Consumer Financial Services

On September 11, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it issued a consent order against Tempoe, LLC, a nonbank consumer finance company, for alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), Consumer Leasing Act, and Regulation M. That same day, it was announced that Tempoe also entered into a parallel settlement with 41 states and the District of Columbia resolving a multi-state investigation into the same alleged misconduct. Under the terms of the CFPB consent order, Tempoe was banned from consumer leasing activity and must pay $1 million to the CFPB and $1 million to the states and jurisdictions participating in the settlement.

In Hansen v. Mountain America Federal Credit Union, the plaintiff became delinquent on a credit card account with her credit union. The credit union then assigned the debt to a third-party collection agency. Following the assignment, the collection agency opened its own tradeline for the debt, while the credit union also continued to report the debt. Although the credit union’s tradeline was updated to reflect that the account was “closed” and in collections, and the collection agency’s tradeline indicated that the credit union was the original creditor, both tradelines showed a balance, albeit for different amounts — $18,340 for the credit union and $20,875 for the collection agency.

In Gebreseralse v. Columbia Debt Recovery, LLC, the plaintiff, a tenant under a residential lease agreement, vacated the premises early due to concerns over the property’s condition. In response, the property management company engaged a collection agency to recover the remaining amounts claimed as due and owing under the lease.

On August 11, in the case of Yuille v. Uphold HQ Inc., the Southern District of New York was tasked with determining whether the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) applies to digital asset-based accounts. The court concluded there was no “account” as defined by EFTA because the digital asset account at issue was not established primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

More than two years after the Supreme Court’s opinion in Facebook v. Duguid, courts and litigants continue to wrestle with the statutory definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The debate centers on footnote 7 in Facebook, wherein the Supreme Court ostensibly embraced the proposition that an ATDS includes dialing systems that employ random or sequential number generators (RSNGs) to index and/or order telephone numbers for later dialing, but do not themselves generate the telephone numbers to be dialed. A recent opinion issued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado illustrates the ongoing controversy surrounding footnote 7 and its impact on current and future TCPA claims.

The Eleventh Circuit has now joined seven other circuits in holding that receipt of unwanted text messages constitutes concrete injury for standing. On July 24, the Eleventh Circuit issued an en banc decision in Drazen v. Pinto, holding that a plaintiff who received a single, unwanted text message has standing to sue under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The court departed from its earlier ruling in Salcedo v. Hanna, which held that a single unsolicited text message is but a “brief, inconsequential annoyance [] categorically distinct from those kinds of real but intangible harms” that confer Article III standing.

In April, we discussed how Colorado’s state supreme court issued its highly anticipated decision confirming a borrower’s bankruptcy discharge does not accelerate secured installment debt or trigger the final statute of limitations period to recover the debt. Now, Washington’s high court has rendered its decisions on the topic, joining the handful of states to address this trending issue.

On July 13, U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that seeks to examine the adequacy of current anti-money laundering obligations (set forth in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)) as applied to crypto assets, crypto asset kiosks

The Federal Reserve (Fed) has officially launched its new instant payment service, FedNow, which aims to modernize the U.S.’s payment system. As previously discussed here and here, consumers and businesses will be able to send and receive money within seconds, at any time of the day and on any day of the year. This will eliminate the one to three days’ lag time of traditional money transfers, providing the public with more flexibility in managing their money.

More than two years after the Supreme Court released its ruling in Facebook v. Duguid, confirming the meaning of automatic telephone dialing systems (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a plaintiff has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court to challenge the Ninth Circuit’s application of the Facebook decision. The Facebook ruling effectively closed the door on one of the broadest classes of TCPA-related litigation; since then, plaintiff-side advocates have worked ceaselessly, though largely unsuccessfully, to chip away at the ruling. If the Supreme Court accepts the appeal, this will represent a significant development in the ongoing saga of ATDS litigation.