On October 9, a Florida state senator introduced SB 146, which would add a new section to the Florida Consumer Finance Act (CFA), attempting to curb evasion of the CFA. SB 146 would treat all payments incident to the loan as interest, even if voluntary, and would adopt both predominant economic interest and totality of the circumstance tests for true lender purposes. SB 146 follows other states’ attempts to address true lender issues, including legislation passed in Minnesota, discussed here, and Connecticut, discussed here.
A California state court recently denied a preliminary injunction sought by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (the DFPI) in its long-running litigation against Opportunity Financial (OppFi) contending that OppFi is the “true lender,” and therefore subject to usury limits, on loans originated by OppFi’s bank partner. The court found that on the factual record before it that the DFPI had not shown a reasonable probability of prevailing on the merits of its claim.
As discussed here, on June 29, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed SB 1033, An Act Concerning Various Revisions to the Banking Statutes, into law. Among other things, the bill: (1) raised the small loan limit from $15,000 to $50,000; (2) expanded the Small Loan Act (SLA) licensure requirement to cover certain brokering and facilitating activities; (3) codified a predominant economic interest test for determining the “true lender” in the SLA; (4) broadened the definition of small loan to include income sharing agreements (ISAs), refund anticipation loans, and pension advances; (5) limited the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on loans of $5,000 to $50,000 to 25%; (6) redefined APR as an all-in APR calculated similarly to the federal Military Lending Act (MLA); and (7) expanded the definition of finance charge to essentially capture all fees and charges, including optional fees. The revised SLA goes into effect on October 1, 2023.
On June 29, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed SB 1033, An Act Concerning Various Revisions to the Banking Statutes, into law. As discussed here, with this bill, Connecticut joins several other states that have set strict rate caps on consumer loans, including Illinois, New Mexico, Colorado, and California, and those that expressly provide for a predominant economic interest test for true lender purposes. The law will take effect on October 1, 2023.
On July 7, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed SB 103 into law, which prohibits any person from offering earned wage access (EWA) services without registering with the Division of Finance and paying an annual $1,000 fee. The law also requires EWA providers to develop procedures for dealing with consumer questions and complaints, specifies notices required to be given to consumers, and regulates the types of fees that may be charged and the manner in which repayments may be pursued. The law further specifies requirements should the EWA provider solicit, charge, or receive tips or gratuities from consumers. Like Nevada, discussed here, the law specifies that EWA products are not loans or money transmissions under Missouri law. In March 2023, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation took the opposite position with respect to EWA products and proposed new regulations under the California Financing Law that would update the definition of loan to include EWA products, except for those offered by employers.
On June 15, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo signed SB 290 into law, which imposes licensing, reporting, examination, and other substantive requirements on providers of earned wage access (EWA) products. Specifically, the legislation applies to businesses that deliver money to a person that represents income that the person has earned but has not yet been paid.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Coinbase, Inc. v. Bielski, holding that a district court must stay its proceedings while an interlocutory appeal on the question of arbitrability is pending. The decision resolves a circuit split on the question of whether such a stay is mandatory or discretionary. Justice Kavanaugh…
As discussed here, in April 2023, Colorado introduced HB 1229 that proposed to limit certain charges on consumer loans and simultaneously opt Colorado out of sections 521-523 of the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA). Sections 521-523 of DIDMCA empower state banks, insured state and federal savings associations and state credit unions to charge the interest allowed by the state where they are located, regardless of where the borrower is located and regardless of conflicting state law (i.e., “export” their home state’s interest-rate authority). However, section 525 of DIDMCA gives states the authority to opt out of sections 521-523. Indeed, Colorado initially opted out of DIDMCA when it was enacted, but later repealed its opt-out. This week HB 1229 was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis joining Colorado with Iowa and Puerto Rico as the only jurisdictions currently opting out.
Please join Troutman Pepper Partners Chris Willis and Jason Cover as they discuss the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) recent special edition Supervisory Highlights focused on “junk fees.” Chris and Jason dive into the report and talk about how this fits into the CFPB’s broader initiative on junk fees, what exactly constitutes a junk fee, the types of fees the CFPB identifies as problematic, if this means that creditors can’t charge any of these fees, and steps to take to mitigate risk when imposing fees.
On May 18, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law the Commerce Omnibus Bill, which, among other things, amends Minnesota Statute §§ 47.60 and 47.601 to cap the annual percentage rates (APR) on consumer small loans and consumer short-term loans at a 50% all-in APR, and expressly provides for predominant economic interest and totality…