wednesday, The Treasury Department announced that OFAC had sanctioned eight Syrian prisons run by the Assad regime’s intelligence apparatus that have been sites of human rights abuses against political prisoners and other detainees. OFAC also designated five senior security officials of regime entities that control these detention facilities.

OFAC also sanctioned Syrian armed group Ahrar al-Sharqiya, which operates in northern Syria, and two of the group's leaders, for abuses against civilians.

For identification information on the designated individuals and entities, see our BankersOnline OFAC Update for July 28, 2021.


Bureau advisory on SCRA rights

The CFPB has posted a Consumer Advisory, "Know Your Rights Under the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA)," with an explanation of the protections afforded servicemembers under the Act. The Advisory notes that the SCRA was amended this year to allow qualified individuals the ability to terminate residential and vehicle lease agreements electronically by sending a notice of termination along with a copy of their orders – or a letter from their commanding officer via email or through a communications portal designated by the lender or agent.

The Advisory advises servicemembers to check with a military legal assistance attorney or private legal counsel before signing any waiver of SCRA rights, and suggests options available to servicemembers who believe their SCRA rights have been violated. There are also links to several resources that can help servicemembers better understand the full range of legal protections available under the SCRA.


Weather damage relief for areas of Michigan

FDIC FIL-52-2021, issued Friday, announced steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Michigan affected by severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes June 25–26, 2021. The FDIC is encouraging banks to work constructively with borrowers experiencing difficulties beyond their control because of damage caused by the severe weather. Banks that extend repayment terms, restructure existing loans, or ease terms for new loans in a manner consistent with sound banking practices can contribute to the health of the local community and serve the long-term interests of the lending institution. Banks may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.


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