Small Business Finance

On June 18, a Colorado federal court granted the plaintiff trade groups’ motion for a preliminary injunction, effectively halting the enforcement of Colorado’s H.B. 1229 with respect to loans made by out-of-state state-chartered banks.

As discussed here, yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited (CFSA) v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) holding that the CFPB’s special funding structure does not violate the appropriations clause of the Constitution. Wasting no time, today the CFPB filed notices of the CFSA decision in cases nationwide, including in the case where several trade associations are challenging the CFPB’s final rule under § 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act (Final Rule), Texas Bankers Association, et al. v. CFPB.

As discussed here, in March 2023, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) proposed new regulations under the California Financing Law that would interpret the definition of “loan” to include “income-based advances” or earned wage access (EWA) products, except those offered by employers. The proposal also sought to require providers of such products to register with the state, and imposed requirements on debt settlement companies and education financing providers.

The California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee is currently considering Senate Bill (SB) 1286, which would expand the scope of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA) to also prohibit debt collectors from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the collection of small business debts.

On March 8, Washington State’s legislature passed a significant amendment (SB 6025) to the Consumer Loan Act (CLA) targeting bank model lending. SB 6025 is an updated version of a prior bill, discussed here. The act awaits Governor Jay Inslee’s signature.

On March 1, Senate Bill (SB) 335 was introduced, which, if passed, would impose certain requirements on “commercial financing transactions.” Recently, multiple states have enacted disclosure regulations for commercial financing transactions (see discussions on California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, Virginia, and Utah).

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.

Late last month, the Revenue Based Finance Coalition (RBFC), a trade group of sales-based financing providers, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida 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. Specifically, RBFC objects to the CFPB’s characterization of sales-based financing as a form of credit subject to the Final Rule’s collection and reporting requirements.

As discussed here, during the summer of 2023, Representative Roger Williams (R-Texas) and Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced identical Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions in the U.S. House and Senate (H.J. Res. 66 and S. J. Res. 32, respectively) disapproving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB or Bureau) implementation of the small business data collection and reporting final rule under § 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Final Rule). Under the CRA, a rule promulgated by an administrative agency “shall not take effect (or continue), if the Congress enacts a joint resolution of disapproval.” On October 18, by a bipartisan vote of 53-44, the Senate approved its resolution. On November 29, the House likewise passed a resolution of disapproval by a vote of 221-202.

Late last month, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie introduced B 25-0609, entitled the Protecting Affordable Loans Amendment Act of 2023, that proposes to opt the District of Columbia out of sections 521-523 of the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA). Sections 521-523 of DIDMCA empower state banks, insured state and federal savings associations, and state credit unions to charge the interest allowed by the state where they are located, regardless of where the borrower is located and regardless of conflicting state law (i.e., “export” their home state’s interest-rate authority). But another section of DIDMCA (section 525), permits states to opt out of sections 521-523 via legislation. If the bill passes, the District will join Colorado, discussed here, Iowa and Puerto Rico as the only jurisdictions currently opting out.