Regulatory and Enforcement

On February 20, 2024, the California Court of Appeal largely affirmed an eight-figure judgment against Ashford University (“Ashford”), an on-line, for-profit college, and its parent company, Zovio, Inc. (formerly Bridgepoint Education) for violations based on false and misleading statements to prospective students. Ashford and Zovio had not challenged the trial court’s liability determination, but sought review and reduction of the penalty awarded in that action.… Continue Reading

On February 22, 2024, California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued letters (the “AG Letter”) to California’s 197 state-chartered banks and credit unions warning that overdraft and returned deposited item fees may violate California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The AG Letter encourages the institutions to review their practices and policies regarding: “(1) surprise overdraft fees, which are assessed even when a consumer cannot reasonably anticipate that a debit or checking transaction will overdraw their account; and (2) returned deposited item fees, which are assessed when a consumer deposits a check that is returned, even when the consumer has no knowledge of or control over the circumstances that caused the check to be returned.”… Continue Reading

A proposed class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on February 21, 2024 against TitleMax of Georgia, Inc. and TMX Finance LLC (together, “TitleMax”) accuses the Georgia-based title and pawn lender of various violations of the Military Lending Act (“MLA”), including charging servicemembers and their dependents interest in excess of the MLA’s 36% rate cap.… Continue Reading

On February 16, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Center (“FinCEN”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) regarding residential real estate.  The final version of the NPRM published in the Federal Register is 47 pages long.  We have created a separate document which more clearly sets forth the proposed regulations themselves, at 31 C.F.R.… Continue Reading

Michael Guerrero, a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group and co-leader of the firm’s Fintech and Payment Solutions Team, has authored an article on buy now pay later (BNPL) that will be published in the March—April 2024 issue of ABA Risk and Compliance

Titled “Buy Now Pay Later…in an Era of Increased Scrutiny of Economic Headwinds,” the article discusses the evolution of BNPL, regulatory and compliance considerations, and what is ahead for BNPL.… Continue Reading

Our special guest is Richard (“Rick”) Hackett, former Assistant CFPB Director responsible for auto finance regulation and presently a member of the Board of F&I Sentinel, which supports lender compliance in the auto finance and insurance industry.  In December 2023, the FTC announced its final Combatting Auto Retail Scams Rule, otherwise known as the “CARS Rule,” which sets new requirements on the sale, financing, and leasing of new and used vehicles by motor vehicle dealers. … Continue Reading

The American Bankers Association (ABA) along with 50 state bankers associations, the DC Bankers Association and Puerto Rico Bankers Association sent a letter (the “ABA Letter”) to the Federal Reserve “in strong opposition to the Federal Reserve’s misguided proposal to reduce the regulated interchange cap under Regulation II, and to ask that the proposal be withdrawn pending a rigorous study of this proposal’s impacts and the cumulative impacts of the tsunami of newly finalized and pending regulations from the banking agencies.”… Continue Reading

The FTC recently sent its annual letter to the CFPB reporting on the FTC’s activities related to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B.  The new letter reports on the FTC’s activities in 2023.  The Bureau includes the FTC’s annual letter in its own annual report to Congress on the ECOA.… Continue Reading

In a new data spotlight issued last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) found that interest rates charged on credit cards issued by large banks are higher than interest rates charged on credit cards issued by smaller banks and credit unions. In a press release about the report, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra states that “the CFPB will be accelerating its efforts to ensure that consumers can access better rates that can save families billions of dollars per year.”… Continue Reading

On February 15, 2024, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to Zelle seeking clarification of its reimbursement policy for victims of imposter scams and urging Zelle to publicize its fraud policies to consumers and clarify whether all participating banks must reimburse eligible victims.… Continue Reading