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.

“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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FTC and CFPB Announce $15 Million Settlement Against Credit Reporting Agency For Alleged Inaccuracies In Tenant Screening Reports

​On October 12, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that they filed a joint complaint​ and obtained a $15 million settlement​ against a parent credit reporting agency and one of its subsidiaries for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) with respect to tenant…

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CFPB Files Complaint Against Mortgage Originator For Allegedly Inaccurate HMDA Reporting

On October 10, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it filed a complaint​ against a residential mortgage loan originator and servicer alleging that the company violated the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), its implementing Regulation C, the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), and a recent 2019 consent order​. The company allegedly reported HMDA…

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FTC Reaches Consent Order with For-Profit College Resolving Allegations of Deceptive Advertising and Loan Agreements

FTC

On October 18, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that that they had filed a complaint and entered into a stipulated order with a for-profit college and its parent company.  Under the consent order, the college will cancel $3.4 million in student debt, resolving allegations that it made false claims about post-graduation job placements and…

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Washington Attorney General Announces Recovery in Student Debt Adjuster Investigations

On October 17, 2023, the Washington State Attorney General (AG) announced that over the course of 2023, they had recovered approximately $360,000 in restitution from three out-of-state debt adjusters for alleged predatory student debt adjustments in violation of the Debt Adjustment Act.​ The Debt Adjustment Act limits the amount of fees a debt adjuster…

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48 States Settle with Payment Processor Over Unauthorized Withdrawal Claims for $10 Million

On October 17, 2023, the California Attorney General announced that 48 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico had reached a $10 million settlement with a payment processing company related to allegations of attempted unauthorized withdrawals related to a testing error on the part of the processing company. According to the press release,…

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CFPB Issues Consent Order Against Credit Reporting Agency For Alleged Failures to Timely Place Credit Freezes And Locks On Conumser Reports

​​On October 12, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a consent order and a stipulation ​against a parent credit reporting agency and two of its subsidiaries for for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The CFPB alleged that as early as…

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The CFPB Proposal to Remove Medical Debt from Credit Report

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is moving forward with a rulemaking proposal to change the process of reporting medical debt on consumer credit reports.  Specifically, the rulemaking proposal the Bureau is considering had two main parts.   First, it prohibits credit reporting companies from including medical debts and collection information on…

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Wins Summary Judgment in Challenge to CFPB’s Update to Its Examination Manual

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 invalidating the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) Exam Manual changes from March 2022 that stated that discriminatory conduct may be a UDAAP violation….

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CFPB Analyzes Mobile Device Tap-To-Pay Market as Possible Precursor to New Regulation

On September 7, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its analysis of how smartphone companies are affecting consumers’ use of so-called “tap-to-pay” technology – the wireless transfer of data over very short distances, used in financial transactions conducted at the point of sale.  Concluding that “tech companies are…

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CFPB Enters Settlement with Credit Repair Conglomerate for $2.7 Billion

On August 28, the CFPB announced ​it reached a proposed settlement agreement with a credit repair conglomerate for $2.7 billion. The parties await approval of the proposed settlement by the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. In its amended​ complaint filed last August, the CFPB alleged that the defendant companies collected advance…

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CFPB Enters into Consent Orders with Mortgage Loan Originator and Real Estate Brokerage Firm for Illegal Kickbacks

On August 17, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had taken action against a residential mortgage loan originator that provided illegal incentives to real estate brokers and agents in exchange for mortgage loan referrals.  The CFPB also penalized a real estate brokerage firm that accepted kickbacks…

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