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09/10/2020

CFPB Summer 2020 Supervisory Highlights

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published [85 FR 55828] in the Federal Register Issue 22 (Summer 2020) of its Supervisory Highlights report. This edition of the report discusses exam findings in the areas of consumer reporting, debt collection, deposits, fair lending, mortgage servicing and payday lending.

09/09/2020

NY AG and CFPB file suit against debt collection network

The New York Attorney General and the CFPB have filed suit against a network of five different companies based outside of Buffalo, New York, two of their owners, and two of their managers, for their participation in a debt-collection operation using illegal methods to collect debts.

The company defendants are: JPL Recovery Solutions, LLC; Regency One Capital LLC; ROC Asset Solutions LLC, which does business as API Recovery Solutions; Check Security Associates LLC, which does business as Warner Location Services and Orchard Payment Processing Systems; and Keystone Recovery Group. The individual defendants are Christopher Di Re and Scott Croce, who have held ownership interests in some or all of the defendant companies; and Brian Koziel and Marc Gracie, who are members of Keystone Recovery Group, and have acted as managers of some or all of the defendant companies.

The complaint alleges that from at least 2015 through the present, the defendants have participated in a debt-collection operation that has used deceptive, harassing, and improper methods to induce consumers to make payments to them in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The New York Attorney General alleges violations of New York law based on the same conduct.

The complaint seeks consumer redress, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil money penalties, and injunctive relief against the defendants.

09/09/2020

CFPB sues debt collectors and buyers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced the filing of a lawsuit against Encore Capital Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Midland Funding, LLC; Midland Credit Management, Inc.; and Asset Acceptance Capital Corp. The companies, which are headquartered in San Diego, California, together comprise the largest debt collector and debt buyer in the United States, with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion and annual net income exceeding $75 million. Encore and its subsidiaries are currently subject to a 2015 consent order with the Bureau based on the Bureau’s previous findings that they violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The Bureau's complaint alleges that since September 2015, Encore and its subsidiaries violated the consent order by suing consumers without possessing required documentation, using law firms and an internal legal department to engage in collection efforts without providing required disclosures, and failing to provide consumers with required loan documentation after consumers requested it. The complaint also alleges that the companies violated the consent order, the CFPA, and the FDCPA by suing consumers to collect debts even though the statutes of limitations had run on those debts and violated the consent order by attempting to collect on debts for which the statutes of limitations had run without providing required disclosures. The CFPB further alleges that the companies violated the CFPA by failing to disclose possible international-transaction fees to consumers, thereby effectively denying consumers an opportunity to make informed choices of their preferred payment methods. The Bureau also alleges that each violation of the consent order constitutes a violation of the CFPA.

09/09/2020

Consumer credit increased in July

The Federal Reserve System has posted its July 2020 G.19 Consumer Credit data. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3-1/2 percent. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 1/2 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 4-3/4 percent.

09/09/2020

Fed CRA evaluation ratings

The Federal Reserve Board made five CRA evaluation ratings public during August. Four of the evaluations were rated "satisfactory." One evaluation received an "outstanding" rating, earned by VCC Bank, Richmond, Virginia.

09/09/2020

FDIC releases CRA evaluation ratings

The FDIC has issued a list of state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act. The list covers evaluation ratings that the FDIC assigned to institutions in June 2020. Of the 76 banks listed, 70 receive a "satisfactory" rating, and three were rated "needs to improve." Our congratulations to three banks who received "outstanding" ratings:

09/08/2020

FTC settlement shutters auto dealer group

The Federal Trade Commission has announced a group of auto dealerships in Arizona and New Mexico must cease business operations as part of a court -approved settlement resolving FTC charges that the dealerships deceived consumers and falsified information on vehicle financing applications. In a case filed in 2018, the FTC alleged that Tate’s Auto Center of Winslow, Inc.; Tate’s Automotive, Inc.; Tate Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. (doing business as Tate’s Auto Center); Tate’s Auto Center of Gallup, Inc.; and Richard Berry, an officer of the dealerships, falsified consumers’ income and down payment information on vehicle financing applications and misrepresented important financial terms in vehicle advertisements. The case continues against Berry and relief defendant Linda Tate.

09/08/2020

NMLS updates Policy Guidebook

The NMLS Policy Guidebook has been updated and posted to the NMLS Resource Center and the Regulator Resource Center.

The changes were made to the Criminal Background Checks Section on pages 61-62 and 96 to:

  • explain that fingerprints in NMLS must be no older than three years, otherwise an individual will need to be reprinted.
  • explain that new fingerprints must be submitted within the 180-day background check window.
  • add an explanation that international applicants will receive fingerprint packages in a traceable manner to their current physical or mailing international address or their employer’s address and that the applicant is responsible for providing a mailing label to facilitate the transmission of the packet.

09/04/2020

Colorado communities suspended from flood insurance program

FEMA has published at 85 FR 55196 in today's Federal Register a notice identifying four Colorado communities—Columbine Valley, Glendale, Greenwood Village, and Lone Tree—that are scheduled for suspension today from the National Flood Insurance Program for failure to comply with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

If FEMA received documentation that an identified community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date, the suspension will not occur

09/03/2020

Comptroller’s Handbook updated

The OCC yesterday issued an updated "Other Real Estate Owned" booklet for the Comptroller’s Handbook, which is prepared for use by OCC examiners in connection with the examination and supervision of national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations. The OCC rescinded Bulletin 2018-26, which addressed the previous version of the booklet.

The updated booklet—

  • reflects recent changes to 12 CFR 34, subpart E, including changes to holding period requirements for federal savings associations.
  • reflects changes to other regulations that occurred since the booklet was last issued.
  • reflects changes to OCC issuances published and rescinded since the booklet was last issued.
  • clarifies applicability of certain requirements to covered savings associations.
  • includes clarifying edits regarding supervisory guidance, sound risk management practices, or legal language.
  • revises certain content for general clarity

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