Goodwin’s Consumer Finance Insights (CFI) monitors, reports, and analyzes the latest legal news, activity, and developments impacting the consumer finance industry. Consumer financial services companies—whether banks, fintechs, nonbank and alternative lenders, payment providers, or industry vendors or service providers, like digital advertisers and lead generators—face a constantly shifting and maturing regulatory and legal landscape. Growing from the Financial Crisis, today more than any time in history the consumer finance industry must confront a robust and growing body of industry legislation and regulation, all while under the microscope of sophisticated enforcers, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and state regulators and attorneys general. It is critical for in-house and outside corporate counsel, compliance departments, and business executives to stay informed and aware of these developments to navigate institutional, reputational, and legal risks. Goodwin’s CFI is a singular source of the most recent industry news and latest enforcement activity for you to leverage. Here, you will find links to original enforcement documents, enforcement activity statistics, and reports, analysis, and commentary from Goodwin’s leading Consumer Financial Services Litigation and Enforcement practitioners.

FCC Confirms A.I.-Generated Robocall Voices Are “Artificial” under the TCPA

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Declaratory Ruling stating that existing federal regulations related to using “an artificial or prerecorded voice” to deliver a telephone message, also encompass voices generated by artificial intelligence (AI).  The ruling does not expand prohibitions or definitions set forth in the applicable…

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CFPB Announces New Proposed Rule to Target Junk Fees

On January 24, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a new proposed rule as part of the CFPB’s broader strategy of targeting junk fees.  This proposed rule would “prohibit non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees on transactions that financial institutions decline in real time.” These fees apply to “transactions declined…

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California Department of Financial Protection Issues Consent Order Against Fintech Company

On January 9, 2024, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) announced that it entered into a consent order with a Delaware fintech company that provided California consumers with access to an internet-based platform for merchants to offer installment payments for the purchase of outdoor-adventure equipment. According to the consent order, since at…

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Awaiting Appellate Precedent on Whether Recent New York Foreclosure Limits Are Constitutional

Over a year after becoming law, New York’s Foreclosure Abuse Prevention Act, L. 2022, ch. 821 (eff. Dec. 30, 2022) (FAPA) continues to divide trial courts regarding the constitutionality of the law’s retroactive application.  Appellate level guidance remains wanting. FAPA amended certain New York rules related to the time limits…

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CFPB and Several States Order Vocational Education Company to Pay Fines, Cancel Loans, and Cease Operations After Allegedly Deceptive Loan Practices

On November 20, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that, in conjunction with 11 states, it entered into a stipulated final judgment with a Delaware-based vocational education company that advertises itself as a “workplace accelerator” and its affiliates for alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), the Truth…

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CFPB and DOJ Sue Land Developer Over Allegations of Discriminatory Lending

​On December 20, 2023, the CFPB announced that, along with the DOJ, it had filed suit against a Texas-based developer and lender for operating an allegedly illegal land sales scheme that targeted Hispanic borrowers. ​The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, alleges that the lender sells…

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CFPB Issues Consent Order Against Third-Party Debt Collector

On December 15, 2023, the CFPB announced​ that it entered into a consent order​ with a medical debt collector resolving allegation​s that the debt collector tried to collect unverified medical debts after consumers disputed the validity of those debts. The CFPB alleges that the company failed to conduct reasonable investigations of disputed debts and failed to inform consumer reporting companies…

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The Justice Department and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issue Joint Statement Focused on Antidiscrimination in Lending Practices

Last month, the Justice Department (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a joint statement that reminded financial institutions that all credit applicants are protected from discrimination on the basis of their national origin, race and other characteristics covered by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), regardless of…

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Minnesota AG Reaches Settlement with Student-Loan Debt Relief Company

On November 8, 2023, the Minnesota Attorney General (Minnesota AG) announced that the state had reached a settlement with a California-based student-loan debt-relief provider ​​over miscellaneous state law allegations.  Specifically, the Minnesota AG alleged that the company did not register as a debt settlement services provider ​with the Minnesota Department of Commerce as required by Minn. Stat. § 332B.03.  The…

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“Open Banking” Promoted in New CFPB Rule

In October 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a new rule intended to encourage “open banking”.  “Open banking” is a practice of sharing, with consent, consumers’ banking and financial data (account balances, transaction history, payment due dates, routing numbers, and the like) with third-party vendors who in turn…

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Pursuant to Consent Order with CFPB, National Bank to Pay $25.9 Million for Alleged Discrimination Against Armenian Americans

O​n November 8, 2023, the CFPB and a national bank entered into a consent order​ to resolve allegations that the bank engaged in intentional discrimination against Armenian Americans who had applied for credit cards with said bank. Specifically, the CFPB alleges that between 2016 and 2021, the bank singled out…

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CFPB Updates Exam Manual in Light of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas’s Ruling in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Litigation

As previously reported, on September 8, 2023, the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Texas granted plaintiff U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s (the “Chamber”) motion for summary judgment, which invalidated the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) Exam Manual changes from March 2022 that stated that discriminatory conduct may…

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FTC Consent Order Results in Permanent Ban for Cash Advance Business Owner

On October 30, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York​ (SDNY) granted a permanent injunction containing a lifetime ban for the owner of a small-business lending company​​ for unfair business practices and aggressive debt collection methods. On September 27, 2023, Judge Jed. S. Rakoff of SDNY granted summary…

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FTC and Wisconsin AG File Complaint Against Auto Financing Company

On October 24, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had filed a complaint against a Wisconsin-based auto dealership alleging “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce” in violation of FTC Act,15 U.S.C. § 45(a), and violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B, which prohibit…

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