Category Archives: Unsecured Lending

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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

Joint Statement Issued by Federal Banking Regulators to Encourage (Yes, Encourage) Responsible Small-Dollar Lending in Response to COVID-19

Following previous guidance issued by (and in some cases withdrawn by) the OCC, CFPB, Federal Reserve, FDIC, and NCUA, the federal financial institution regulatory agencies published a joint statement on March 26, 2020, in response to COVID-19 “to specifically encourage financial institutions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to both consumers and small businesses.” The statement … Continue Reading

Pre-Bankruptcy Automatic Stay Waivers – More Valuable Than Ever These Days?

In the very unusual period in which we find ourselves today, it seems to be common wisdom that an avalanche of commercial loan defaults is coming. As such, it is a good time to take a fresh look at the terms and provisions used in commercial workout documents, whether in a simple agreement that extends … 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

COVID-19 Ripple Effects Are Coming – Lenders Must Get Ready

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting businesses large and small. Now is the time for lenders to prepare for its effect on business borrowers. Industries Already in Distress In February, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report identified five industry sectors likely to see the greatest restructuring activity in 2020: Energy Retail Dining and food service Auto suppliers Specialty … Continue Reading

Think Finance Settlement: Final Resolution Leaves More Questions than It Answers as to Future of CFPB Enforcement

The CFPB announced that it settled with Think Finance, LLC and six subsidiaries on February 5. The settlement follows protracted litigation beginning in November 2017 involving the CFPB’s allegations that Think Finance “engaged in unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act in connection with the illegal collection … Continue Reading

CFPB’s New Policy on Abusive Practices Promises a “Common Sense” Approach to Enforcement

Last week, the CFPB released a long-anticipated policy statement clarifying the agency’s enforcement standard for “abusive acts or practices.” According to an agency press release, the CFPB’s new standard offers a “common-sense” approach that director Kathleen Kraninger says will “provide[] a solid framework to prevent consumer harm while promoting the clarity needed to foster consumer … Continue Reading

New Legislation in House, Senate Would Cap Consumer Loans at 36%, Crippling the Industry

New federal legislation introduced in the House and Senate would place a 36% annual percentage rate cap on nearly all consumer loans, potentially killing the small dollar consumer lending industry. Last month, Congressmen Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL) and Glen Grothman (R-WI) introduced H.R. 5050, the Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act. The bill proposes … Continue Reading

The CFPB (Yes, the CFPB!) Offers New Compliance Tools for Innovation

Companies that offer innovative consumer financial products and services have new tools to help them stay in compliance with federal consumer financial laws. In a refreshing twist from prior policy, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced last week that it had revamped its No-Action Letter Policy and released a Compliance Assistance Sandbox and a … Continue Reading

CFPB Settles with Freedom Debt Relief

On July 9, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California entered a stipulated final judgment and order in case number 17-cv-06484, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Freedom Debt Relief, LLC, et al. Under the stipulated judgment, Freedom Debt Relief, LLC (Freedom Debt Relief is not related to Freedom Mortgage Company) is … Continue Reading

The Small Business Reorganization Act – A New Subchapter for Small Businesses

Since the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, small business debtors have continued to struggle to reorganize effectively under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. On Friday, August 23, 2019, President Trump signed the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 into law in an effort to address some of these issues. The act aims to … Continue Reading

Big Picture Loans Lands Big Win for Tribal Lenders in Sovereign Immunity Case

In a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit, Big Picture Loans, LLC, an online lender owned and operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe (“Tribe”), and Ascension Technologies, LLC, the Tribe’s management and consultant company successfully established that they are each arms of the Tribe … Continue Reading

FTC Imposes $110 Million Fine Against Payment Facilitator and Its Executives

Payment processor/facilitator Allied Wallet, its CEO, and two other corporate officers, recently agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that they assisted or knowingly processed fraudulent transactions for merchant-clients. This action indicates that enforcement actions against payment processors are alive and well, despite the FTC’s previously announced end of “Operation Chokepoint,” which, among other … Continue Reading

California Latest State to Consider Lead Generation Licensing

On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, the California Senate Banking Committee will take up AB 642, which would add certain lead generation activities to the definition of “broker” under the California Financing Law (Cal. Fin. Code § 22004 et seq.). If passed, companies that engage in lead generation (“lead generators”) would be required to obtain a … Continue Reading
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