Brian R. Epling

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Brian Epling assists financial services clients, including small dollar lenders, auto finance companies, and mortgage servicers, with navigating regulatory compliance and litigation issues.

On the regulatory compliance side, Brian has assisted financial services clients with policies and procedures to comply with state and federal law and investor requirements. With respect to litigation, practicing in both Tennessee and Kentucky, Brian has successfully argued dispositive motions and appeals involving alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act, Real Estate Procedures Act, and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Additionally, he has represented auto finance companies in administrative matters against the state. View articles by Brian.

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CFPB Proposes Delay to Implementation of Its Debt Collection Rules

Yesterday, the CFPB issued a proposed rule that would extend implementation of both parts of its debt collection rule by 60 days — from November 30, 2021, to January 29, 2022. The debt collection rule, which we have discussed here in detail, addresses numerous topics related to debt collection, including debt collection call volume, restrictions … Continue Reading

CFPB Signals Continued Progress Toward Dodd-Frank 1071 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On the heels of CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio’s recently released statement to agency staff members, the Bureau again signaled that it is making progress toward issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) enacting Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act). Specifically, in late February, the CFPB … Continue Reading

CFPB Rescinds 2020 Policy Statements Issued Due to COVID-19

On March 31, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rescinded seven recent policy statements and one bulletin in an effort to ensure compliance with consumer protection laws and reinforce its supervisory and enforcement authority. These rescissions are effective April 1, 2021. The policy statements, which were issued between March 26 through June 3, 2020, … Continue Reading

Acting CFPB Director Uejio Reiterates Commitment to Issuing Regulations Enacting Dodd-Frank 1071

On February 4, 2021, acting CFPB Director Dave Uejio published a blog post sharing statements recently made to the staff of the CFPB’s Division of Research, Markets, and Regulations (RMR). In his post, Uejio stressed two policy priorities for the CFPB: “(1) relief for consumers facing hardship due to COVID-19 and the related economic crisis … Continue Reading

CFPB Releases Observations of COVID-19 Impacts to Small Business Lending through PPP Loans and Potential Fair Lending Risks

As we recently noted, the CFPB released the 23rd issue of its Supervisory Highlights report, focusing on COVID-19 prioritized assessments. In the report, the CFPB identified small business lending as an area that poses a risk of consumer harm. In particular, the CFPB focuses its discussion of small business lending on the Paycheck Protection Program … Continue Reading

FTC’s Comment on ECOA and Regulation B Signals Continued Focus on Small Business Lending

Last year, the CFPB issued a notice and request for information on the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B. Specifically, the CFPB sought “comments and information to identify opportunities to prevent credit discrimination, encourage responsible innovation, promote fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit, address potential regulatory uncertainty, and develop viable solutions to … Continue Reading

Florida Court Affirms That Merchant Cash Advance Product Not Subject to Usury Statute

This month, a Florida appellate court held that a merchant cash advance (MCA) purchase and sale agreement was not a “disguised loan” and, therefore, was not subject to Florida’s criminal usury statute. MCA purchase and sale agreements, which offer merchants a fast and efficient way to obtain funding for their operations, are not loans. Rather, … Continue Reading

CFPB Approves Synchrony’s “Dual-Feature Credit Card”

On December 30, 2020, the CFPB approved Synchrony Bank’s application to offer a “dual-feature credit card” (DFCC) under the CFPB’s Compliance Assistance Sandbox (CAS) policy. According to Synchrony’s application, the DFCC allows consumers to graduate from a secured-use credit card to an unsecured feature after at least one year and if the customer satisfies certain … Continue Reading

New York Enacts Small Business Truth in Lending Disclosure Requirement Affecting Small Business Loans, MCAs, and Other Forms of Business Finance

A new year brings new compliance requirements for non-banks and fintechs conducting business in New York, including Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) companies. On December 23, 2020, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed SB5470 expanding the New York Financial Services law to require non-banks and fintechs to provide small businesses with lending disclosures similar to those … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Section 1033 for Consumer-Authorized Access to Financial Data

On October 22, 2020, the CFPB issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) soliciting comments on implementation of Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act. As outlined in the ANPR, Section 1033 will require consumer financial service providers to give consumers access to financial account data in a usable electronic format. This data includes information … Continue Reading

OCC Releases Final True Lender Rule

On October 27, 2020, the OCC released its final True Lender Rule. As discussed earlier on this blog, the OCC’s rule is designed to clarify the “true lender” doctrine, a legal test utilized by courts and regulators to determine whether a bank or its non-bank partner is the actual lender in a credit transaction. The … Continue Reading

