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Sarah defends financial services providers in individual and class action lawsuits brought by consumers. She represents clients in government inquiries, examinations, and investigations, and assists clients with compliance advice related to consumer financial products.

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.

In a major victory for small business lenders, yesterday the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted motions filed by three groups of trade association intervenors to extend the court’s existing injunction against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB or Bureau) enforcement of its final rule under § 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Final Rule) to cover all small business lenders nationwide. A discussion of the preliminary injunction issued by that Texas federal court on July 31 can be found here. The injunction in Texas Bankers Association v. CFPB will dissolve if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses the Fifth Circuit in Community Financial Services Association v CFPB (CFSA case), which found the CFPB’s funding structure unconstitutional.

On October 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision rejecting a district court’s finding that the so-called informational injury doctrine established Article III standing for the named plaintiff and putative class in a class action brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

As discussed here, on January 4, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the New York Attorney General (NY AG) filed a joint complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Credit Acceptance Corporation (Credit Acceptance), a major subprime indirect auto finance company. The joint complaint alleges that Credit Acceptance pushed dealers to sell cars with hidden interest costs, include add-on products, and inflate prices. On March 14, Credit Acceptance filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. On March 21, Troutman Pepper filed an amicus brief in support of Credit Acceptance on behalf of the American Financial Services Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. Credit Acceptance’s motion to dismiss and Troutman’s amicus brief pointed out the deficiencies in the complaint and fatal flaws in the plaintiffs’ legal theories, as well as challenging, under the appropriations clause of the U.S. Constitution, the CFPB’s right to use unappropriated funds to bring a lawsuit against Credit Acceptance. This issue is currently pending before the Supreme Court in Community Financial Services Association of America Ltd. (CFSA) v. CFPB (discussed here).

The standard courts should use to determine whether an alleged Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violation is material remains unsettled. According to a recent Tenth Circuit decision, however, the standard should be that of the “reasonable consumer,” not the “least sophisticated consumer.” In other words, “the inquiry is whether the reasonable consumer could

Please join Consumer Financial Services Partner Chris Willis and his guests and colleagues Stefanie Jackman and Sarah Reise as they discuss the intersection of fair lending with collections. They cover which types of third-party debt collection processes could be subject to a fair lending review, the difference between disparate treatment and disparate impact, how the CFPB may review collection-related decisions, what a basic fair lending analysis may look like for collectors, the processes likely to be targeted for a fair lending review, and what collectors can do now to update their compliance management system and assess their operations to identify and mitigate potential fair lending issues.