Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor

Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor

monitoring the financial services industry to help companies navigate through regulatory compliance, enforcement, and litigation issues

Alan D. Wingfield

Alan D. Wingfield

Blog Role:
Editor – Auto Finance

CFS Value:
Alan specializes in regulatory compliance as well as litigation matters.

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GAO Sounds Death Knell for the CFPB’s Key Statement of its “Disparate Impact” Theories in Indirect Auto Finance

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Auto Finance, Featured Posts
On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) levelled a heavy blow on a major regulatory initiative of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”): its highly controversial “disparate impact” discrimination theories as applied to pricing in the indirect automobile financing industry. The specific GAO ruling finds that a 2013 “Bulletin” stating the CFPB’s… Continue Reading

Auto Lending—and Delinquencies—Stay on Upward Trend

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Auto Finance
A recent report released by the Center for Microeconomic Data at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that American household debt continues to increase, including debt resulting from automobile loan balances.  The third quarter of 2017 saw a $116 billion increase, continuing a march upward since mid-2013. The report specifically addressed the growth… Continue Reading

Bank to Pay $2.8 Million in Consumer Restitution to Settle Alleged Deceptive Fee Practices

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Mortgage Lenders & Servicers, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System recently issued a Consent Order against Peoples Bank, based in Lawrence, Kansas, to settle claims of deceptive residential mortgage origination practices that arose from the bank’s charging of fees in mortgage originations.  The Federal Reserve alleged that Peoples told mortgage borrowers that certain additional fees that… Continue Reading

Health Care Debt Collector Pays $600K to Settle TCPA Class Action

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Debt Buyers & Collectors
On November 21, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted preliminary approval of a proposed $600,000 settlement of a class action lawsuit filed by a consumer against M3 Financial Services, Inc., an Illinois-based health care debt collector. The lawsuit, styled Elaine Mason et al. v. M3 Financial Services Inc., alleged… Continue Reading

Auto Finance Company Unable to Shake TCPA Class Action

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Auto Finance
The Third Circuit recently clarified in important ways its ascertainability standard for class actions under Rule 23 in a case that arose from the efforts of an auto finance company to generate business by marketing efforts directed at automobile dealers.  The decision reflects two key findings:  (1) that defendants who argue a class is not… Continue Reading

FCC Adopts New Rules on Blocking Robocalls

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Cyber Security, Information Governance & Privacy
On November 16, the Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules to allow telephone carriers to block robocalls as potentially fraudulent when they come from certain types of phone numbers. According to the FCC’s press release, robocalls are the top consumer complaint submitted to the FCC, with more than 200,000 annually.  The FCC’s report also highlights… Continue Reading

President Likely Has Authority To Appoint Acting Director To Replace Cordray At CFPB

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Featured Posts, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray’s announced yesterday (as covered here) that he will be resigning from his position by the end of this month. The Administration appears poised to announce Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as an interim replacement until a permanent director can be selected by the President and… Continue Reading

CFPB Director Richard Cordray to Step Down

Posted in Featured Posts, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
Richard Cordray, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), announced today that he plans to step down from that post by the end of the month. Cordray’s term was otherwise set to expire in July of 2018. Cordray, who was appointed by the Obama Administration after the CFPB was created in 2011, issued… Continue Reading

New York AG Proposes Changes to Data Breach Law

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Cyber Security, Information Governance & Privacy, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has introduced a bill that would expand that state’s existing data breach laws. This proposed legislation, called the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act, or the SHIELD Act, is sponsored by two Democratic members of the state legislature (Senator David Carlucci and Assembly member Brian Kavanagh). Schneiderman stated in… Continue Reading

Cordray Discusses CFPB’s Priorities During November Consumer Advisory Board Meeting

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
On November 2, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray delivered remarks during the Consumer Advisory Board meeting in Tampa.  Cordray’s public pronouncements reflect and foreshadow the CFPB’s regulatory priorities, and his recent comments indicate the CFPB’s focus on reverse mortgages, consumers with limited English proficiency, and short-term loans. Cordray mentioned the CFPB’s recently-released report… Continue Reading

Another Big-Dollar TCPA Settlement as Payment Processor Agrees to $9M Deal

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers, Debt Buyers & Collectors, Featured Posts, Mortgage Lenders & Servicers, Payment Processing & Cards
A Texas-based payment processor agreed on November 1 to pay $9 million to settle a putative class action brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  According to the plaintiffs, Pivotal Payments, Inc. failed to ensure that a third party it hired to make… Continue Reading

Illinois Federal Court Denies Certification of Junk Fax TCPA Class Action

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Cyber Security, Information Governance & Privacy
The November 3 decision in Alpha Tech Pet, Inc. v. Lagasse, LLC, et al. highlights that one of the key individualized issues present in many TCPA class actions – whether consumers provided their consent to be called, texted, or, as in this case, sent faxes – can defeat class claims. In its complaint, Alpha Tech… Continue Reading

