Is Knowing Enough? The FTC's Concerns Regarding Mobile Banking Practices May Force You to Do ...

On September 10, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) posted a comment in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) request for information regarding the use of mobile banking services and products specifically utilized by economically vulnerable or underserved consumers.  After briefly articulating some of the benefits of mobile…

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Interagency Guidance: Regulators Will Enforce UDAAP Laws Notwithstanding Repeal of Regulation AA

The Federal Reserve Board recently made headlines when it repealed its Regulation AA to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act, leading some to wonder how, and to what extent, regulation of financial institutions might change going forward. But the federal agencies charged with regulating banking and credit activities have made it clear that they will continue to enforce prohibitions…

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CFPB Warns Credit Card Issuers Against Deceptive Marketing of Promotional APR Offers

On September 3, 2014, the CFPB issued a Bulletin warning credit card issuers about deceptive marketing of promotional annual percentage rate (APR) offers.  According to the CFPB, it has observed solicitations that offer an initial low APR for certain kinds of transactions (such as convenience checks, deferred interest rate purchases, or…

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Money Remittance Improvement Act Eases Regulatory Requirements for MSBs

On August 1, Congress passed the Money Remittances Improvement Act of 2014 (signed by President Obama on August 8, 2014), which reduces regulatory hurdles and duplication between state and federal regulation of money services businesses.  Specifically, the Act permits the Secretary of the Treasury to “rely on examinations conducted by a…

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Retailers Beware: Shopping Apps Can Cost You, Too

Online shopping is widespread, and by now, most retailers have tailored their websites to ensure consumers are fully aware of their privacy, security, and dispute resolution rights and liabilities in buying products online.  However, as retailers and other companies increasingly launch mobile applications to allow their customers to purchase items…

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GAO Report: Consumer Protections Against Virtual Currency Risks Still Lacking; CFPB Should Step In

On June 26, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report entitled “Virtual Currencies: Emerging Regulatory, Law Enforcement, and Consumer Protection Challenges.”  The report discusses the benefits and disadvantages of virtual currency and reviews efforts to date by federal agencies to regulate the virtual currency market.  The report concludes…

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Committee of Banking Regulators Begins Cyber-Security Assessments of 500 Financial Institutions

On June 24, 2014, in response to the “increasing volume and sophistication of cyber threats,” the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (“FFIEC”) began a month-long cyber-security assessment of 500 community financial institutions and credit unions.  Announcing what it dubbed a “pilot program,” the FFIEC—a formal, interagency body made up of…

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Recent DOJ & CFPB Consent Orders Highlight ECOA Risks For Servicers

Synchrony Bank (formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank) made two direct mail offers to its credit card holders, but it did not send the offers to Spanish-speaking customers.  The Bank self-reported its actions, resulting in consent orders with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Justice, which…

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IN FAIRNESS TO ALL: Complying With FCRA Disclosure Requirements When Evaluating And Hiring ...

Employers use a number of tools to assess any potential hire, and to evaluate existing employees.  When using a credit report for these purposes, employers need to be wary of the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s (“FCRA”) (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) provisions.  The FCRA has strict procedures, requiring that employers…

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FTC Settles with Auto Lender over Improper Servicing, Collection, and Quality Control Practices

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced a $5.5 million monetary and injunctive settlement with auto lender Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPS) concerning allegations that the company used illegal tactics in servicing and collecting consumers’ auto loans, and failed to adopt proper quality controls, in violation of Section 5 of…

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Mortgage Industry Wins Significant Ruling In Ninth Circuit, Largely Ending Consolidated MERS Cases

Lenders scored a victory in the Ninth Circuit on June 12, 2014, with the court largely affirming dismissal of claims by plaintiffs in multidistrict litigation challenging the lending industry’s use of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS). The appeal stemmed from dozens of putative class actions and individual borrower cases…

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"If I go there will be trouble, and if I stay it will be double": Second Circuit Provides ...

Move to federal court or stay in state court—an essential strategic question for defendants of state-court-filed class actions.  Pace of litigation, applicable discovery rules, court familiarity with class actions—the right forum can make a significant difference in litigating a class action.  Although the first choice of forum belongs to the…

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