On March 29, the CFPB and the FTC jointly filed an amicus brief with the Eleventh Circuit in a matter involving a dispute under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The case involves a consumer who filed disputes with a consumer reporting agency (CRA) after discovering multiple errors in her credit file, including incorrect personal information. However, the CRA failed to delete the disputed information, notify any furnishers of the consumer’s dispute, or provide the sources of the disputed information. The consumer sued, alleging the CRA violated the FCRA’s reinvestigation requirement by failing to reinvestigate her dispute regarding her name, address, and SSN information. The CRA claimed the text of the CRA did not require it to reinvestigate incorrect personal identifying information. At summary judgment, the district court found that while the reinvestigation requirement applied to personal identifying information, the CRA did not “willfully or negligently” violate the FCRA because its interpretation of the reinvestigation requirement was not objectively unreasonable.Continue Reading CFPB and FTC Argue Consumer Reporting Companies Have an Obligation to Correct Errors in Joint Amicus Brief

On April 2, at an event at the White House on Data Protection and National Security, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra’s articulated potential changes to the data security regulation landscape and noted that the Bureau is considering rules to amend the Fair Credit Report Acting, tightening the regulation of data brokers that trade in sensitive consumer data. His remarks follow an Executive Order signed by President Biden five weeks ago aimed at protecting American’s sensitive personal data from “countries of concern.” Continue Reading CFPB Announces Potential FCRA Expansion Targeting Brokers of Consumer Data

On April 4, the CFPB published a new Issue Spotlight, titled “Banking in Video Games and Virtual Worlds” that analyzes the increased commercial activity within online video games and virtual worlds and the apparent risks to consumers—in this case, to online gamers. In particular, this report examines how “game assets” are being used and the associated risks, including the emergence of products or services that resemble traditional consumer financial products or services. Continue Reading Report Signals CFPB Taking Aim at Video Game and Virtual Worlds Industries

In its latest campaign against “junk fees,” the CFPB announced that it was requesting consumer feedback on fees incurred as part of the residential home loan closing process, such as title insurance, credit reporting, and origination fees, as well as appraisal costs. Continue Reading CFPB Renews Push on “Junk Fees” with Closing Costs in its Sights

On March 7, the FTC announced it had finalized substantial revisions to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (the proposed rule was discussed here). Since promulgated in 1995, the TSR has been amended four times, most recently in 2015. This latest revision to the TSR significantly expands its reach by bringing business to business (B2B) telemarketing calls within its scope. Moreover, the revisions substantially enhanced the TSR’s recordkeeping requirements which will likely have a major impact on telemarketers’ compliance efforts. Key revisions to the TSR include:Continue Reading FTC Announces Major Expansion of Telemarketing Sales Rule

On February 29, the CFPB issued a circular warning digital comparison-shopping websites and lead generators that practices that steer customers to certain financial products or services based on compensation received from companies that sell such financial products or services can be an abusive act or practice in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act. The Bureau’s guidance will have a major impact on comparison-shopping websites for mortgage, credit cards, and short-term installment lending, among others.Continue Reading The CFPB Takes Aim at Digital Comparison Shopping Websites and Lead Generators

On February 22, California Attorney General Rob Bonta sent letters to 197 state-charted banks and credit unions warning them that certain fees they charge may constitute “unfair” business practices under California’s Unfair Competition Law and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Act. Bonta encouraged the financial institutions to review their policies and procedures to ensure consumers were not being assessed these fees.Continue Reading California AG Warns State-Chartered Banks and Credit Unions on Fees

On February 15, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to a leading payment app seeking clarification of its reimbursement policy for victims of imposter scams. Calling its protocol for reporting fraud and scams “unnecessarily complicated,” the Senators asked the payment app to add more categories of scams for which users can be reimbursed, and to streamline its process for reporting fraud, scams, and unauthorized transactions. The Senators noted that the company’s policy did not make clear which types of scams would qualify for reimbursement or what steps consumers needed to take to exercise their rights under its policy. The Senator’s pressed the payment app to make public whether banks and credit unions are required to reimburse customers who are victims of qualifying imposter scams. The Senators asked for responses to their questions by March 13, 2024.Continue Reading Congress Continues to Pressure Payment Apps to Change their Fraud Policies

On February 7, a Florida-based cryptocurrency company agreed to settle charges brought by the SEC and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation alleging that, an interest-earning feature offered on the company’s platform, constitutes an illegal securities offering.Continue Reading Crypto Platform Settles SEC and State Regulator Charges over Interest Bearing Feature on Customer Accounts

On January 2, 2024, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced “a sweeping consumer protection and affordability agenda,” what she termed as the “most significant expansion of consumer laws since 1980.” As part of that agenda, she announced expanding UDAAP protections and registration requirements for BNPL providers.Continue Reading New York Governor Consumer Protection Agenda Targets Unfair and Deceptive Practices and BNPL Providers