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.

Trends in U.S. Paycheck Protection Program Class Actions

Early uncertainty and the initial lapse in appropriations for the U.S. CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) set off a wave of litigation by disgruntled small businesses who have been unable to secure PPP loans.  PPP loans were made available through various lenders to certain COVID-19-affected businesses meeting specific maximum…

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Fair Lending Considerations in a COVID-19 World: U.S. Paycheck Protection Program Issues

The first wave of class actions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic is here, including a number of cases concerning so-called “gating” eligibility rules that are legitimately applied by many lenders to manage the flow of applications for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We expect these…

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Federal Agencies Encourage Access to Small-Dollar Loans in Light of COVID-19

This week LenderLaw Watch covers developments related to small-dollar loans in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Every year the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) conducts its Survey of Household Economics & Decisionmaking, asking households across the country questions related to financial wellbeing and security.  According…

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Court Rules Against Plaintiff Challenging Implementation of Paycheck Protection Program

Two financial institutions have now been sued in separate putative class action lawsuits concerning their implementation of the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is aimed at assisting small businesses keep employees on their payroll.  Plaintiffs in both lawsuits allege that the financial institutions are unlawfully restricting access to…

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COVID-19 and Consumer Financial Services: Navigating New U.S. and State Orders, Rules, Laws, Guidance, and Pleas

Over the past several weeks, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked a litany of new orders, rules, laws, guidance, and plain asks from federal and state leaders, agencies, and courts. The President and federal and state leaders have all begun to focus on how COVID-19 is likely to impact Americans’…

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CFPB Publishes its Winter 2020 Supervisory Highlights

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On February 14, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its Winter 2020 Supervisory Highlights (Report).  It summarizes the CFPB’s findings on violations in the areas of debt collection, mortgage servicing, payday lending, and student loan servicing completed between April 2019 and August 2019.  The CFPB notes that it…

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CFPB Issues Much Anticipated Guidance Regarding Abusive Acts or Practices

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On January 24, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a policy statement setting forth guidelines on how it intends to enforce the “abusiveness” standard under the Dodd-Frank Act.  Section 103(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act authorizes the CFPB to bring enforcement actions against “covered persons” engaged in unfair, deceptive,…

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California and New York Propose to Expand Consumer Protections

At the start of the new year, both California’s Governor Newson and New York’s Governor Cuomo proposed expansions to their respective state’s regulatory oversight of consumer financial services. Of particular note, Governor Newson’s 2020-21 Budget Summary (California’s Proposal) explained that the reason behind California’s proposed regulatory expansion is the belief…

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CFPB Sued Over Prepaid Accounts Rule

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On December 11, 2019, PayPal, Inc. (PayPal) filed suit against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the District of Columbia, challenging the CFPB’s Prepaid Accounts Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (Regulation E) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Rule’s application to digital wallets.  PayPal, Inc. v….

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Eleventh Circuit Decertifies TCPA Class on Traceability and Predominance Grounds

On November 15, 2019, the Eleventh Circuit decertified a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class in Cordoba v. DIRECTV, LLC (No. 18-12077, 2019 WL 6044305), finding that the plaintiff could not adequately identify potential class members without resorting to individualized inquiries.  The plaintiff alleged that DIRECTV failed to maintain an…

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California Signs Two New Consumer Protection Bills into Law

On September 25, 2019, California’s Governor signed into law two bills that impact financial consumer services companies in California: California Assembly Bill 539 and California Senate Bill 187.  Both laws go into effect January 1, 2020. California Assembly Bill 539 (AB 539) imposes new regulations and restrictions on loans of…

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