To help you keep abreast of relevant activities, below find a breakdown of some of the biggest events at the federal and state levels to impact the Consumer Finance Services industry this past week:

Federal Activities

State Activities

Federal Activities:

  • Effective July 5, text message carriers will require companies using 10DLC phone numbers to send SMS and MMS messages to fully register U.S. phone numbers to an approved campaign under their brand. Messages sent using unregistered phone numbers will be subject to a gradual increase of message blocking beginning on July 5, ultimately leading to a full block of all unregistered U.S.-bound messages sent after August 31. For more information, click here.
  • On June 20, EDX Markets (EDX), a digital assets marketplace with prominent founding investors that include major financial institutions, announced a successful launch and the completion of its new investment round. Currently, only Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash are available for trade on EDX. For more information, click here.
  • On June 20, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent letters to 50 online marketplaces nationwide, notifying them about their obligation to comply with the new Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act — or the INFORM Consumers Act — as soon as it takes effect on June 27. “The INFORM Consumers Act requires online marketplaces to protect consumers from counterfeit, unsafe, and stolen goods by verifying their high-volume third-party sellers’ identities, and making it easier for consumers to report suspicious marketplace activity,” said FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Samuel Levine. “The Commission will enforce the Act to the fullest extent possible and will collaborate with our state partners to hold online marketplaces accountable.” For more information, click here.
  • On June 20, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its annual report on the top financial concerns facing military families. The report highlights the growth of digital payment app usage in the servicemember community, the unique risks to servicemembers from these services, and the potential abuse from bad actors. In their complaints, some servicemembers reported incurring serious financial harm from scams and fraud when using these services, and they also suggested that digital payment app providers often fail to provide timely and substantive resolutions. For more information, click here.
  • On June 19, while delivering remarks at an annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) Policy Roundtable hosted in Rabat, Morocco, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva revealed that the IMF is “working on the concept of a global [central bank digital currency (CBDC)] platform.” For more information, click here. For more information on the IMF’s draft CBDC platform proof-of-concept, click here.
  • On June 19, France’s independent financial market regulator Autorite Des Marches Financiers (which translates to “Financial Markets Authority) (AMF) released a white paper titled, “Decentralised Finance (DeFi), Trading Protocols, and Governance Issues: Overview, Observed Trends, and Regulatory Discussion Points,” which discussed various components and principles of a decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, including smart contracts and composability. Notably, like the IMF, the AMF “supports the development of a global coordinated approach towards regulation” because of “the cross-border nature and reach of DeFi activities.” For more information, click here.
  • On June 16, while delivering remarks on “Tokenization and AI in Banking: How Risk and Compliance Can Facilitate Responsible Innovation” at an American Bankers Association event,” Comptroller of the Office of U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Michael Hsu stated that the “[t]he greatest promise for blockchain technology may lie in its potential to improve settlement efficiency through tokenization of real-world assets and liabilities on trusted blockchains,” but in his view, “tokenization does not require decentralization and trustlessness.” For more information, click here.
  • On June 16, while delivering remarks at a roundtable discussion hosted by Rutgers Law in New York, the SEC’s Enforcement Director Gurbir Grewal addressed “regulation by enforcement” — a concept frequently used to criticize the SEC’s civil lawsuit filings as of late. According to Grewal, “I think what you’ve seen is that the crypto markets in the downturn, the increase in risk has forced us to focus our efforts here. Maybe that’s been perceived as an uptick, but I think it’s just us doing our jobs as we have been for the last few years.” For more information, click here.
  • On June 16, the Federal Reserve Board published a database of financial institutions with access to, or requests to access, Federal Reserve Bank master accounts and services. The database aligns with the requirements set forth in legislation enacted last year and will be updated on a quarterly basis. For more information, click here.
  • On June 15, BlackRock, Inc., the world’s largest asset manager with approximately $10 trillion USD under management, filed a Form S-1 Registration Statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), requesting approval to offer spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) called “iShares Bitcoin Trust.” According to the prospectus, U.S.-based digital asset exchange Coinbase will exercise custody over “the assets of the [t]rust,” which “consist primarily of bitcoin … .” To date, the SEC has not approved a single application to offer a spot Bitcoin ETF. For more information, click here.
  • On June 14, the FTC announced that it is sending payments totaling more than $3.3 million to consumers harmed by Arete Financial Group, a student loan debt relief operation that tricked consumers into making illegal upfront payments by pretending to be affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education and falsely promising student loan debt relief. In reality, the scammers pocketed customers’ payments and never provided the promised relief. For more information, click here.
  • On June 14, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra issued an opening statement before the House Committee on Financial Services, which included an update as to the CFPB’s mandated objectives and alerts for “shocks to the system that might unsettle household financial stability.” For more information, click here.
  • On June 13, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a residential property management service agreed to pay $74,087 to resolve allegations that it violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act by imposing unlawful charges on nine servicemembers exercising their right to terminate their apartment leases after receiving military orders to relocate. For more information, click here.
  • On June 13, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs conducted a hearing titled, “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Semi-Annual Report to Congress,” pertaining to the CFPB’s Semi-Annual Report to Congress. For more information, click here.
  • On June 9, the DOJ unsealed charges related to the 2011 hack to cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox and the operation of the illicit cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e. For more information, click here.

