On January 12, the CFPB released a report that identified an uptick in identity theft reported by servicemembers. The report found that military consumers (defined as active duty servicemembers, veterans, and military family members) reported almost 50,000 cases of identity theft to the FTC in 2021. Additionally, military consumer complaints to the CFPB for debts resulting from identity theft increased from about 200 in 2014 to more than 1,000 in 2022.

Continue Reading CFPB Report: ID Theft Among Servicemembers Increasing

On January 19, the CFPB issued Circular 2023-01 to affirm that companies offering “negative option” subscription services are required to comply with federal consumer financial protection laws. According to the Circular, “negative option” refers to a term or condition under which a seller may interpret a consumer’s silence, failure to take an affirmative action to reject a product or service, or failure to cancel an agreement as acceptance or continued acceptance of the offer (see our previous blog posts on negative option marketing here and here). The CFPB warns that negative option marketing practices may violate the prohibition on unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices in the CFPA where a seller:

Continue Reading CFPB: Negative Option Marketing Practices May Violate CFPA

On January 11, the CFPB proposed a rule requiring nonbanks subject to its supervisory authority, with limited exceptions, to annually register with the CFPB regarding their use of certain terms and conditions in form contracts for products and services that pose risks to consumers. Nonbanks would be required to register if they use specific terms and conditions defined in the proposed rule that attempt to waive consumers’ legal protections, to limit how consumers enforce their rights, or to restrict consumers’ ability to file complaints or post reviews. Key parts of the rule do the following:

Continue Reading CFPB Proposes Registry of Terms and Conditions for Nonbanks

On January 11, the CFPB and a debt-collection law firm it sued in 2019 for illegal debt-collection practices reached settlement. The CFPB included in its initial complaint against the defendant allegations that the law firm falsely represented to consumers that attorneys were actively engaged in overseeing and filing lawsuits, while in a two year period, such law firm employed less than a dozen attorneys and filed more than 99,000 debt-collection lawsuits with minimal supporting documentation. The CFPB alleged this was a violation of the CFPA and FDCPA, which prohibits collecting debts by using false, deceptive, or misleading representations. If the proposed settlement order is entered by the court, it would require that the law firm to:

Continue Reading CFPB Settles with “Debt Collection Mill”

On January 4, the CFPB and the New York State Office of the Attorney General filed a complaint against a prominent subprime auto lender in the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleges that the auto lender misrepresented costs in loan agreements and tricked customers into high-cost loans on used cars in violation of the CFPA and New York usury limits. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the auto lender harmed consumers in the following ways:

Continue Reading CFPB and New York AG File Suit Against “Predatory” Auto Lender

Recently, the CFPB filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit arguing that the court should reinstate a borrower’s putative class action claim against a national bank. The CFPB argued that the district court erred by improperly narrowing a provision in Regulation Z of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) that prohibits lenders from withdrawing from deposit accounts to cover debts caused by credit card plans.

Continue Reading CFPB Files Amicus Brief in TILA Suit, Impacts How Banks Collect on HELOCs

Last month, the CFPB released new Supervisory Highlights identifying examinations findings in the areas of auto servicing, consumer reporting, credit card account management, debt collection, deposits, mortgage origination, mortgage servicing and payday lending completed between January 1, 2022, and June 31, 2022. Among other highlights, the findings including the following:

Continue Reading CFPB Fall Supervisory Highlights Find Credit Reporting Failures, Junk Fees, Mishandling of Covid-19 Protections

On November 22, the CFPB denied a crypto lending institution’s petition for an order modifying a pending civil investigative demand (“CID”) that the Bureau issued to the institution in December of 2021. The CFPB issued the CID as part of an investigation into the institution’s advertisement of certain product offerings, including lines of credit and its “Earn Interest Product” (“EIP”).

Continue Reading CFPB and State Regulators Hone in on Interest-Bearing Crypto Accounts

On December 1, the CFPB and a financial services company filed a stipulated proposed court order seeking the resolution of a CFPB suit alleging that the financial services company made false, misleading, and inaccurate marketing representations to consumers regarding its “high yield” savings account offering. In its original complaint, the CFPB alleged that the financial services company engaged in four separate false representations to consumers in violation of the CFPA:

Continue Reading CFPB Targets Financial Services Company for Deceptive Advertising

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently released a report titled “Assessing Impacts of New Entrant Non-bank Firms on Competition in Consumer Finance Markets,” a product of the Biden administration’s effort to assess competition in different aspects of the economy. The report focuses primarily on FinTechs and other new entrant non-bank firms, including the consequences of their participation with insured depository institutions in core consumer finance markets (e.g., credit, deposits, and payments) and recommendations to enhance oversight of non-bank financial institutions.

Continue Reading Treasury Report Sets Guidelines For Oversight on FinTech Participation in Core Finance Markets

Recently, the CFPB released an outline of proposed measures related to the Bureau’s Dodd-Frank Section 1033 rulemaking efforts that would allow consumers the rights over their personal financial data. The outline discusses proposed regulations that would require covered data providers to make consumer financial data available directly to a consumer and to any third parties authorized by the consumer. Under these proposed regulations, consumers would be able to easily switch financial providers and transfer their account history to a new provider. In a high-level summary of the proposed regulations, the CFPB discusses the regulatory provisions it is considering proposing, including the following:

Continue Reading CFPB Issues Proposed Rulemaking on Data Access and Portability