Like most industries today, Consumer Finance Services businesses are being significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Troutman Pepper has 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.
Our bank and loan servicing clients also face novel challenges affecting their industry due to COVID-19, particularly the ever-changing rules and regulations concerning evictions and foreclosures. We closely track these updates and have assembled an interactive tracker containing state orders and guidance documents regarding residential foreclosure and eviction moratoriums. You may access this interactive tool at https://covid19.troutman.com/.
To help you keep abreast of relevant activities, below find 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 4, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) updated the Frequently Asked Questions on compliance with the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and Regulation E. For more information, click here.
- On June 3, a group of landlords challenging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction ban applied for an emergency appeal from the D.C. Circuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. The eviction moratorium is set to expire on June 30. For more information, click here.
- On June 2, the Federal Reserve Board (Board) announced the approval of a final rule amending Regulation D to eliminate references to an interest on required reserves rate and to an interest on excess reserves rate and replace them with a single interest on reserve balances rate. The final rule also simplifies the formula used to calculate the amount of interest paid on these balances, and it makes other minor conforming amendments. The final rule adopted the Board’s proposed rule on January 8, 2021 without change, with the rule taking effect on July 29. For more information, click here.
- On June 2, the CFPB updated the Frequently Asked Questions on compliance with the Mortgage Servicing Rule, Regulation X, and Regulation Z. For more information, click here.
- On July 1, a new Nevada law on the collection of medical debts will go into effect. Under the law, any debt owed for goods or services provided by a medical facility, a health care provider, or an emergency medical services provider is considered a medical debt, with the exception of debts paid by credit cards used to buy other nonmedical goods and services. For more information, click here.
- On June 4, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy’s Executive Order No. 243 went into effect. Among other mandates, this order rescinded Exhibit Order No. 107, which required businesses and nonprofits to “accommodate their workforce for telework wherever practicable.” For more information, click here.
- On June 1, the California Assembly passed AB-1020 regarding the billing and collection of health care debt, with the California Senate now set to consider the bill. Under AB-1020, hospitals are required to have a written policy about the advancing of patient debt for collection and are prohibited from pursuing a collection action before 150 days after the initial billing if the patient lacks coverage or has high medical costs. For more information, click here.
- On May 28, Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker issued a modified public health emergency and COVID-19 Order No. 69, which rescinded the majority of COVID-19 executive orders. All but eight COVID-19 orders issued under the Civil Defense Act were rescinded as of 12:01 a.m. ET on May 29, 2021. For more information, click here and here.
- On June 3, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) hosted a summit to discuss payment security in the pandemic era and post pandemic. The PCI SSC discussed updates, including plans regarding the upcoming PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Leaders mentioned that “[c]ybercrime has continued to increase during the COVID-19 pandemic with criminals using old and new tricks aggressively which makes it one of the greatest threats to economic recovery and ongoing success for businesses[.]” To read the full announcement, click here.
- On June 2, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned consumers that scammers “are about the run their standard playbook” when trying to trick individuals into giving up COVID-19 relief payments. The FTC reminds consumers that:
- Only the IRS will send payments; anyone else “trying to ‘help’ you get your child tax credits is really after your money.”
- The government will never contact you out of the blue and ask for money or personal information.
- Nobody will demand that you pay by gift card or by wire transfer to acquire relief money.
For those interested in learning more, click here.
- On June 2, seven countries in the European Union (EU) began using digital vaccine passport systems to verify vaccinated individuals for COVID-19. These seven countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Poland) are the first of the full 27 member states in the EU to use the system; all member states are scheduled to launch the system July 1. The certificate will be used “in the form of a QR code, which can be either stored on a cell phone or printed out on paper. The data is not retained anywhere afterward  for security and privacy reasons.” For those interested in learning more about vaccine certificates and the potential implications of using them when traveling, check out Troutman Pepper’s Law360 article here. To read the full report, click here.