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.
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 February 4, the Federal Reserve Board named Jerome H. Powell as chair po tempore, pending Senate confirmation to a second term as chair of the Board of Governors. For more information, click here.
- On February 2, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a final rule, detailing how delinquent debts owed to the VA are reported to credit reporting agencies. The new rule, which establishes a minimum threshold for what will be reported, goes into effect on March 4. For more information, click here.
- On February 1, the Federal Trade Commission testified before a Senate subcommittee about the aggressive steps the agency is taking to police against pandemic predators who are capitalizing on the COVID-19 crisis to defraud American consumers. For more information, click here.
- On January 31, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published a review of the financial issues facing people and families who come in contact with the criminal justice system. For more information, click here.
- On January 28, Federal Reserve Board (Board) invited public comment on proposed guidance to implement a framework for the supervision of certain insurance organizations overseen by the Board. The proposed supervisory framework — for depository institution holding companies significantly engaged in insurance activities — would apply guidance and allocate supervisory resources based on the risk of a firm. Also, it would formalize a supervisory rating system for these companies and describe how examiners work with state insurance regulators. For more information, click here.
- On February 3, the Nevada Financial Institutions Division issued a notice of transition to all Nevada collection agency licensees, stating that “all current collection agency and manager licensees and registrants will be able to begin their required transition to NMLS” on April 1. Further, the notice stated that all licensees must transfer their license to NMLS no later than June 30, and any “current license will expire if a request is not submitted by June 30, 2022, with no option for reinstatement.” For more information, click here.
- On February 2, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a press release, reminding New Yorkers about increased protections from surprise medical bills under the federal No Surprises Act, which went into effect on January 1. According to the release, the No Surprises Act “prohibits hospitals and health care providers from billing patients for more than their in-network co-payment or deductible on many unexpected out-of-network bills.” Attorney General James stated, “New Yorkers should be able to seek necessary medical treatment without worrying about unanticipated financial hardship, but they first must know about the protections available to them.” For more information, click here.
- On February 3, California Attorney General Rob Bonta sent a letter to key mortgage servicers, urging the companies’ immediate and full participation in the California Mortgage Relief Program. According to the press release, the program “will distribute $1 billion in federal Homeowner Assistance Fund funds to help eligible California homeowners experiencing COVID-related hardships get caught up on their mortgage payments and stay in their homes.” The press release further states that “[w]hile dozens of mortgage servicers are already participating in the program, some of California’s largest servicers have been slow to implement the necessary procedures to fully comply with the programs requirements.” For more information, click here.
- On February 1, Indiana’s State Senate voted unanimously in favor of Senate Bill 358, which aims to establish a comprehensive data privacy regime. The latest version of this legislation closely mirrors the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA) and would take effect on January 1, 2025. Unlike previous versions, the bill adopted by the Senate does not include a private right of action for consumers. The bill now will move to Indiana’s House of Representatives, where it must pass committee and full floor votes. This legislation is part of a broader wave of state-level privacy bills driven in part by COVID-19-related privacy concerns. For more information, click here.
- On February 3, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the creation of the Cyber Safety Review Board (CSRB). This initiative was first described in President Biden’s May 2021 Executive Order 14028, “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.” According to the accompanying release, “the CSRB will review and assess significant cybersecurity events so that government, industry, and the broader security community can better protect our nation’s networks and infrastructure.” Meant as a joint public-private initiative, the CSRB’s recommendations will be delivered directly to the president and secretary of homeland security. For more information, click here.