This year is sure to be a transformative one for the consumer financial services world. As we navigate an unprecedented volume of industry regulation and forthcoming changes from a new administration, Troutman Sanders is uniquely positioned to help its clients find successful resolutions and stay ahead of the compliance curve.

We are honored to have been named a Law360 Practice Group of the Year in the Consumer Protection category and proud of partner John Lynch’s recognition as a Law360 MVP for Consumer Protection. We view these acknowledgements as a testament to our commitment to excellence in advising clients with respect to high-stakes litigation, regulatory matters and compliance issues.

The Consumer Financial Services practice added over 15 attorneys in 2016, including lateral partner Cindy Hanson.

By remaining up-to-date on the latest industry trends and regulatory developments, Troutman Sanders is a trusted resource, relied on by our clients to help tackle issues today while preparing for what lies ahead.

In this report we share developments on:

Background Screening: One of the biggest events in consumer financial services litigation in 2016 was the Supreme Court’s long-awaited decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13-1339 (May 16, 2016). Spokeo, a Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) case, tested the requirements for Article III standing to bring a case in federal court. Read More (p. 4)

Credit Reporting: The number of lawsuits filed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act grew at an aggressive rate in 2016. Compared to 2015, FCRA lawsuits were up approximately 8.4%, with almost 3,700 lawsuits filed throughout the course of the year. While filings under other consumer protection statutes, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) remained relatively steady or fell, the FCRA continued to gain steam. Read More (p. 6)

Debt Collection: In 2016, the CFPB reported that it has handled approximately 285,800 debt collection complaints since July 21, 2011, making debt collection the most-complained-about industry. Within the debt collection context, consumers’ most common complaint concerned attempts to collect on a debt that the consumer says is not owed, which was the focus of approximately 39% of all the debt collection complaints. Read More (p. 9)

Payment Processing and Cards: We tracked rules, lawsuits and enforcement actions against payment processors and companies in the payments industry. The CFPB, FTC, and state attorneys general brought nearly all of the enforcement actions, but private litigants also filed lawsuits against companies in the payments industry. Read More (p. 12)

The Evolving Regulatory Landscape: A number of high profile decisions and settlements changed the landscape for regulators, including the CFPB, FTC, and state attorneys general. In October, the D.C. Circuit issued its highly-anticipated decision in PHH Corporation v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Judge Kavanaugh, writing for the panel, found that the Bureau has too much unilateral, unchecked power and held unconstitutional the provision that the CFPB’s Director can only be removed by the President “for cause.” Read More (p. 14)