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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.

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking public comment on its proposal to amend the Rule on Impersonation of Government and Businesses (Impersonation Rule or Rule), that is being finalized by the FTC today, to add a prohibition on the impersonation of individuals. The amendment would also extend liability for violations of the Impersonation Rule to parties who provide goods and services with knowledge or reason to know that those goods or services will be used in illegal impersonations. The FTC stated the impetus for the amendment is the surging number of complaints it has received around impersonation fraud, including “deepfakes” generated using artificial intelligence (AI).

On February 13, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a blog post warning companies that it could be deemed an unfair or deceptive practice for a company to adopt more permissive data practices and to only inform consumers of such changes through retroactive amendments to its terms of service or privacy policy.

Virginia is currently one of only two states that does not allow class-action lawsuits in its courts. However, that could change soon as House Bill (HB) 418, originally introduced on January 10, 2024, seeks to create a class-action framework loosely modeled on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. On February 9, HB 418 passed the House of Delegates and will be sent to the Senate for consideration.

In this episode of The Crypto Exchange, Troutman Pepper Partner Ethan Ostroff welcomes his colleague Addison Morgan to discuss California’s Digital Financial Assets Law (DFAL), set to take effect on July 1, 2025. The DFAL provides a comprehensive framework for licensing and overseeing businesses that engage in digital financial business activities with residents of California.

On February 8, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Department of Agriculture Rural Development Rural Housing Service (USDA) v. Kirtz, holding that the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s (FCRA) clear statutory text indicates a government agency can be sued for a FCRA violation. The decision resolved a circuit split. The D.C., Third, and Seventh Circuits have allowed FCRA litigation against government agencies, but the Fourth and Ninth Circuits have found governmental immunity prevents such suits.

A federal district court judge in Nevada recently denied competing motions for summary judgment in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) furnisher investigation case, demonstrating the challenges FCRA litigants often face in convincing courts to decide cases on matters of law.

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.