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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.

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

State Attorneys General Challenge FDIC’s Madden FixIn 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,

HUD Issues Final Rule on the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact StandardOn September 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued its final rule on the implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination in many housing-related activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. For

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