President Trump Officially Kills Arbitration Rule

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
On November 1, President Donald J. Trump signed a resolution passed by Congress to nullify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Arbitration Rule.  As we reported here, the Senate narrowly passed a resolution to repeal the Rule in late October, ensuring that the controversy would make its way to the President’s desk.  Trump’s signature ensures that… Continue Reading

Congress Kills CFPB’s Arbitration Ban for Financial Services Companies, Returning Focus to State v. Federal Court Wars

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Featured Posts, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, the Senate voted to nullify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) arbitration rule (the “Rule”) in a 51-50 vote. Only two Republicans voted against the measure – Lindsey Graham (SC) and John Kennedy (LA). President Trump praised the vote, saying that he will sign the resolution when it reaches his… Continue Reading

U.S. Treasury Criticizes Arbitration Rule

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Payment Processing & Cards, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
On October 23, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a report objecting to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration rule.  As we previously reported, the rule prevents class action waivers in arbitration provisions for covered entities and also requires covered entities to provide information to the Bureau regarding any efforts to compel arbitration.  The… Continue Reading

California’s Statewide “Ban-The-Box” Law To Go Into Effect January 2018

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Background Screening, Featured Posts
On October 14, 2017, California became the most recent state to adopt a “ban-the-box” law. The law, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, goes into effect on January 1, 2018, prohibiting pre-offer inquiries regarding applicants’ conviction histories, and regulating employers’ decisions to deny employment to an applicant based on his or her convictions. This law is… Continue Reading

New York AG Announces Settlements with Two Motor Vehicle Dealer Groups

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Auto Finance, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced two settlements with motor vehicle dealer groups that provide for over $900,000 in restitution to approximately 6,400 New York State consumers.  The settlements also require the dealers to pay $135,000 in penalties and costs to the state for the unlawful sale of credit repair and identity theft protection services… Continue Reading

Massachusetts AG Accuses Used Car Dealer of Deceptive Practices

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Auto Finance, State Attorneys General, CFPB, & FTC
On September 26, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office filed a complaint against used car dealer JD Byrider, accusing the dealership of using predatory practices in its sale of allegedly defective vehicles.  The AG’s Office contends that JD Byrider sold allegedly defective vehicles with high cost loans to Massachusetts consumers in the “JD Byrider Program,”… Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Other Business Associations Sue to Overturn Ban on Class Action Waivers

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to invalidate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Rule banning class action waivers in arbitration provisions contained in financial institutions’ contracts with consumers.  Compliance with the Rule would be required beginning March 19, 2018.  The lawsuit was filed in the United… Continue Reading

Cursory Investigations and Misleading Reporting Leads to Partial Summary Judgment Win for Consumer

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers, Featured Posts
A recent federal court decision granting summary judgment to a plaintiff on a claim that a lender violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., by failing to conduct a “reasonable” investigation of a credit reporting dispute – an issue normally reserved for a jury – illustrates the difficulty… Continue Reading

FTC Issues Guidance on the Revised Used Car Rule

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Auto Finance
In November 2016, the Federal Trade Commission announced its final changes to the Used Car Rule, formally referred to as the Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule, which requires motor vehicle dealers to display a winder sticker, known as the “Buyers  Guide,” on used vehicles offered for sale.  Due to numerous questions raised by dealers… Continue Reading

West Virginia Federal Court Preliminarily Approves Nearly $30M TCPA Class Action Settlement

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Cyber Security, Information Governance & Privacy
In re Monitronics International, Inc., pending in the Northern District of West Virginia, is a consolidated class action lawsuit brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  After years of contentious litigation, this past week the Court preliminarily approved a class action settlement of $28 million.  This significant settlement serves as another example of the high… Continue Reading

New TCPA Class Action: Expansion into Service Calls

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Cyber Security, Information Governance & Privacy
On August 29, yet another Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action was filed in the Middle District of Florida. This suit, however, is a bit different than others that we have seen. In Gillmore v. Lokey Automotive Group, Inc., the complaint alleges that text messages sent to the plaintiff April Gillmore by an automobile dealership… Continue Reading

Court Finds Congress Has Waived Governmental Sovereign Immunity for FCRA Violations

Posted in ALL CFS Blog Entries, Credit Reporting & Data Brokers
In Kent v. TransUnion, plaintiff Rowdy Kent sued multiple consumer reporting agencies and the United States Defense Finance and Accounting Services for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  DFAS moved to dismiss Kent’s claims, arguing that it possesses sovereign immunity from claims under the FCRA.  On August 25, the District Court for the… Continue Reading