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.

Mortgage Servicer Agrees to Pay More Than $60 million for Alleged “Abusive” Collection Practices

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The mortgage servicing industry remains under scrutiny, as evidenced by the recent joint enforcement action against Green Tree Servicing, LLC by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).   In a joint complaint filed in Minnesota, the regulators allege that Green Tree, through its collection activities…

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CFPB Plans Unprecedented New Rules on PayDay Lending

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On March 26, 2015, CFPB Director Richard Cordray announced a proposed outline of changes to payday lending that would vastly alter the current rules and regulations.  The new rules would address both short-term and longer-term credit products such as payday loans; deposit advance products; high-cost installment loans; certain other open-end lines…

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Should Companies Trust New Cyber Security Bill En Route to Passage in Senate?

On March 12, 2015, the Senate Intelligence Committee took an important step in advancing a comprehensive bill titled the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (“CISA”) aimed at bolstering U.S. companies and the federal government’s cyber security protections.  But some privacy watchdogs and other government officials are openly wondering whether…

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CFPB Finds Arbitration Agreements Limit Consumer Redress

On March 10, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its Arbitration Study, which concludes that arbitration agreements in contracts associated with consumer financial products constrain consumers’ ability to assert their rights if a dispute arises.  The study, which the CFPB was directed to carry out under Section 1028(a)…

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CFPB Director Faces Tough Questions Before House Committee on Financial Services

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On March 3, 2015 CFPB Director Richard Cordray appeared before the House Committee on Financial Services to deliver testimony regarding the Bureau’s work.  Director Cordray spent much of his semiannual address touting the Bureau’s efforts in the mortgage space.  In his written statement, Director Cordray commented on the Bureau’s Qualified…

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Supreme Court Will Hear ECOA Case About Spousal Guarantors

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits discrimination against applicants for credit—but what about guarantors who agree to be responsible for repayment?  A federal regulation treats spousal guarantors as “applicants” who can sue under EOCA, but two federal appellate courts disagreed with each other about the question. The Supreme Court agreed on…

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U.S. Woos Businesses With New Cyber Security Intelligence Division

As the cyber security threat to the U.S. economy and national security has grown, U.S. states and businesses have taken increasing steps to prevent potential hacks from invading user privacy and U.S. intelligence activities.  Most recently, New York’s attorney general, proposed new rules to help safeguard consumer privacy and provide businesses with incentives…

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CFPB Receiving Plenty of Advice on Proposed Regulation of Payday Lending

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State and federal regulation of payday lenders is far from a new phenomenon.  Recently, litigation against entities using the “tribal lending” model, and government attempts to suppress certain online lending programs via Operation Chokepoint have put the spotlight back on industry.  In past articles, we have noted that the Consumer Financial…

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CFPB Orders Lender To Reduce Student Loan Principal Balances By $480 Million

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently announced that it had reached an agreement to give students of Corinthian College, Inc. at least $480 million in principal reductions on existing student debt. Former and current students will receive an immediate 40% reduction on existing principal balances of their loans with…

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The Last FHA False Claims Act Settlement of 2014

On December 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development entered into a settlement agreement with New York-based Golden First Mortgage Corporation and its president and owner, David Movtady, concerning allegations that Golden First and Movtady violated the False Claims Act by approving FHA mortgage loans that failed…

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