On October 3, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited (CFSA) v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau), a case in which the Fifth Circuit held that the CFPB’s funding mechanism violates the Appropriations Clause because the CFPB does not receive its funding from annual congressional appropriations like most executive agencies, but instead, receives funding directly from the Federal Reserve based on a request by the CFPB’s director. If the Supreme Court affirms the Fifth Circuit’s decision, the future of the Bureau as well as its rulemaking and enforcement actions would be in question.
As discussed here, on June 29, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed SB 1033, An Act Concerning Various Revisions to the Banking Statutes, into law. Among other things, the bill: (1) raised the small loan limit from $15,000 to $50,000; (2) expanded the Small Loan Act (SLA) licensure requirement to cover certain brokering and facilitating activities; (3) codified a predominant economic interest test for determining the “true lender” in the SLA; (4) broadened the definition of small loan to include income sharing agreements (ISAs), refund anticipation loans, and pension advances; (5) limited the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on loans of $5,000 to $50,000 to 25%; (6) redefined APR as an all-in APR calculated similarly to the federal Military Lending Act (MLA); and (7) expanded the definition of finance charge to essentially capture all fees and charges, including optional fees. The revised SLA goes into effect on October 1, 2023.
On August 1, Maryland’s Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) issued guidance to “provide clarity on how [the OFR] views Earned Wage Access [EWA] products and to describe the requirements entities offering these products must adhere to.” Unfortunately, the guidance largely fails to deliver the promised clarity.
As discussed here, on April 26, the Texas Bankers Association (TBA), the American Bankers Association (ABA), and Rio Bank, McAllen, Texas (Rio Bank) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB or Bureau) final rule under § 1071 of the Dodd-Frank…
As discussed here, on April 26, the Texas Bankers Association, the American Bankers Association (ABA), and Rio Bank, McAllen, Texas (Rio Bank) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB or Bureau) final rule under § 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Final Rule). As discussed here, § 1071 amended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to impose significant data collection and reporting requirements on small business creditors. The plaintiffs’ complaint relied heavily on the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Community Financial Services Association (CFSA) v CFPB, finding the CFPB’s funding structure unconstitutional and, therefore, rules promulgated by the Bureau invalid. The CFPB’s appeal of the Fifth Circuit’s decision is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court (discussed here).
On July 26, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released the summer edition of its Supervisory Highlights report, providing a high-level overview of alleged unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) identified by the agency during examinations from July 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023. The findings included in the report cover examinations in the areas of auto origination, auto servicing, consumer reporting, debt collection, deposits, fair lending, information technology, mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, payday and small dollar lending, and remittances.
On July 7, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed SB 103 into law, which prohibits any person from offering earned wage access (EWA) services without registering with the Division of Finance and paying an annual $1,000 fee. The law also requires EWA providers to develop procedures for dealing with consumer questions and complaints, specifies notices required to be given to consumers, and regulates the types of fees that may be charged and the manner in which repayments may be pursued. The law further specifies requirements should the EWA provider solicit, charge, or receive tips or gratuities from consumers. Like Nevada, discussed here, the law specifies that EWA products are not loans or money transmissions under Missouri law. In March 2023, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation took the opposite position with respect to EWA products and proposed new regulations under the California Financing Law that would update the definition of loan to include EWA products, except for those offered by employers.
As discussed here, on October 19, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited (CFSA) v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) held that the CFPB’s funding mechanism violates the appropriations clause because the CFPB does not receive its funding from annual congressional appropriations like most executive agencies, but instead, receives funding directly from the Federal Reserve based on a request by the CFPB’s director. In response, the CFPB filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. On February 27, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the CFPB’s petition (discussed here).
On June 15, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo signed SB 290 into law, which imposes licensing, reporting, examination, and other substantive requirements on providers of earned wage access (EWA) products. Specifically, the legislation applies to businesses that deliver money to a person that represents income that the person has earned but has not yet been paid.
In January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Coughlin after the First Circuit barred the Lac du Flambeau Band from seeking to collect on a $1,600 debt obligation to the tribe’s lending arm, Lendgreen, after the debtor filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.