Like most industries today, Consumer Finance Services businesses are being significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton have developed a dedicated COVID-19 Resource Center to guide clients through this unprecedented global health challenge. We regularly update this site with COVID-19 news and developments, recommendations from leading health organizations, and tools that businesses can use free of charge.
Please join Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton for a complimentary webinar titled, “The Nuts and Bolts of CCPA 2.0,” on June 10, 2020 at 1p.m. ET. During this webinar, partners Ronald Raether, Sharon Klein, Wynter Deagle, and Alex Nisenbaum will provide an overview of the California Privacy Rights Act ballot initiative (dubbed, “CCPA 2.0”) and discuss its top implications. For more information, click here.
To help you keep abreast of relevant activities, below is a breakdown of some of the biggest COVID-19 driven events at the Federal and State levels to impact the Consumer Finance Services industry this past week:
- On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service announced that 159 million Economic Impact Payments, worth more than $267 billion, have been distributed in the last two months under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). For more information, click here.
- On June 3, 2020, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin issued a statement on debt transparency and sustainability during the COVID-19 emergency. The statement addressed G20 and other bilateral creditors who work with low-income beneficiaries, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank to identify and reschedule applicable debt for countries facing critical issues in the restoration of their economies. For more information, click here.
- On June 2, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published Frequently Asked Questions relating to the Remittance Rule, or Regulation E, during the COVID-19. For more information, click here.
- On May 27, 2020, the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued Frequently Asked Questions on Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration for activities in response to COVID-19. It provides additional clarification of the Joint Statement on CRA Consideration for Activities in Response to COVID-19 issued March 19, 2020. The FAQ, among other things, clarifies how agencies will consider activities responsive to community needs and how both retail and community development activities will be considered in examinations. For more information, click here.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve Board has extended the application period for membership on the Community Advisory Council until July 3, 2020. For more information, click here.
- On June 5, 2020, Nevada’s Financial Institutions Division released updated guidance, advising that collection agency licensees can operate their business while following state and federal orders and guidance. For more information, click here.
- On June 5, 2020, a vote by the Washington State Collection Agency Board on an emergency proposal to clarify state regulations on what constitutes a branch office in order to allow employees of collection agencies to work from home was canceled because critics claimed there was insufficient notice. The hearing has not been rescheduled yet. For more information, click here.
- On June 5, 2020, the New Mexico Supreme Court announced in an Order that it is indefinitely suspending the issuance of new writs of garnishment and writs of execution in an effort to protect individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, click here.
- On June 1, 2020, the Chief Judge of the State of New York announced in-person courthouse operations, including that the commencement of new lawsuits and other court filings via New York State Courts Electronic Filing (NYSCEF) or regular mail is restored in every region outside of New York city. For more information, click here.
- The North Carolina debt deferral program that has been in place for the past two months expired on May 27, 2020, and it has not been renewed by the state’s Department of Insurance, thereby ending the program. The Order from Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey was extended on April 26 for an additional 30 days, but the Department has not issued any guidance indicating that the Order would be extended for a third month. For more information, click here.
Privacy and Cybersecurity Activities:
- On June 4, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new data reporting guidance and requirements for laboratories performing COVID-19 test results. Some of the reporting requirements issued by HHS include test result, age, race, ethnicity, and sex. To read the full announcement, click here.
- On June 4, 2020, the National Security Agency Central Security Service updated its cybersecurity guidance containing a snapshot of current, commercially available tools for use. The list also includes security criteria businesses should consider when selecting different collaboration tools. To learn more, click here.
- On June 2, 2020, the California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, submitted the proposed regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Attorney General Becerra stated that “[a]s our lives increasingly move online, our data privacy becomes more important than ever.” To read the full announcement, click here. Also, see Troutman Sanders’s article discussing the announcement by clicking here.
- On June 1, 2020, U.S. Senate lawmakers proposed a bipartisan bill, called the Exposure Notification Privacy Act, aimed at regulating contact-tracing apps. The bill, as drafted, requires companies to obtain affirmative express consent. The bill also requires companies developing contact-tracing applications to do so in collaboration with public-health authorities. To review the full bill, click here.
- On June 1, 2020, the Kansas Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, recommended that the state legislature enact a law to regulate contact tracing. Attorney General Schmidt suggests the legislature answer several fundamental questions, such as: whether participation is voluntary or mandatory; may cellphone location data be used, and what data may be collected. To read Attorney General Schmidt’s recommendation, click here. For a discussion of best practices that makers of contact-tracing apps should consider, see Troutman Sanders’s article here.
California’s legislature has rolled out several emergency initiatives to address the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Initiatives range from introducing measures to address key employment issues to financial packages that provide funding to increase hospital capacity and protect those most vulnerable to the disease. For more information, click here.