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.

California DFPI Settles with Financial Services Company Over Customer Service Complaints

On February 27, 2024, the California Department of  Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) announced ​that it entered into a consent order with a San Francisco-based financial services company resolving allegations that​​ the company’s handling of consumer complaints violated California’s Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCF​PL)​.  The company, which partners with regional banks to provide mobile…

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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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California Federal Court Bans Mortgage Operators as Result of Joint FTC and DFPI Case

​On February 2, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued an order permanently banning several companies and their owners from the telemarketing and debt relief businesses and requiring them to pay approximately $19 million in restitution and civil money penalties​.  This order came as a…

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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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Illinois Federal Court Issues Injunction and $28.7 Million Judgment Against Telemarketing Operation

On January 31, the Federal Trade Commission announced that a federal court in Illinois entered final orders against a telemarketing company and its owners as part of a judgment against an allegedly illegal telemarketing scheme. In the lawsuit, the FTC accused the defendants of making millions of illegal, unsolicited calls to people who were…

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FTC Reaches Settlement With Cash Advance Company

On January 24, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had reached a settlement with an online cash advance provider and its co-founders resolving claims that the company violated the FTC Act, the Restore Online Shopper’s Confidence Act (ROSCA), and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA),  by engaging in allegedly deceptive marketing tactics and…

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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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USAO Reaches $1.9 Million Agreement with Bank to Resolve Lending Discrimination Claims

On January 17, 2024, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee (“USAO”) announced that it entered into a consent agreement with a full-service bank, resolving allegations of lending discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601–3619 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”),…

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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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Payments Company Settles with DFPI Over Alleged Junk Fees

​On January 9, 2024, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) announced that it entered into a consent order with an internet-based financial services company that allows online merchants to offer payment in installments to its customers.  The DFPI alleged that the company violated the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) by failing to disclose…

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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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FTC Enters Settlement with California-based Lead Generator

On January 2, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it had reached a settlement with a California-based lead generator resolving allegations that the company facilitated illegal telemarketing calls.  This lead generator owned the domain to several websites and sold thousands of leads to third parties for telemarketing purposes. The…

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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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