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.

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.

As discussed here, in a recent letter, the Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) outlined the agency’s supervisory priorities for 2024. In this post, we delve deeper into the area of consumer protection oversight.

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 12, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published the long-awaited regulation specific to motor vehicle dealers to address concerns of consumer deception in the sales process (Final Rule). We covered the proposed rule, introduced in June 2022, in a blog post here and podcast here. In a 3-0 vote, the FTC approved the issuance of the Final Rule, which will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks.

On October 24, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Wisconsin Department of Justice announced a settlement with Wisconsin auto dealer group Rhinelander Auto Center, Inc. (Rhinelander), its current and former owners, and general manager. The lawsuit was brought under the FTC Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Wisconsin Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and the Wisconsin Consumer Act.

On October 11, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) published a special edition of its Supervisory Highlights report. This report serves as a “victory lap” for the Bureau, which highlights the relief it has obtained for consumers since the release of its March 2023 Special Fees Edition, discussed here. According to the Bureau, its supervisory efforts have led to institutions refunding over $140 million to consumers, including $120 million in overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees.

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).