State Activities:

  • On June 16, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo approved SB 276 as an update to the state’s Collection Agency Licensing Act. Originally adopted in 1969, the act provides for the licensure and regulation of collection agencies and collection agents. Among other things, the revised act (1) requires debt buyers to apply for the required license by January 1, 2024 and permits debt buyers that timely apply for licensing to operate without a license until their license issues; (2) requires that every facility of a collection agency have a “compliance manager”; (3) permits collection agency employees to work remotely, provided they comply with the act’s provisions; (4) eliminates the need for multiple licenses for each branch facility, requiring instead a single corporate license; (5) eliminates the need to display a physical, framed license, and instead, permits notation of the license number on the collection agency’s website; (6) eliminates language related to out-of-state and foreign collection agencies; (7) permits affiliated debt buying companies to share a single license in certain instances; and (8) prohibits revival of the statute of limitations on a debt by payment, affirmation of debt, or other debtor activity after the limitations period has passed. For more information, click here.
  • On June 15, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) filed enforcement actions against Abra, a centralized finance (CeFi) digital assets services company that provides trading and lending services to its users. The TSSB alleged that Abra and its founder William John “Bill” Barhydt committed securities fraud and engaged in deception with the offer and sale of investments in Abra Earn and Abra Boost — both interest-bearing digital asset depository accounts. Notably, the TSSB also alleged that Abra has been “secretly transferring assets” to Binance, which became the subject of an SEC enforcement action on June 5. For more information, click here.
  • On June 15, HB6918 was assigned Public Act 23-134. Among other things, the bill provides a penalty of $10 per record per calendar day for a consumer reporting agency or background screening provider that discloses an erased record after 60 calendar days from the date a person received notice. The bill adds certain motor vehicle violations to the list of convictions required to be erased. It also provides that the classification of the offence, as well as the maximum sentence that could have been imposed, will be determined based on the law in effect at the time the offence was committed. For more information, click here.
  • On June 13, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB18, enacting the Securing Children Online through Parental Empowerment Act. The act intends to protect minors from harmful, deceptive, or unfair trade practices in connection with the use of certain digital services and electronic devices, including the use and transfer of electronic devices to students by a public school. Among other things, the act will require digital service providers (DSP) to register the age of any person seeking to create an account with the DSP. If the registered user is younger than 18, the DSP must limit collection of the minor’s personal identifying information to information reasonably necessary to provide the digital service and limit the use of the minor’s personal identifying information to the purpose for which the information was collected. The act also prohibits the DSP from (1) allowing the minor to make purchases or engage in other financial transactions; (2) sharing, disclosing, or selling the minor’s personal identifying information; (3) using the digital service to collect the minor’s precise geolocation data; or (4) using the digital service to display targeted advertising to the known minor. For more information, click here.
  • On June 18, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 4 — the Texas Data Privacy and Security Act — into law. The act will go into effect July 1, 2024, except for a section related to authorized agents that will go into effect January 1, 2025. For more information, click here.
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Photo of Ethan G. Ostroff Ethan G. Ostroff

Ethan Ostroff’s practice focuses on financial services litigation and consumer law compliance counseling. Ethan is part of the firm’s national practice representing consumer-facing companies of all types in defense of individual and class action claims and counseling them on compliance with federal and

Ethan Ostroff’s practice focuses on financial services litigation and consumer law compliance counseling. Ethan is part of the firm’s national practice representing consumer-facing companies of all types in defense of individual and class action claims and counseling them on compliance with federal and state laws.

Photo of Elizabeth Briones Elizabeth Briones

Elizabeth is an associate in the Consumer Financial Services practice who represents businesses large and small – from corporations to local partnerships. She is an experienced litigator with a background in complex matters ranging from corporate contract disputes, premises liability, negligence, fraud, and…

Elizabeth is an associate in the Consumer Financial Services practice who represents businesses large and small – from corporations to local partnerships. She is an experienced litigator with a background in complex matters ranging from corporate contract disputes, premises liability, negligence, fraud, and other business torts. She has appeared in state, federal, and multidistrict litigation.

Photo of Addison Morgan Addison Morgan

Addison is an associate in the firm’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. He has represented several of the nation’s preeminent financial institutions in litigation arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Debt…

Addison is an associate in the firm’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. He has represented several of the nation’s preeminent financial institutions in litigation arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the FTC Holder Rule, and other consumer protection state analogs.

Photo of Thailer Buari Thailer Buari

Thailer is an attorney in the firm’s Consumer Financial Service practice, where he represents clients in consumer law, business disputes, and commercial litigation. Thailer manages cases from inception to trial, focusing on all aspects of the litigation process, including case development, settlement negotiations…

Thailer is an attorney in the firm’s Consumer Financial Service practice, where he represents clients in consumer law, business disputes, and commercial litigation. Thailer manages cases from inception to trial, focusing on all aspects of the litigation process, including case development, settlement negotiations, legal research and analysis, document review, motions hearings, and mediations.

Photo of Jed Komisin Jed Komisin

Jed defends clients engaged in civil litigation. He has significant courtroom experience and works with his clients to find comprehensive solutions to their legal issues.

Photo of Trey Smith Trey Smith

Trey is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement Practice. He focuses his practice on helping financial institutions and consumer facing companies navigate regulatory investigations and resulting litigation. He has experience litigating the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the FTC Act…

Trey is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement Practice. He focuses his practice on helping financial institutions and consumer facing companies navigate regulatory investigations and resulting litigation. He has experience litigating the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the FTC Act, the Truth in Lending Act, state UDAAP statutes, and other consumer protection laws.

Photo of Alan D. Wingfield Alan D. Wingfield

Alan Wingfield helps consumer-facing clients navigate compliance, litigation and regulatory risks posed by the complex web of state and federal consumer protection laws. He is a trusted advisor and tireless advocate, helping clients develop practical compliance and dispute-resolution strategies.