On December 7, 2022, the CFPB issued a report recommending that creditors proactively provide Servicemember Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) interest rate benefits to eligible customers, bypassing the statute’s requirements of a written request from the servicemember and proof of military service.  The report, titled “Protecting Those Who Protect Us: Evidence of activated Guard and Reserve servicemembers’ usage of credit protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act,” highlights the underutilization of the SCRA’s interest rate benefit by eligible servicemembers.… Continue Reading

On November 22, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed an amicus brief in a case involving the right of servicemembers to sue under the Military Lending Act (“MLA”).  In the brief, the agencies ask the Eleventh Circuit to overturn a district court decision that held the plaintiffs (a servicemember and his wife) did not have a right to sue under the MLA because they had not suffered a concrete injury sufficient to confer standing.… Continue Reading

On September 29, 2002, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) filed a complaint against online lender MoneyLion Technologies, Inc, and several dozen of its subsidiaries (collectively, “MoneyLion”), alleging violations of the Military Lending Act (“MLA).  The complaint alleges that MoneyLion (i) overcharged servicemember and their dependents by imposing fees that, together with stated interest rates, exceeded the MLA’s 36% Military Annual Percentage Rate (“MAPR”), (ii) failed to provide required disclosures, and (iii) included arbitration clauses prohibited by the MLA. … Continue Reading

On July 13, 2022, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on National Security held a hearing entitled “Protecting Military Servicemembers and Veterans from Financial Scams and Fraud.”  A recording of the hearing is available here

July has been designated as “Military Consumer Month,” a public-private marketing initiative created by state and federal agencies and military and consumer groups designed to draw attention to financial issues impacting the military community. … Continue Reading

Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued the Office of Servicemember Affairs Annual Report for 2021.  The report focuses primarily on customer complaints, highlighting issues related to credit reporting, debt collection, and medical billing. 

According to the CFPB, it received more than 42,700 customer complaints from servicemembers in 2021, a 5% increase from 2020 and up 19% from 2019. … Continue Reading

On April 15, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Steve’s Towing, Inc., located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”), 50 U.S.C. §§ 3901-4043, for alleged violations of the SCRA’s prohibition against enforcing a storage lien on a servicemember’s vehicle during, or within ninety days after, a period of military service without a court order. … Continue Reading

The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA) (S. 1605) currently awaiting President Biden’s signature does not contain several proposed provisions that members of the consumer financial services industry had opposed.

Specifically, the NDAA does not contain provisions that would have:

The NDAA does contain a provision (Section 6207) that expands the coverage of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protections dealing with the termination of residential or motor vehicle leases and telephone service contracts. … Continue Reading

The Department of Justice announced earlier this week that it has entered into a consent order with the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to settle the DOJ’s claim that HESAA violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by obtaining unlawful court judgments against two military servicemembers for amounts owed on student loans. … Continue Reading

In another action demonstrating that a “new CFPB” is in place under the Biden Administration, the CFPB has issued an interpretive rule setting forth the basis for its determination that it has authority to examine institutions that it supervises for Military Loan Act (MLA) compliance.

In 2018, under the leadership of former Acting Director Mulvaney, the CFPB stopped examining its supervised institutions for MLA compliance on the ground that it did not have the requisite statutory authority. … Continue Reading

Earlier this month, the Office of Servicemember Affairs (OSA) released its annual report covering the Office’s activities during fiscal year 2019, which covers the period of October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

Noteworthy items include:

  • Top Complaints Received from Military Consumers During FY19.  In FY19, the same overall number of complaints (34,600) were submitted as in FY18. 
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