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Banker's Toolbox Announces — ACQUISITION OF LOAN LOSS RESERVE POWERHOUSE, MAINSTREET TECHNOLOGIES
Banker's Toolbox, Inc., leaders in compliance solutions for financial institutions, announced the acquisition of Georgia-based MainStreet Technologies (MST). MST is an industry leader in the loan risk management space. This acquisition adds to a strong and growing portfolio of compliance-related solutions and will continue to enhance the value Banker's Toolbox brings to both their customers and the industry. (Read full press release here.)

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07/17/2019

Fed releases G.17 industrial production data

The Federal Reserve has posted June 2019 G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization data. Industrial production was unchanged in June, as increases for both manufacturing and mining offset a decline for utilities.

07/17/2019

Fed discount rate meeting minutes

The minutes of the June 19, 2019 Federal Reserve Board discount rate meeting have been released. In a joint meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and the Board, the FOMC decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2.25 to 2.50 percent.

07/17/2019

NMLS updates user agreement

The NMLS Industry Terms of Use have been updated. Effective August 10, when NMLS users log into the system, they will be required to accept the new terms of use.

07/15/2019

Regulators propose rule on land development loans

The Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC have issued a joint press release requesting public comment on a proposal to clarify the treatment of land development loans under the agencies' capital rules. This proposal expands on the agencies' September 2018 proposal to revise the definition of high volatility commercial real estate (HVCRE) as required by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. The land development proposal would clarify that loans that solely finance the development of land for residential properties would meet the revised definition of HVCRE, unless the loan qualifies for another exemption. Comments will be accepted for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

07/15/2019

NCUA Board to meet Thursday

The NCUA has published [84 FR 33787] a notice of the 10:00 a.m. July 18, 2019, open meeting of its Board. Among other matters for discussion, the Board will consider NCUA rules on fidelity bonds, guidance regarding prohibitions imposed by statute, and NCUA rules on real estate appraisals.

07/12/2019

Bureau debunks military personal finances myths

The Bureau has posted a Bureau Blog article examining five myths in the military community about personal finance:

  • Credit card companies are required to waive annual fees for servicemembers
  • The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) only helps by lowering interest rates
  • The Military Lending Act (MLA) doesn’t protect a spouse or dependent children
  • You need to pay someone to help you with your financial issues
  • Financial issues are too complicated for the average person

07/12/2019

Student loan debt relief scheme stopped by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has stopped a student loan debt relief scheme, alleging it bilked more than $23 million from thousands of consumers with false claims that it would service and pay down their student loans. After the FTC filed a complaint seeking to end the deceptive practices, a federal court order halted the scheme and froze its assets. The complaint stated that, since at least 2014, the operators of Mission Hills Federal and Federal Direct Group have lured consumers into paying hundreds to thousands of dollars in illegal upfront fees with false promises to lower consumers’ monthly student loan payments. The defendants also allegedly tricked consumers into submitting their monthly student loan payments directly to the defendants by falsely claiming to take over servicing the consumers’ loans. In reality, the defendants either only applied minimal payments on consumers’ loans or, in many instances, applied none of the payments to the loans, diverting consumers’ payments to themselves.

07/12/2019

National Fair Housing Training Academy launched

HUD has announced it is partnering with the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc., to develop the National Fair Housing Training Academy (NFHTA). The Academy will prepare fair housing advocates, lawyers, investigators, and other stakeholders on effective strategies and techniques for addressing discriminatory housing policies and practices throughout the nation.

John Marshall Law School will receive $1.5 million over the next two years under HUD’s Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building grant program and will provide training related to civil rights history, current trends in housing discrimination, and investigating housing discrimination complaints. Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc., which partners with governmental agencies to promote social, economic, and environmental resilience, will receive nearly $1.5 million over the next two years to assist HUD in revolutionizing the way the Academy offers fair housing training throughout the nation, including launching an online platform to deliver trainings more effectively while resulting in significant cost savings to taxpayers.

07/10/2019

CFPB settles suit against Freedom Debt Relief

The CFPB has announced it has settled its 2017 lawsuit against Freedom Debit Relief, LLC, the nation’s largest debt-settlement services provider. The company agreed to pay $20 million in restitution to affected consumers and a $5 million civil money penalty. The Bureau’s lawsuit alleged that Freedom Debt Relief violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule by charging advance fees and failing to inform consumers of their rights to funds they deposited with the company. The Bureau also alleged that Freedom Debt Relief violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by charging consumers without settling their debts as promised, charging consumers after having them negotiate their own settlements with creditors, and misleading consumers about the company’s fees and its ability to negotiate directly with all of a consumer’s creditors.

The company has also agreed to a consent order with the FDIC. The Bureau will remit $493,500 of the $5 million civil penalty it assessed in light of the penalty that the company was ordered to pay the FDIC. This settlement is subject to approval by the court.

07/09/2019

Consumer credit increases

The Federal Reserve Board has released May 2019 G.19 Consumer Credit data. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 percent. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 8-1/4 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 4 percent.

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