Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that its so-called “Payday, Vehicle Title and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans” rule (Rule) will go into effect on March 30, 2025. While ostensibly aimed at higher-APR lending (e.g., loans with an APR above 36%), it also applies to most creditors, including banks, offering loans: (1) that are substantially repayable within 45 days or less; or (2) that have a bullet or balloon payment feature. It applies by its plain terms to a number of mainstream financial products and products marketed to high-net worth individuals, none of which the CFPB seems to have considered when promulgating the rule.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill (HB) 2247 into law, bringing significant changes to the Kansas Mortgage Business Act and the Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC). The changes brought about by HB 2247 will largely become effective on January 1, 2025. However, those changes standardizing threshold amounts consistent with federal law will become effective on July 1, 2024.

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) filed a complaint against SoLo Funds, Inc., a fintech company operating a small-dollar, short-term lending platform. The CFPB alleges that SoLo Funds engaged in deceptive practices related to the total cost of loans, servicing, and collection of void and uncollectible loans in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) and engaged in providing consumer reports governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) but failed to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of those consumer reports.

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. The 7-2 majority held the Dodd-Frank Act, which provides the CFPB’s funding structure, satisfies the appropriations clause because it “authorizes the Bureau to draw public funds from a particular source — ‘the combined earnings of the Federal Reserve System’ — in an amount not exceeding an inflation-adjusted cap. And it specifies the objects for which the Bureau can use those funds — to ‘pay the expenses of the Bureau in carrying out its duties and responsibilities.’” The Supreme Court further found that the “Bureau’s funding mechanism [] fits comfortably within the historical appropriations practice …” Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented from the decision.

On April 19, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill (HB) 2560 to regulate earned wage access (EWA) products and services. HB 2560 enacts the Earned Wage Access Services Act that requires EWA providers to be licensed by the state bank commissioner and comply with certain disclosure rules. Kansas follows Nevada, Missouri, and Wisconsin in enacting EWA legislation.

Yesterday, three trade organizations filed a complaint in Colorado federal court challenging H.B. 1229, Colorado’s effort to limit interest charges by out-of-state financial institutions, which is set to take effect on July 1, 2024. As discussed here, in June 2023, Colorado passed H.B. 1229, limiting certain charges on consumer loans and simultaneously opting Colorado out of §§ 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). However, § 525 of DIDMCA enables states to opt out of this rate authority with respect to loans made in the opt-out state.

On February 20, the Wisconsin Senate passed House Bill (HB) 574 to regulate earned wage access (EWA) products and services. HB 574 creates a new chapter to the Wisconsin Statutes that requires EWA providers to be licensed by the Division of Banking and imposes substantive and disclosure rules. HB 574 expressly exempts EWA offered by licensees under the new law from the licensed loan company provisions in Wis. Stat. § 138.09 but does not clearly address whether EWA is covered by the Wisconsin Consumer Act. HB 574 will be sent to Governor Tony Evers for signature.

On February 15, Massachusetts became the latest state to introduce legislation to regulate earned wage access (EWA) products and services. House Bill (HB) 4456 would create a new chapter to the Massachusetts Code explicitly stating that EWA services offered under the new chapter are not loans or other form of credit or debt, and voluntary tips or gratuities are not interest or finance charges. It further requires EWA providers to be licensed and provide mandatory disclosures to consumers. The bill is pending before the Joint Financial Services Committee.

On February 23, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) released an order, dated November 30, 2023, establishing supervisory authority over installment lender World Acceptance Corp. The CFPB found that it had reasonable cause to determine that the conduct of World Acceptance “poses risks to consumers with regard to the offering or provision of consumer financial products or services,” and, therefore, the agency could exercise its supervisory powers over the company under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). Notably, this is the CFPB’s first supervisory designation order in a contested matter, andy, as permitted by the Bureau’s amended rules governing this process, the Bureau chose to publicize its decision (and issue a press release about it).

In representing fintech companies and other lenders, we increasingly confront claims against debt buyers or entities with bank partner relationships brought under Pennsylvania’s Consumer Discount Company Act (CDCA) and the Loan Interest and Protection Law (LIPL). This article highlights a recent case addressing the CDCA decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.