Photo of Tim J. St. George

Tim defends institutions nationwide facing class actions and individual lawsuits. He has particular experience litigating consumer class actions, including industry-leading expertise in cases arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and its state law counterparts, as well as litigation arising from data breaches.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking public comment on its proposal to amend existing regulations that govern admission to public housing and housing programs for applicants with criminal records and eviction or termination of assistance of persons on the basis of illegal drug use, drug-related criminal activity, or other criminal activity. The proposed rule would require that, prior to any discretionary denial or termination for criminal activity, public housing agencies (PHAs) and assisted housing owners take into consideration multiple sources of information, including but not limited to the recency and relevance of prior criminal activity. The proposed rule also seeks to clarify existing PHA and owner obligations and reduce the risk of violation of nondiscrimination laws.

In this final episode of The Consumer Finance Podcast Year in Review series, host Chris Willis is joined by Tim St. George, a key member of our Consumer Financial Services Litigation team. They discuss the significant developments in consumer finance class action litigation in 2023 and what to expect in the year ahead. Topics include ethical issues associated with class actions, the debate over service awards, attorney-client privilege, and more. Tune in to gain insights from Tim’s extensive experience in class action litigation and stay informed about the evolving legal landscape.

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.

Please join Troutman Pepper Partner Dave Gettings and colleagues Tim St. George and Cindy Hanson for a highly informative discussion on federal preemption as it relates to state laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This episode provides listeners with an overview of important state and local legislation governing background screening, along with discussions about how federal preemption might affect required compliance with these state and local laws. Topics include:

On January 11, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) issued two “advisory opinions” addressing the CFPB’s views of the obligations of consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The advisory opinions are interpretive rules issued under the Bureau’s authority to interpret the FCRA pursuant to § 1022(b)(1) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.

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 October 24, the Biden-Harris administration announced amendments to the regulations implementing title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). According to the fact sheet, the amendments are intended to allow the Department of Education (ED) to better protect students from the negative effects of sudden college closures, restrict colleges from withholding course credits paid for with federal money from students’ transcripts, require colleges to clearly communicate how much financial aid students will receive, and provide a more streamlined process for states to approve postsecondary opportunities for students without a high school diploma or its equivalent. The amended regulations will take effect on July 1, 2024.

On October 12, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied certification of a putative class action asserting that TransUnion violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) by allegedly misleading consumers about the accuracy and popularity of VantageScore 1.0, TransUnion’s proprietary credit scoring model. The court held that the plaintiff was an inadequate class representative due to his lack of credibility, and the asserted class claims failed both the commonality and predominance prongs of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP)23.

A new enforcement action provides more detail on the expectations of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (collectively, the agencies) for the content of tenant screening reports.

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (collectively, the agencies) filed an amici curiae brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to reverse a district court’s decision finding a furnisher’s investigation of a consumer’s dispute and subsequent furnishing of the disputed information to be reasonable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).