The United States Department of Justice announced last week that Westlake Services LLC and its subsidiary, Wilshire Consumer Capital LLC, have agreed to pay $760,788 to resolve allegations the companies violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) by repossessing 70 vehicles owned by SCRA-protected servicemembers without obtaining the required court orders.… Continue Reading
MLA compliance deadline for credit card accounts is Tuesday, October 3
The Military Lending Act (MLA) will apply to credit card accounts starting Tuesday, October 3. The final rule took effect last October but provided a one-year exemption for “credit extended in a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan.” Although the final rule permits the Secretary of Defense to extend the exemption for up to one year (October 3, 2018), the DoD declined to do so and is allowing the exemption to expire next week.… Continue Reading
GAO report highlights gap in SCRA oversight for private student loans; encourages CFPB to seek additional statutory authority
On November 18, the GAO released a report examining issues related to implementation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) interest rate cap for student loans. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs requested the report in response to indications that servicemembers with student loans who are eligible for an SCRA rate reduction may not always be receiving the benefit.… Continue Reading
As part of joint initiative with the CFPB, FTC launches updated, mobile-friendly Military Consumer website
Yesterday, the FTC announced the launch of a redesigned Military Consumer website as part of its joint initiative with the DoD, CFPB and others. Military.Consumer.gov is a financial readiness website designed to help servicemembers and their families navigate consumer decisions and protect against fraud. The website also provides tools for personal financial managers, counselors, and others in the military community to promote financial education.… Continue Reading
CFPB issues fourth annual report on servicemember complaints
The CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs released its fourth annual report highlighting complaints submitted in 2015 by servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
The report states that in 2015, the CFPB received approximately 19,200 complaints from members of the military community. (Total complaints received by the CFPB in 2015 were approximately 271,600.) … Continue Reading
CFPB issues new report on servicemember student loans
A new CFPB report entitled “Overseas & Underserved: Student Loan Servicing and the Cost to Our Men and Women in Uniform” contains the CFPB’s findings regarding student loan servicing problems faced by servicemembers. According to the CFPB, it has handled more than 1,300 complaints from military borrowers relating to the servicing or collection of student loans since it published its last report on this topic in October 2012. … Continue Reading
Congress votes unanimously to extend SCRA one-year foreclosure protection period
Congress has unanimously approved legislation to extend until January 2016 a provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that prohibits foreclosing on a servicemember’s house for one year following the servicemember’s return from active duty. The CFPB has made SCRA compliance a priority issue.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse proposed S.2404, known as the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2014, last May. … Continue Reading
Department of Education adopts new procedures for lenders and servicers of federal student loans to use to determine SCRA eligibility
This past May, we wrote about the $60 million Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) settlement announced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (ED) with a major student loan servicer and expressed our concern that the settlement could be seen as changing the rules for when all servicers must reduce the interest rate on a loan to a servicemember to 6 percent. … Continue Reading
DOJ confirms investigation of private student loan SCRA violations
As we reported, in the CFPB’s “Mid-year snapshot of private student loan complaints” on complaints the CFPB received from October 2012 through March 2013, one of the top servicing issues reported by consumers was the continued difficulty experienced by some military borrowers in obtaining the 6% rate cap provided under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). … Continue Reading
CFPB expands complaint database
On Friday, the CFPB announced that it had expanded its public Consumer Complaint Database to include complaints about credit reporting and money transfers. Simultaneously, the CFPB announced that complaints in its public database are searchable by state.
The CFPB uses complaints its receives to prioritize and prepare for investigations and examinations.… Continue Reading