State Attorneys General Challenge FDIC’s Madden Fix

In early August 2020, several state attorneys general filed suit against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) challenging the OCC’s proposed “Madden Fix.” Notably, while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) also issued their own Madden Fix, the agency was not named as a defendant in the initial lawsuit. As such, it … Continue Reading

After the Waters Recede: The Mortgage Servicer’s Role in Navigating Insurance Claims, Part III

In the first part of the series “The Mortgage Servicer’s Role in Navigating Insurance Claims,” we covered assessing property damage and applying insurance proceeds in compliance with the terms of the standard mortgage agreement. In part two, we discussed protecting the mortgagee’s rights under a homeowner property policy. In this final installment, we discuss maximizing … Continue Reading

After the Waters Recede: The Mortgage Servicer’s Role in Navigating Insurance Claims, Part II

In the first part of the series “The Mortgage Servicer’s Role in Navigating Insurance Claims,” we covered assessing the damage in the wake of a natural disaster and applying the proceeds when complying with the terms of mortgage agreements to protect against liability. In part two, we will look into protecting the mortgagee’s rights under … Continue Reading

After the Waters Recede: The Mortgage Servicer’s Role in Navigating Insurance Claims, Part I

Part I: Assessing the Damage and Applying the Proceeds Following the recent hurricanes that have damaged many homes beyond repair, borrowers may seek to apply any available insurance proceeds to satisfy the outstanding balance on their loans rather than repair the property. Servicers should take certain precautions to ensure they comply with the terms of … Continue Reading

New FAQ Responses to Small Dollar Rule Address Auto and Mortgage Lending, Payment Transfers and Notices Inclusion

On Tuesday, August 11, 2020, the CFPB issued a second round of answers to frequently asked questions related to the Small Dollar Rule. The FAQ responses range from addressing more nuanced provisions of the payment provision portion of the rule to the overall coverage of the rule. Covered Loan Coverage For the most part, auto … Continue Reading

CFPB Releases Small Business Lender Compliance Cost Survey to Aid in Dodd-Frank 1071 Rulemaking

Recently, the CFPB released an online survey designed to collect information from “institutions engaged in small business financing” regarding one-time costs of compliance with Dodd-Frank 1071. Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which we have discussed in detail on this blog, creates robust reporting requirements for lenders engaged in lending to women-owned, minority-owned, and small … Continue Reading

State Attorneys General Challenge OCC Madden Fix

Last Wednesday, the attorneys general of Illinois, California, and New York filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California challenging the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s proposed “Madden Fix.” This proposed rule, which we have discussed in detail, is designed to resolve some of the legal … Continue Reading

Small Dollar Rule Stay Requested to Be Lifted in Recent Joint Status Report

With the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Seila Law and Director Kathleen Kraninger’s ratification of the payment provisions of the Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule (the “Small Dollar Rule”), the CFSA and the CFPB have submitted a joint status report in the stayed case pending in the Western District of Texas. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds That Part of CFPB’s Structure Is Unconstitutional

This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Seila Law v. CFPB. Authoring the opinion for a five-justice majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) single-director configuration, in which the CFPB’s director can only be removed for a specific list of reasons, was unconstitutional. However, the … Continue Reading

FTC and NY AG Target Merchant Cash Advance Companies

On June 10, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission and the  New York Office of the Attorney General filed actions against two merchant cash advance (MCA) companies – RCG Advances and Ram Capital Funding – and individuals associated with both companies in the Southern District of New York and the Supreme Court of the State of … Continue Reading

CFPB Signals Renewed Enforcement of Tribal Lending

In recent years, the CFPB has sent different messages regarding its approach to regulating tribal lending. Under the bureau’s first director, Richard Cordray, the CFPB pursued an aggressive enforcement agenda that included tribal lending. After Acting Director Mulvaney took over, the CFPB’s 2018 five-year plan indicated that the CFPB had no intention of “pushing the … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Implements Aggressive Liquidity Campaign as Growing Corporate Debt Threatens to Exacerbate COVID-19 Economic Toll

In response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Congress recently approved a $2 trillion stimulus package in an attempt to offset the potentially disastrous economic effects of COVID-19. Meanwhile, central banks are implementing increasingly drastic measures aimed at preserving the availability of capital during the looming recession, which appears increasingly imminent as the global economy remains … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020: Implications for Consumer Financial Services

On Friday, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020 (CARES Act). The significant legislation directs more than $2 trillion into fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and stimulating America’s economy for the duration of the pandemic. This blog summarizes some of the provisions that are most relevant to financial institutions that make or service … Continue Reading
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