Financial services companies - banks, non-bank lenders and loan servicers, auto finance companies, student loan companies, debt collectors, credit card issuers, non-traditional finance companies, and other market participants - face numerous legal challenges today, including government investigations and enforcement actions, a shifting regulatory landscape, novel civil litigation theories and other litigation risks. Especially as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other regulators issue guidance and promulgate new rules and regulations impacting the consumer finance industry, it is now more critical than ever that corporate counsel stay abreast of these developments and related enforcement and litigation trends in order to manage institutional risks. Recognizing this need, Goodwin's LenderLaw Watch monitors, chronicles and analyzes news and legal issues impacting our clients and the consumer finance industry.

Fifth Circuit Issues Decision Holding that the Funding Mechanism for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is Unconstitutional

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On October 19, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (Fifth Circuit) held that the funding mechanism for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is unconstitutional and violates the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution.  Community Fin. Services Assoc. of Am. Ltd., No. 21-50826 (5th Cir. Oct. 19, 2022).  In light…

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CFPB Releases Supervisory Highlights Regarding Practices of Student Loan Servicers and University-Owned Lenders

In September 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a special edition of Supervisory Highlights regarding recent examination findings related to student loan servicing.  The Supervisory Highlights focus on three sets of “significant supervisory findings:”  (i) blanket policies to withhold transcripts in connection with an extension of credit are abusive…

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CFPB Issues Circular Confirming that Financial Companies May Violate Consumer Financial Protection Law by Failing to Protect Consumer Data

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In August 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a circular confirming that, under certain circumstances, entities may “violate the prohibition on unfair acts or practices in the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) when they have insufficient data protection or information security.”  The circular sets forth the CFPB’s analysis…

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CFPB Fines Bank for Accessing Customer Credit Reports and Opening Accounts, Credit Cards, and Lines of Credit Without Customers’ Permission

On July 28, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Consent Order against a large bank (the Bank), claiming that the Bank created sales pressure on its employees that encouraged employees to illegally access customer credit reports and to open checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and lines…

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CFPB and DOJ Order Mortgage Company to Pay Over $22 Million for Advertising and Marketing Discrimination

On July 27, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a complaint and proposed consent order in a federal district court alleging that a mortgage company intentionally discriminated against families living in majority-minority neighborhoods around Philadelphia in violation of the Fair Housing Act…

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Third Circuit Rules that Caller Must Use An “Automatic Telephone Dialing System’s” Ability to Produce or Store Telephone Numbers Through Random or Sequential Number Generation to Trigger Potential Liability under the TCPA’s ATDS Provision

On June 14, 2022, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (Third Circuit) issued a significant decision regarding the TCPA’s restrictions in Section 227(b)(1)(A)(iii) on using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) definition to make calls or texts to cellphones without prior express consent.  In Panzarella v. Navient Solutions, Inc, No….

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DOJ Settles with Social Media Company to Resolve Fair Lending and Discriminatory Advertising Allegations

On June 21, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a complaint and settlement agreement in federal court alleging that a social media company is in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, for employing tools that allow advertisers of housing-related services to exclude certain…

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FDIC Issues Final Rule on False Advertising, Misrepresentation of Insured Status, and Misuse of the FDIC’s Name or Logo

On May 17, 2022, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced its adoption of a final rule implementing Section 18(a)(4) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, which prohibits  any person from misusing the FDIC’s name or logo to misrepresent their deposit insurance status.  The final rule establishes the process by…

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District Court Declines to Extend Debt Collector's Reading of TransUnion v. Ramirez Standing Requirements

On April 27, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania certified a class comprised of individuals alleging the Defendants violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Plaintiffs allege Defendants violated the FDCPA by sending collections letters encouraging individuals to accept discounted repayment offers before a…

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CFPB Sues TransUnion and Senior Executive for Violating Law Enforcement Order Prohibiting Deceptive Marketing

On April 12, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had filed a lawsuit in federal court against TransUnion, two of its subsidiaries, and its longtime executive for failing to implement requirements of the CFPB’s 2017 law enforcement  order to TransUnion, and for violating Regulation V, which…

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California DFPI Issues Guidance to Financial Institutions Regarding Russia Sanctions

On March 4, 2022, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) issued a reminder to its financial institution licensees regarding their obligations in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine:  comply with U.S. sanctions on Russia, and employ safeguards to protect against attempts to use virtual currency transfers…

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CFPB Encourages Consumers To “Hold Accountable” Consumer Reporting Companies By Filing Disputes and FCRA Lawsuits

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On January 27, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its updated annual list of consumer reporting companies for the purpose of encouraging consumers to seek access to their files, and sue if they believe there is a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violation.  The CFPB’s press release announcing the…

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