Preston H. Neel

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Preston Neel is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Banking and Financial Services practice groups. His practice concentrates on representing financial institutions and mortgage companies in civil litigation. Preston defends causes of action including alleged violations of TILA, RESPA, FDCPA, and FCRA. He also litigates cases throughout the Southeast involving allegations of predatory lending, wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract, and deceptive trade practices. View articles by Preston

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Illinois Caps Consumer Loans at 36% Rate, Limiting Consumers’ Access to Credit

Last week, Illinois enacted the “Predatory Loan Prevention Act” (SB 1792), which would place a 36% rate cap on nearly all non-bank consumer loans. This act will essentially outlaw small-dollar loans in Illinois and may make ancillary products on auto loans, such as GAP insurance, unavailable for a large number of consumers. The act authorizes … 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

OCC Proposes Clarification to True Lender Doctrine

Earlier this week, the OCC released a proposed rule designed to address 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. This doctrine has led to uncertainty in the fintech and bank-partnership spaces, in large … Continue Reading

OCC, FDIC Issue Long-Awaited Valid-When-Made “Madden Fix”

Recently, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued final rules designed to resolve the uncertainty created by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Madden v. Midland Funding, 786 F.3d 246 (2d Cir. 2015). In Madden, the court called into doubt the valid-when-made doctrine, … Continue Reading

CFPB Rescinds Small Dollar Rule Ability to Repay Provisions However Payment Provisions Remain

On July 7, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its final rule in regard to so-called small dollar loans. The biggest change from the CFPB’s original iteration of the rule, the 2017 Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule (“small dollar rule”) is the Bureau’s decision to rescind the ability to … Continue Reading

The NCUA Doubles Amount Credit Unions Can Offer for Payday Alternative Loans

At the September open meeting, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) voted 2-1 to approve the final rule related to expanding payday alternative loan options (PAL II). Although the NCUA made clear in the final rule that the PAL II does not replace the PAL I, the flexibility of the PAL II will create  new opportunities … Continue Reading

FHA Tasked With Improving Reverse Mortgage Oversight

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published two reports on September 25 identifying several weaknesses in the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) oversight of reverse mortgages made under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program (see GAO-19-702 titled “FHA Needs to Improve Monitoring and Oversight of Loan Outcomes and Servicing”; GAO-19-721T titled “FHA’s Oversight of Loan … Continue Reading

FHA Extends Non-Borrowing Spouse Protections

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued Mortgagee Letter 2019-15, in which it announced several modifications to the Mortgagee Optional Election (MOE) Assignment claim process for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) with FHA case numbers assigned before August 4, 2014. As background, the MOE is a foreclosure deferral program that provides … Continue Reading

Stay of Litigation and Compliance Date Continued in Payday Lending Rule Lawsuit

Following the status report filed last week by the parties involved in the lawsuit challenging the CFPB’s Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule, the Texas district court faced with the case ordered that the stay of litigation and the stay of the compliance date for the rule’s payment provisions are continued. The … Continue Reading

CFPB Guts Major Component of Payday Lending Rule

Today, the CFPB proposed amendments to its Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Costs Installment Loans Rule. As anticipated, the bureau is proposing to rescind the rule’s requirements that lenders make certain ability-to-repay underwriting determinations before issuing payday, single-payment vehicle title, and longer-term balloon payment loans on the basis that such restrictions would limit consumer access … Continue Reading

CFPB Settles with Payday Lenders for Deceptive Practices

Last week, in CFPB v. NDG Financial Corp. et al., the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) entered into a proposed settlement with several payday lenders and corporate officials based in Canada and Malta. As background, the corporate defendants consisted of a network of affiliated companies, known as the NDG Enterprise, which extended high-cost, short-term payday … Continue Reading

Court Stays Compliance Date for BCFP’s Payday Rule

On Tuesday, the small-dollar lending industry received a favorable ruling in Community Financial Services Association of America v. CFPB. A Texas federal court reversed course by staying the August 19, 2019, compliance date for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s (BCFP) rule regarding “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Costs Installment Loans.” The court also continued … Continue Reading

Alabama Supreme Court Says Cash Advance Company Not a Debt Collector

The Supreme Court of Alabama has reversed a jury verdict awarding the plaintiff $200,000 in damages, ruling on appeal that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) did not apply to the pawn transaction at issue. The case, Complete Cash Holdings, LLC v. Powell, arose from a forged title-pawn agreement. Ms. Powell’s granddaughter stole title … Continue Reading

Consumer Lending Industry Targeted by the Alabama Legislature

Last month, a group of 45 members of Alabama’s House of Representatives introduced a proposed amendment to the Alabama Constitution that would cap the interest rate a lender may charge an individual on a “consumer loan, line of credit, or other financial product.” The proposed amendment, currently known as House Bill 321, is a direct … Continue Reading

CFPB’s Proposed Payday Rules Eerily Reminiscent of Mortgage Reform

This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a long-awaited rule on payday, vehicle title, and certain high-cost installment loans – collectively. The proposed rule is open for comment through September 14, 2016. Generally speaking, the proposed rule covers two categories of loans. The first category is short-term loans that have a term of 45 days or … Continue Reading

TRID Legislation and GSA Grace Period

Last week, the House passed H.R. 3192 the “Homebuyers Assistance Act.” On the same day, the Senate read a similar Bill, S. 1711, twice, and referred their Bill to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. In short, the Homebuyers Assistance Act is an effort to provide homebuyers a reprieve from perceived closing delays … Continue Reading
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