Category Archives: Unsecured Lending

Subscribe to Unsecured Lending RSS Feed

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: COVID-19 Bankruptcy Relief Extension Act Extends Various CARES Act Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code

Last March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) made several changes to the Bankruptcy Code, including those changes discussed in more detail here. As it became clear that we would be dealing with COVID-19 for much longer than previously anticipated, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: Secured vs. Unsecured Claims

Bankruptcy is primarily about “claims.” The debtor seeks to discharge personal liability on claims, while creditors seek payment on their claims. In basic terms, a bankruptcy “claim” is a right to payment. The claim does not need to be fixed, settled, undisputed, or due at the time the debtor files his bankruptcy petition. The official … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: How to File a Proof of Claim 101

You just heard that a customer has filed for bankruptcy — what do you do now? One of the first steps is to determine whether you should file a proof of claim. How will I be alerted about the bankruptcy? When a bankruptcy case is filed, the debtor is required to list all of his … Continue Reading

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

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Statement Regarding Small Dollar Lending and Signals Return to Prior Policy

On March 23, 2021, the CFPB issued a brief statement highlighting its position regarding “consumer harms in the small dollar lending market” and likely future action to reverse the previous CFPB administration’s policy regarding the industry. The next day, the CFPB provided its Consumer Response Annual Report for 2020 to Congress, which stated the complaint … Continue Reading

5 Key Takeaways from Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics, Part 1

We hope that you’re enjoying Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics. Are there topics you’d like to read more about? Please email Elizabeth or Alex; we’re always interested to hear what content you’d like to see in future months. Below are five key takeaways from our first month of Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: 1. The early bird gets the … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: 5 Significant (if Temporary) Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code Resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic

As we cross the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reflect on the multiple amendments to the Bankruptcy Code that have been implemented to help curb the effects of various economic shutdowns and financial hardships caused by the coronavirus. These Bankruptcy Code amendments are only temporary, but Congress is considering extending them to facilitate … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy — Consumer Bankruptcy with a Payment Plan

Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides relief only to individuals with regular income. This Chapter is most frequently used by debtors who have sufficient disposable monthly income to make some payments over time to their creditors. Chapter 13 debtors frequently have enough equity in their residence that, if they were to file for Chapter 7, the residence … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: Chapter 11 Bankruptcy — Reorganization

Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases are most frequently filed by businesses. However, certain high-earning individuals whose debts are above the statutory debt limits to qualify for Chapter 13 can also file for Chapter 11 relief. In Chapter 11 cases, the debtor retains control of its operations as a debtor in possession (DIP) and has the benefits … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy — Liquidation

Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are straight liquidations sought by debtors who wish to have most or all of their debts discharged. In Chapter 7 cases, the Chapter 7 trustee obtains control over the debtor’s assets and evaluates whether any equity exists that would offset the costs of selling those assets. If the bankruptcy estate will … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: The 6 Key “Players” in Bankruptcy Cases

Bankruptcy cases differ from typical lawsuits in a variety of ways, including the parties involved. Whereas standard lawsuits generally involve a plaintiff and a defendant, bankruptcy cases have a different cast of “players,” including the debtor or debtor in possession, creditors, the bankruptcy trustee (i.e., Chapter 7 trustee, Chapter 13 trustee, etc.), committees, and the … Continue Reading

Bradley’s Bankruptcy Basics: A Multimedia Series

Bankruptcy. The arrival of that notice stating a customer has filed for bankruptcy can evoke less-than-ideal responses: forwarding the notice to someone else who might know what to do with it (resulting in the notice ending up in a forever loop of being forwarded along); immediately writing off the account and cutting your losses; or, … 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

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

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

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

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

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
LexBlog