On September 8, a Texas federal judge ruled that the CFPB exceeded its authority by adopting a sweeping anti-discrimination policy last year. The CFPB adopted the policy in March 2022, via an update to its exam manual, stating that discrimination in any financial product is an “unfair” practice that can trigger liability under the federal prohibition against “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices” or UDAAPs (we discussed this policy in previous posts here and here). The CFPB offered examples of practices that may be unfair because they are discriminatory, including offering one set of products or services to a certain customer demographic and a greater set of products or services to another customer demographic, providing inferior terms to one customer demographic as compared to another customer demographic, and engaging in targeted marketing or advertising in a discriminatory manner. Continue Reading Texas Court Strikes Down CFPB UDAAP Policy

Financial services companies beware: the new state privacy laws exemption are not uniform. To recap, there are privacy laws in 12 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. (Delaware’s law is pending the governor’s signature.)Continue Reading State Privacy Law Roundup: What Financial Services Entities Need to Know

In June, the Nevada governor signed SB 290 into law, making Nevada the first state to enact legislation creating a comprehensive statutory framework that specifically defines and regulates the provision of earned wage access (EWA) products. EWA products allow consumers to access their earned wages before their regularly scheduled pay date. While other states and federal agencies have made preliminary efforts to regulate EWA products, Nevada is the first state to impose certain substantive requirements on providers of EWA products, such as implementation of policies for responding to consumer complaints and mandatory disclosure to consumers of their rights, such rights including the ability to cancel EWA agreements at any time without being charged fees.Continue Reading Nevada EWA Legislation Creates Novel Regulatory Framework

On June 23, in Soaring Pine v. Park St Grp, the Michigan Supreme Court held that under certain circumstances, a lender cannot avoid liability for charging illegally high interest rates by including a usury savings clause in loan documents that would reduce the applicable interest rate to the highest non-usurious interest rate permitted by applicable law. The court remanded a private equity firm’s breach-of-contract suit against a house-flipping company back to the trial court to determine whether the lender broke the law.Continue Reading Michigan Supreme Court Limits Applicability of Usury Savings Clauses

On May 1, Georgia signed SB 90 to become the latest state to require disclosures for small-business financing (see our prior posts on this here, here, and here). Providers of commercial financing in the amount of $500,000 or less who conduct more than five transactions in Georgia annually will be required to comply with the new law. Among other exclusions from the legislation, it does not cover real-estate secured loans, purchase-money loans, motor-vehicle floor plan financing, credit extended in connection with the sale of the creditor’s goods or services, or if the lender makes 5 or fewer such loans in any 12-month period. The legislation will go into effect on January 1, 2024.Continue Reading Georgia Introduces New Commercial Financing Disclosure Requirements

On May 15, the Pennsylvania Attorney General Attorney General Michelle Henry announced a $11 million settlement with a rent-to-own lender and its subsidiaries accused of engaging in predatory financing practices. Among other claims, the AG alleged that the company and its subsidiaries disguised the nature of financing products it offered, concealed outstanding balances, engaged in deceptive collection practices, and used a web portal that allowed retailers to sign consumers up for financing without their knowledge. In particular, the lender disguised one-year rent-to-own agreements as “100-Day Cash Payoffs” and then concealed the balances owed. In its initial complaint, the AG alleged that these actions violated Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, Rental-Purchase Agreement Act, Goods and Services Installment Sales Act, and Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act. The company did not admit to any of the Attorney General’s allegations and continues to expressly deny any wrongdoing in the case.Continue Reading Pennsylvania AG Targets Rent-to-Own Company for Alleged Deceptive and Predatory Practices

Earlier this month, the Colorado legislature voted to approve HB23-1229, which would opt the State out of Section 521 of the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 (“DIDMCA”), a federal law enacted to create competitive equality between state-chartered banks and national banks. Section 521 gives federally insured banks, state credit unions, and state savings institutions the ability to export the interest permitted under their home state laws to borrowers in other states notwithstanding any interest limitations in the borrower’s state.Continue Reading Colorado Approves DIDMCA Opt-Out, Raising Concerns for Consumer Credit Access

On February 2, the Massachusetts Attorney General announced that her office entered into an assurance of discontinuance with an auto loan provider to settle allegations of certain illegal auto loan collection practices. Specifically, the Massachusetts AG alleged that, beginning in 2017 and continuing to the present day, the auto loan provider allegedly failed to give borrowers adequate information relating to the calculation methods for deficiencies left on their auto loans after their vehicles were repossessed. The Massachusetts AG further alleged that the auto loan provider engaged in a pattern of excessive collection calling to borrowers in violation state debt collection regulations, which prohibit the initiation of more than two collection communications during a seven-day period.Continue Reading Massachusetts AG Settles Enforcement Action Against Auto Lender