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.

CFPB Settles with Nonbank Mortgage Originator for $4 Million

On June 18, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it has filed a proposed order that would require a Florida-based nonbank mortgage loan originator to pay a $3.95 million penalty for allegedly submitting incorrect loan data to federal regulators.   In an October 2023 complaint, the CFPB accused the mortgage originator of…

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Increased Industry Attention on RESPA Section 8 Leads to Class Action Lawsuit

On April 2, 2024, a putative class action was brought against a wholesale mortgage lender alleging, among other claims, violations of Section 8(a) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Unlike conventional mortgage providers that analyze the borrower’s creditworthiness and then provide the mortgage, wholesale mortgage lenders receive mortgage…

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CFPB Files Suit Against Student Loan Servicer

On May 31, 2024, the CFPB announced that it had filed suit against a Pennsylvania-based student loan servicer for engaging in allegedly unfair, deceptive and abusive acts or practices in violation of the CFPA, 12 U.S.C. §§ 5531, 5536(a)(1)(B), and for failing to establish reasonable credit reporting procedures in violation of Regulation V, 12…

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Supreme Court Upholds CFPB’s Funding Structure

On May 16, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a significant opinion in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd., upholding the funding structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  601 U.S. 416.  In a previous post, we reported that on October 3, 2023,…

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Massachusetts Attorney General Settles Claims Against California-Based Financing Company for $625,000

​On May 22, 2024,​ the Massachusetts Attorney General (MA AG) announced it entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance (AOD) with a California-based financing company resolving allegations of violations of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.​ The MA AG alleged that the company engaged in a “rent-a-bank” scheme, whereby the company partnered with an out-of-state bank in an…

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CFPB Enters Consent Order Over Student Loan Debt Relief Services

Piggy Bank with a Graduation Cap

On May 20, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had entered into a consent order with a California-based telemarketer that offered student loan debt relief services resolving allegations that the company charged illegal advance fees and misled student loan borrowers.  This telemarketer allegedly claimed to be affiliated with the Department of…

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FDIC Announces $1.775 Million Settlement with Arkansas-Based Bank and Employees

​On May 17, 2024, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced a settlement with an Arkansas bank and nine of its employees, resolving allegations that the bank and the employees violated Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA),…

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CFPB Reports Troubling Trends in Credit Card Rewards Programs

On May 9, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new Issue Spotlight regarding growing problems in the credit card rewards program industry. Credit card rewards programs have become increasingly complex in recent years.  Especially for credit cards with high annual fees, a key part of attracting interest…

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CFPB and European Commission Release Report Regarding “Critical” Priority Areas for Consumer Financial Protection Issues

In April 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) and the Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Protection of the European Commission (European Commission) announced that three meetings had been convened with senior staff and subject matter experts to discuss “shared priority areas” of concern for consumer financial protection…

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CFPB Enters Into Consent Order With Financial Technology Company

On May 7, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had entered into a consent order with a financial technology company, resolving allegations that the company committed unfair acts or practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), by failing to provide consumers who closed their accounts with timely…

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CFPB Files Complaint and Proposed Final Judgments Against Higher Education Assistance Agency and National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts

On May 6, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it filed a complaint ​and two proposed stipulated final judgments to resolve its claims against the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts (the Trusts) and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency​ d/b/a American Education Services (PHEAA). The CFPB alleges that the Trusts and PHEAA violated…

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CFPB Updates its Procedures for Determining Which Nonbanks it Can Supervise

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a new procedural rule to streamline how it determines which nondepository institutions it has the authority to supervise.  According to the CFPB, the new rule coincides with a change in organizational structure.  But it also indicates an affirmative broadening of its regulatory reach….

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FTC Files Suit Against Third-Party Bill Payment Company

FTC

On April 25, 2024​, the FTC announced​ that it filed a suit against a Washington-based ​third-party bill payment company​ and two of its chief executives ​​for engaging in allegedly ​deceptive ​and misleading ​​practices​ in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), Section 521 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act), 15 U.S.C. 23 § 6821, and…

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DFPI Enters Into Consent Order With Higher Education Loan Authority

  On April 24, 2024, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) announced ​that it had entered into a consent order with the Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA), resolving allegations that MOHELA failed to timely provide DFPI with information detailing the contact information of certain Californian student loan…

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California Attorney General Warns California-Chartered Banks and Credit Unions On Surprise Overdraft Fees and Returned Deposited Item Fees

On February 20, 2024, California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a letter warning California-chartered banks and credit unions with assets under $10 billion that charging surprise overdraft fees and returned deposited item fees is likely an unfair business practice that violates California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Bus. & Prof. Code,…

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National Bank Settles with NY Attorney General for $700K

​On April 17, 202​4, the New York State Attorney General (NY AG) announced that it entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance​ (AOD) with​ a national bank, resolving​ allegations related to the bank’s debt collection practices.  The bank is a nationally chartered bank that issues debit cards, prepaid cards, payroll cards, and gift cards, primarily through third-party servicers, many of whom…

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CFPB Enters Into Consent Order with For-Profit Coding School

Piggy Bank with a Graduation Cap

​On April 17, 2024, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced ​that it had entered into a consent order​ with BloomTech Inc., d/b/a Bloom Institute of Technology (BloomTech), and BloomTech’s CEO, Austen Allred, resolving allegations that the company’s practices with respect to income-share agreements (ISAs) violated various consumer protection statutes.  BloomTech, formerly known…

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Interpretable Algorithms as a Potential Solution to CFPB’s Guidance on AI-driven Credit Denials

In September 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued guidance on the use of artificial intelligence in issuing credit denials, a prevalent practice among lenders.  The CFPB explained that when denying a credit application, lenders must provide a substantive reason behind the denial.  The guidance further explains that the…

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