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Chris Friedman is a regulatory compliance attorney and litigator who focuses on helping consumer finance companies and small business lenders, as well as banks, fintech companies, and other participants in the financial services industry, address the challenges of operating in a highly regulated sector. Chris focuses on both small business lenders and alternative business finance products and has helped non-bank small business lenders, banks who make small business loans, commercial credit counselors, lead generators, and others in the industry. He helps clients launch new products, conduct due diligence, engage in compliance reviews, evaluate litigation risk, and solve some of the unique legal problems faced by companies who work with small businesses. In that vein, Chris has written extensively about the upcoming rulemaking related to Dodd-Frank 1071, which will require data collection and reporting by companies making loans to certain small businesses.

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

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

FHA Clarifies That DACA Classified Residents Are Permitted to Apply for FHA-Insured MortgagesOn January 20, 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released guidance clarifying its definition of the term “lawful residency.” Under the updated guidance, HUD makes clear that individuals classified under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and are legally permitted to

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

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

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

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

In the Strangest Year Ever, We’re Very Thankful and Wish You a Happy Thanksgiving

As everyone steps away from their (home) office to celebrate Thanksgiving, we wanted to count our blessings as we review this truly remarkable and unusual year. In addition to frontline healthcare workers, good WI-FI, food delivery services, and finally finding a mask that is comfortable, we are also thankful for the following:

1. The CARES

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

Federal District Court Stays Effective Date and Enjoins Enforcement of HUD’s Final Rule on the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact StandardOn October 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) final rule on the implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard was scheduled to become effective. That effective date was short lived: on October 25, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered a preliminary injunction staying