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200245750-001

Obama, Republicans, in Legislative Tug-of-War Over Over CFPB Reform

We can expect to hear more rhetoric from both sides in the ramp-up to the 2016 presidential elections. Democrats will want to focus the conversation on consumer protections — from reforms in debt collection to reforms in lending (specifically, yesterday’s story about payday lending). Republicans will focus largely on what they see as a regulatory body with no supervision, and will likely frame the conversation in terms of a need for smaller government.

Payday Loan

Is This the Beginning of the End for Payday Loan Operations?

The proposals under consideration would include two ways that lenders could extend short-term loans without causing borrowers to become trapped in debt. Lenders could either prevent debt traps at the outset of each loan, or they could protect against debt traps throughout the lending process. Specifically, all lenders making covered short-term loans would have to adhere to one of several requirements.

Envelope on Fire

Is Your Envelope “Benign” Under The FDCPA?

There has been a lot of litigation relating to envelopes recently, but section 1692f(8) of the FDCPA, which regulates collection envelopes, is not new. It has been a source of frustration for collectors for decades. Fortunately, some courts have recognized that a strict application of section 1692f(8) may lead to absurd results, and have held that “benign language” on an envelope does not violate the FDCPA. Unfortunately, the word “benign” can be VERY slippery.

government-contracts

Collection Agencies Choose Sides in Busy Week for ED Contract Protest Case

This week saw a flurry of activity in the Court of Federal Claims case against the Department of Education over its decision to end student loan debt collection contracts with five collection agencies. The end result is a consolidated case that pits four collection agencies — with two others supporting as amici — against the United States and five other collection agencies on the contract.

customer-complaints

CFPB Finalizes Policy on Consumer Complaint Narratives; Changes Company Response Process

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today that it has finalized its publication rules for consumer narratives in complaints. The move will allow the CFPB to publish the language provided by consumers explaining why they are logging the complaint. The final policy also includes a significant change to the way companies can respond to consumer narratives.

using-credit-cards

CFPB Seeks Input on Credit Card Market, Including Collection and Debt Sales Practices

The CFPB announced Tuesday it is seeking public comment on how the credit card market is functioning and the impact of the Bureau’s credit card protections on consumers and issuers. This inquiry will focus on issues including credit card terms, the use of consumer disclosures, credit card debt collection practices, and rewards programs.