Like most industries today, Consumer Finance Services businesses continue to be significantly impacted by COVID-19. To help you keep abreast of relevant activities, below find a breakdown of some of the biggest legislative and regulatory events at the federal and state levels to impact the Consumer Finance Services industry this past week:

Federal Activities

State Activities

Privacy and Cybersecurity Activities

Federal Activities:

  • On June 17, the Federal Reserve released its latest Monetary Policy Report, which identified the growth of stablecoins as a key development for the financial stability of the U.S. and identified certain types of stablecoin arrangements as areas of concern. According to the Fed, “Stablecoins that are not backed by safe and sufficiently liquid assets and are not subject to appropriate regulatory standards create risks to investors and potentially to the financial system, including susceptibility to potentially destabilizing runs.” For more information, click here.
  • On June 16, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) announced the availability of data on 2021 mortgage lending transactions reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) by 4,338 U.S. financial institutions. Covered institutions include banks, savings associations, credit unions, and mortgage companies. As the most comprehensive publicly available information on mortgage market activity, HMDA data is used by industry, consumer groups, regulators, and others to assess potential fair lending risks and for other purposes. The data helps the public assess how financial institutions serve the housing needs of their local communities and facilitates federal financial regulators’ fair lending, consumer compliance, and Community Reinvestment Act examinations. For more information, click here.
  • On June 15, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an update about its December 2021 market monitoring inquiry into Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) — a short-term, no-interest consumer credit product that has become nearly ubiquitous at the point of purchase online and, increasingly, in brick-and-mortar stores. Issued to five BNPL firms, the inquiry ordered information and data on several key areas of consumer impact, including data furnished by BNPL firms to consumer reporting companies for inclusion in credit reports. For more information, click here.
  • On June 14, the CFPB announced its request for public input as to how bank customers can assert their rights to better customer service with big banks. In the request for information, the CFPB seeks data about, and consumer experiences with, obstacles that may prevent people from receiving high standards of customer service and high-quality human interactions with their banks or credit unions. For more information, click here.
  • On June 14, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General issued its audit of the U.S. Marshals Service’s management of seized cryptocurrency, covering the period from fiscal years 2017 through 2021. The audit report concludes that the Marshals Service does not have necessary operating procedures and controls and faces issues in managing and tracking seized cryptocurrency. For more information, click here.
  • On June 13, the CFPB released its annual report on the top financial concerns facing servicemembers, veterans, and military families based on the complaints they submitted to the CFPB. Servicemembers told the CFPB about billing inaccuracies and that debt collectors used aggressive tactics to recover allegedly unpaid medical bills. Servicemembers also reported failures by credit reporting companies in helping to resolve inaccuracies and other credit reporting issues. For more information, click here.
  • On June 11, Coin Center, a nonprofit group focused on cryptocurrency, sued the United States, the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and related individuals, arguing the unconstitutionality of a recent tax code amendment. The amendment, known as the 6050I Provision and commonly referred to as the Transaction Reporting Rule, was part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last summer, and requires individuals and businesses that receive $10,000 or more in cryptocurrency to report to the government the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of the person who sent those funds. For more information, click here.

State Activities:

  • On June 14, California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a consumer alert, following reports that hospitals failed to fulfill obligations under state law to provide free or reduced-price health care to qualify patients. Attorney General Bonta also sent letters to hospitals “warning them that they must provide written notice to patients — in their native language — of the availability of ‘charity care’ and how to apply.” For more information, click here.
  • On June 9, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein issued a statement after the U.S. Department of Education announced it would discharge all remaining federal student loans for students who attended any college run by Corinthian Colleges. In North Carolina, “12,470 borrowers will receive a total of $142.1 million in loan relief.” After noting the cancellations would be automatically applied, Attorney General Stein stated, “I’ve been fighting on behalf of these student victims for years, and I’m grateful to the Biden administration for taking action to help them. Canceling these loans will give these student borrowers a fresh start at building a successful future unburdened by unfair debt.” For more information, click here.

Privacy and Cybersecurity Activities:

  • On June 15, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Health and Location Data Protection Act, which would ban data brokers from selling health and location data. The act would also empower the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state attorneys general, and injured persons to sue to enforce the law, while also providing $1 billion in funding to the FTC. For more information, click here.
  • On June 15, Maine’s governor signed House Paper 669, establishing the Maine Data Collection Protection Act. The act would prohibit data collectors from collecting and aggregating, selling, or using information from specific types of public documents for the purpose of determining a consumer’s eligibility for consumer credit, employment, or residential housing. A data collector includes any person that collects or attempts to collect data from publicly maintained records and sells that data to third parties for any purpose, including but not limited to the determination of an individual’s eligibility for consumer credit, employment, or residential housing. To read more, click here.
  • On June 13, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released guidance on how health care providers and health plans can use remote communication technologies to provide audio-only telehealth services that comply with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification rules. OCR Director Lisa J. Pino stated that audio-only telehealth can assist “in reaching patients in rural communities, individuals with disabilities, and other seeking the convenience of remote options.” To read more, click here.