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Brooke Conkle offers consumer-facing companies compliance counseling and litigation services to help them address federal and state consumer protection laws. Recognizing the challenges facing financial services companies, she provides in-depth analysis of complex issues related to consumer protection and compliance.

On March 29, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released its Consumer Response Annual Report, providing a high-level overview of the 1,657,600 consumer complaints received by the Bureau from January 1 through December 31, 2023. According to the report, the most-complained-about consumer financial product and service categories in 2023 were consumer reporting (79%), debt collection (7%), credit card (4%), checking or savings account (4%), and mortgage (2%). The CFPB’s 2023 Consumer Response Report found a continued increase in consumer reporting complaints, with more than one million of such complaints sent to the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRA). The CFPB encourages companies to consider how best to incorporate complaint information into their institutional processes to help ensure that problems are detected early and addressed quickly.

On March 7, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a final rule updating recordkeeping requirements and extending the protections against misrepresentations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) to businesses (Final Rule). It also announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to extend the TSR’s coverage to inbound telemarketing calls involving technical support services. These actions are part of the FTC’s current review of the TSR, which includes the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry rules and provisions banning nearly all telemarketing robocalls to consumers.

Comments on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB or Bureau) proposal to collect data from auto finance businesses that acquire or originate as few as 500 financing transactions a year are due by March 25, 2024.

In this insightful episode of The Consumer Finance Podcast, Chris Willis is joined by Partners Brooke Conkle and Alan Wingfield, as they delve into the topic of regulatory risk and litigation exposure for auto finance companies under the new FTC CARS Rule. Tune in for a deep dive into preventative strategies that can help your auto finance company avoid regulatory pitfalls under the new rule.

We are pleased to share our annual review of regulatory and legal developments in the consumer financial services industry. With active federal and state legislatures, consumer financial services providers faced a challenging 2023. Courts across the country issued rulings that will have immediate and lasting impacts on the industry. Our team of more than 140 professionals has prepared this concise, yet thorough analysis of the most important issues and trends throughout our industry. We not only examined what happened in 2023, but also what to expect — and how to prepare — for the months ahead.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Connecticut Attorney General William Tong filed suit against auto dealer Manchester City Nissan (Manchester City), its owner, and several employees for allegedly deceiving consumers about the price of certified used cars, add-ons, and government fees. Filed January 4, the lawsuit was brought under the FTC Act and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.

On December 20, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a complaint in a Texas federal court against Colony Ridge Development, LLC (Colony Ridge), its affiliates, and Loan Originator Services, a Texas mortgage company, for allegedly operating an illegal land sales scheme and targeting tens of thousands of Hispanic borrowers with false statements and predatory loans. Specifically, the complaint alleges Colony Ridge sells flood-prone land without water, sewer, or electrical infrastructure, and that the company sets borrowers up with loans they cannot afford. The complaint alleges that defendants engaged in unlawful discrimination by targeting Hispanics in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA). In addition, the complaint alleges violation of the Dodd-Frank Act’s prohibition on unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP), and a variety of violations of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act.

On December 13, by a vote of 4-1, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules aimed at “closing the ‘lead generator’ robocall/robotexts loophole.” Specifically, the rule requires telemarketers to obtain consumer consent to receive robocalls and robotexts one seller/brand at a time, instead of allowing a single consent to apply to multiple telemarketers. This is also known as one-to-one consent. The order does not specifically define “robocall” or “robotext.”