After nearly a decade of litigation, Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has approved the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s $6.0 million settlement of class claims of alleged discrimination by the CFPB against 85 Black and Hispanic employees. The class consists of all “minority employees and women who work or worked as Consumer Response Specialists and have been subjected to and harmed by the Bureau’s agency-wide pattern or practice of discrimination and retaliation and discriminatory policies and practices,” according to the complaint.… Continue Reading

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) has invited President Joe Biden to give his State of the Union address to a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, March 7, 2024. The invitation was immediately accepted by President Biden in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, in which the President stated “Looking forward to it, Mr.… Continue Reading

On January 11, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued two new advisory opinions: Fair Credit Reporting; Background Screening and Fair Credit Reporting; File Disclosure. The advisory opinions are part of the CFPB’s ongoing efforts to clean up what the CFPB describes in its press release as allegedly “sloppy” credit reporting practices and ensure credit report accuracy and transparency to consumers.… Continue Reading

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlighted its observations of the resumption of federal student loan payments by consumers after more than three years of a payment moratorium due to COVID-19 in a report released on January 5, 2024. The report, titled “Issue Spotlight: Federal Student Loan Return to Repayment,” highlights several issues it maintains are confronting consumers, including extended call hold times, processing delays in income-driven repayment applications, and inaccurate billing and disclosure statements.… Continue Reading

As previously reported, in late December 2023 President Biden vetoed legislation adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate under the Congressional Review Act to override the CFPB’s final Section 1071 small business lending rule (1071 Rule). The vote in the House was 221-202 and the vote in the Senate was 53-44.… Continue Reading

On January 8, 2024, the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) announced the launch of a new microsite, overdraftfacts.com, to demonstrate the value overdraft services provide to consumers, highlight bank-driven overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) innovations and reforms that have significantly reduced consumer costs, and serve as a resource for policymakers. The microsite also includes statements from regulators, legislators, scholars, thought leaders, and the media; input about the CFPB’s planned NSF and overdraft fee rulemaking; and related industry articles.… Continue Reading

The CFPB recently issued a rule to adjust maximum penalty amounts under various statutes that it administers. Included among the adjustments are the amounts for the three tiers of civil money penalties that the CFPB may impose for violations of consumer financial protection laws under the Dodd-Frank Act. Specifically, the Dodd-Frank Act initially provided for the following tiers of civil money penalties:

  • For any violation of a law, rule, or final order or condition imposed in writing by the CFPB, a civil money penalty of up to $5,000 for each day during which such violation or failure to pay continues.
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On December 22, 2023, the Attorney General of Montana released an opinion (the “Opinion”) concluding that certain earned wage access (EWA) products are not “consumer loans” or “deferred deposit loans” under Montana law and do not, therefore, require licensure by the Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions. The Opinion only applies to EWA products that are:

  1. fully non-recourse, meaning providers do not: have any legal or contractual right to repayment from consumers, engage in any debt collection activities, sell or assign any balances, or report any non-payment to a consumer reporting agency;
  2. not conditioned on payment of any mandatory interest, fee, or other compensation; and
  3. limited in amount to the consumer’s accrued income.
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Revenue Based Finance Coalition (RBFC), a trade group whose members include non-banks that provide sales-based financing to businesses, filed a lawsuit last week against the CFPB in a Florida federal district court challenging the CFPB’s final small business lending rule implementing Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank.  The core argument made by RBFC is that because sales-based financing does not constitute “credit” within the meaning of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B, the CFPB did not have the authority to regulate sales-based financing as “credit” under the Rule.… Continue Reading

This New Year is setting up to be a momentous one for the consumer financial services industry in the United States Supreme Court. In 2024, the Supreme Court is expected to decide four impactful cases that may hold that the CFPB’s funding is unconstitutional, eliminate giving deference to CFPB, FTC and federal banking agency regulations, severely narrow National Bank Act (NBA) preemption of state laws, and limit the time during which a plaintiff may sue an agency to facially challenge an agency rule.… Continue Reading