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.

Supreme Court Issues Decision on Federal Arbitration Act

On January 15, 2019, the Supreme Court issued an important decision regarding the enforceability of certain arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).  In New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, No. 17-340, the Supreme Court unanimously held that courts should determine whether a contract falls within the “contracts of employment”…

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CFPB Releases Assessment Reports Analyzing the Ability to Repay and RESPA Servicing Rules

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On January 10, 2019, the CFPB issued a press release regarding two recently-released reports, which analyze the efficacy of the Ability to Repay Rule (ATR), and the RESPA Servicing Rule (Servicing Rule).  The assessment reports analyze data collected since the rules were enacted in January 2013, and are designed to assess whether…

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FCC Establishes Reassigned Number Database and TCPA Safe Harbor

On December 13, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Second Report and Order addressing issues with reassigned phone numbers and potential Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) liability, and establishing a safe harbor for business callers.  Currently, there is no comprehensive database which allows businesses to determine whether a phone number…

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Supreme Court Grants Cert in TCPA Junk Fax Case to Determine Whether the Hobbs Act Trumps the Chevron Doctrine

On November 13, 2018, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic (No. 17-1705), to answer the question whether the Hobbs Act required the district court to accept the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) legal interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  At issue…

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Regulators' Implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act

On October 2, 2018, the U.S. Senate’s Banking Committee held a hearing to review regulators’ implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S.2155) since its passage in June.  As framed by Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID), the law “right-sizes regulations for financial institutions, making it easier…

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Ninth Circuit Issues Opinion on TCPA ATDS Definition

On September 20, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion finding that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA’s) “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) definition is vague and ambiguous, and interpreting the statutory definition anew.  More specifically, in Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC, the court interpreted the TCPA’s ATDS definition…

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Industry Groups Seek Preliminary Injunction to Enjoin CFPB’s Enforcement of the Payday Lending Rule

On September 14, 2018, the Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd. and the Consumer Service Alliance of Texas (Industry Groups) moved for a preliminary injunction to prevent many of the provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) payday lending rule (12 C.F.R. Part 1041) from becoming effective on…

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California Supreme Court Rules that Loans Can be Unconscionable Due to High Interest Rates, Despite Lack of Interest Rate Cap

On August 13, 2018, the California Supreme Court answered a question certified to it by the Ninth Circuit, holding that a loan with a high interest rate can be unconscionable, even if the legislature specifically declined to impose an interest rate cap on loans of that amount.  See De La Torre…

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