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 25, the Federal Reserve Board announced that in March 2022, it will begin a statistical study of household finances, the “Survey of Consumer Finances,” that will provide policymakers with important insight into the economic condition of a broad cross section of American families. For more information, click here.
- On February 24, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released demographic data, showing that funds delivered to millions of households through its Emergency Rental Assistance program are reaching underserved and vulnerable communities. For more information, click here.
- On February 23, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) outlined possible options for upcoming rulemaking to prevent algorithmic bias in automated home valuation models. The options now will be reviewed to determine their potential impact on small businesses. For more information, click here.
- On February 23, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it has provided the CFPB an annual summary of its activities, enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B. For more information, click here.
- On February 22, the FTC released data, showing that consumers reported losing more than $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, an increase of more than 70% over the previous year. For more information, click here.
- On February 22, the CFPB, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency released an interagency statement “to remind creditors of the ability under Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B to establish special purpose credit programs to meet the credit needs of specific classes of persons.” For more information, click here.
- On February 23, the Wisconsin State Legislature passed a consumer data privacy measure that would give consumers the right to know what personal data is being collected about them and to request that the data be correct or deleted. For more information, click here.
- On February 23, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, as part of a bipartisan coalition of 49 attorneys general, has “called on the Federal Trade Commission to adopt a national rule to target impersonation scams.” Attorney General Miyares stated, “Too often, Virginia businesses and consumers fall victim to sophisticated impersonation scammers trying to steal money, data, and personal information. That’s why I’ve joined a bipartisan coalition of 48 other attorneys general to encourage the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on fraud and create tougher anti-scamming rules that will protect Virginians.” For more information, click here.
- On February 22, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong issued a consumer warning on “common scams on dating apps that have swindled Americans out of $1.3 billion in the last five years.” According to the press release, the FTC states that “dating scams are one of the costliest scams every year,” with victims losing “$547 million to romance scams [in 2021] — up 80% since 2020.” Recovery of money can be difficult from these scams, and the AG’s office provides tips to avoid becoming a victim. For more information, click here.
- On February 18, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued two civil investigative demands to TikTok, Inc. According to the press release, the “investigation focuses on TikTok’s potential facilitation of human trafficking and child privacy violations, as well as other potential unlawful conduct.” Attorney General Paxton stated, “I will get to the bottom of these concerns and make sure Big Tech doesn’t interfere with the safety and security of Texans.” For more information, click here.
- State Senator Joseph Rafferty (D-ME) introduced the Maine Consumer Privacy Act, which would provide consumer rights, including the right to request information, the right to deletion, and the right to opt out of the sale of their personal information. It would not provide a private right of action. The bill was referred to the Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement, and Business Committee. To read the bill, click here.
- State Senator Kirk Cullimore (R-UT) introduced the Utah Consumer Privacy Act, which would provide consumer rights, including the right to access and delete information and opt out of the collection and use of personal data for certain purposes. It also would impose an obligation on businesses to safeguard consumers’ personal data, but would not provide a private right of action. The bill was referred to the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee. To read the bill, click here.
- The Wisconsin State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 957 (59-37), a Consumer Privacy Act that provides consumers the right to know what personal data is being collected, as well as the right to correct and the right to delete. It is similar to the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, which was passed in 2021. The bill does not include a private right of action. The Wisconsin State Senate now will consider the bill. To read the bill, click here.