To keep you informed of recent activities, below are several of the most significant federal and state events that have influenced the Consumer Financial Services industry over the past week:

Federal Activities

State Activities

Federal Activities:

  • On November 20, the Federal Reserve’s Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr issued remarks at the Clearing House Conference as part of a question-and-answer session that covered payments priorities, digital assets, regulatory approaches, and monetary policy. Barr expects FedNow and real-time payments to co-exist, with banks choosing which rail to route payments through. He also discussed the Federal Reserve’s supervision program, which he thinks will provide clarity on banks that engage in crypto initiatives. For more information, click here.
  • On November 20, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it is sending a second round of payments totaling more than $857,000 to consumers who were harmed by Napleton Automotive Group’s junk fees and discriminatory practices. The FTC and the State of Illinois sued Napleton Automotive Group in March 2022, alleging that Napleton employees were sneaking illegal junk fees for unwanted “add-ons” onto vehicle purchases and discriminating against Black consumers. According to the joint complaint, eight of the company’s dealerships illegally tacked on junk fees for unwanted “add-on” products such as payment insurance and paint protection, costing consumers hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The complaint also alleged that Napleton discriminated against Black consumers by charging them more for add-ons and financing. For more information, click here.
  • On November 17, the International Organization of Securities Commissions finalized its recommendations for crypto regulatory frameworks in a report. In doing so, the organization aims to coordinate a global regulatory response to the investor protection and market integrity risks created by centralized crypto asset intermediaries. The framework seeks to tackle conflicts of interest when crytpo asset service providers combine functions, as well as when they list tokens in which they have a financial interest in. The report also recommends that service providers provide market surveillance measures. For more information, click here.
  • On November 16, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published its Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) Annual Report to Congress. The report highlights consumer protection issues in medical debt collection. Per the CFPB’s report, the most common issue raised in debt collection complaints — across all types of debt — is the attempt to collect debt that the consumer does not owe. Complaints about debt that is not owed represented about half of the complaints, where companies responded with an explanation or relief regarding medical bills and collections. The CFPB also reports that people commonly reported that a medical bill being collected had already been paid or should have been paid by someone else; medical bills are collected long after services were provided; and medical bills that patients have no prior knowledge of appear on their credit reports. To conclude the CFPB’s report highlighting issues with medical debt, it stated: “The CFPB intends to gather additional information and take further action where warranted about these issues, including to work with states to exercise their authorities to protect consumers.” For more information, click here.
  • On November 16, the FTC provided the CFPB with its annual summary of activities to protect consumers in the debt collection arena. In the summary, the commission highlighted its multifaceted work covering the debt collection market to protect consumers and small businesses. The summary is used by CFPB in its annual report to Congress on the activities of both agencies, who share law enforcement responsibility in this area. For more information, click here.
  • On November 16, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra issued a statement on the Deposit Insurance Fund Restoration Plan and Designated Reserve Ratio. Chopra stressed his belief that there is a need for careful board oversight. For more information, click here.
  • On November 16, the Justice Department, in close coordination with the Department of Education, announced a successful first year of the new process for handling cases in which individuals seek to discharge their federal student loans in bankruptcy. For more information, click here.
  • On November 15, the CFPB’s Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Disclosures rule was published in the Federal Register. The CFPB’s rule amends an appendix for Regulation V, which implements the FCRA. The CFPB is required to calculate annually the dollar amount of the maximum allowable charge for disclosures by a consumer reporting agency to a consumer pursuant to Section 609 of the FCRA; this final rule establishes the maximum allowable charge for the 2024 calendar year. The CFPB is amending Appendix O to Regulation V, which implements the FCRA, to establish the maximum allowable charge for disclosures by a consumer reporting agency to a consumer for 2024. The maximum allowable charge will be $15.50 for 2024. For more information, click here.
  • On November 15, the CFPB released its Language Access Plan. The Language Access Plan describes the CFPB’s policy and how the CFPB’s language access activities are implemented across operations, programs, and services, and their applicability to all staff, particularly those who have contact with the public. For more information, click here.
  • On November 15, members of Congress clashed over the extent to which cryptocurrency is used in illicit finance, during a House Digital Asset Subcommittee hearing. The clash occurred along party lines. Republicans disputed the extent to which cryptocurrency is used illicitly in the wake of a news report that Hamas relies on it to finance its operations. Democrats cited the opacity of off-chain transactions in return. The unclarity surrounding the technology prompted the subcommittee to send a bipartisan letter to President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking them to provide detailed information on digital asset fundraising, accounts, and transfers by Hamas. For more information, click here.
  • On November 15, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued new guidance, introducing enhanced requirements for coin-listing and delisting policies of DFS-regulated virtual currency entities. The new guidance strengthens risk assessment standards for coin-listing policies and introduces enhanced requirements specifically for retail consumer-facing businesses. Furthermore, the guidance mandates licensees to develop and submit a coin-delisting policy to DFS for approval. This policy must comply with the new guidance and ensure that any coin delisting occurs in an orderly manner that protects consumers and minimizes market disruption. For more information, click here.
  • On November 14, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing where regulators, Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr, FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg, NCUA Chair Todd Harper, and acting Comptroller of Currency Michael Hsu, testified regarding the Basel III Endgame proposal. For more information, click here.
  • On November 14, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it has increased the allowable property inspection fee limits for property inspections of single-family homes associated with defaulted FHA-insured mortgages. For more information, click here.
  • On November 13, the CFPB, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that the 2024 threshold for whether higher-priced mortgage loans are subject to special appraisal requirements will increase from $31,000 to $32,400. For more information, click here.
  • On November 10, the Federal Reserve released its biannual Supervision and Regulation Report, which covers banking system conditions, regulatory developments, and supervisory developments. For more information, click here.
  • On November 9, the FHA announced it has posted a proposed update to its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) assignment claims eligibility policy for industry feedback. The proposal enables certain categories of due and payable HECMs that were previously ineligible for assignment to be assigned to HUD, enabling servicers to obtain earlier resolution of these loans through HUD’s assignment claims process. This change will support servicer liquidity and strengthen the HECM market for senior homeowners who use a HECM to age in place. For more information, click here.

State Activities:

  • On November 20, District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb filed a lawsuit against a pre-sale home renovation company. According to the lawsuit, the company violated the district’s consumer protection laws by engaging in scheme of deception, intimidation, and fraud, resulting in several elderly and financially disadvantaged residents being locked into unconscionable contracts. The complaint seeks to recover financial penalties and monetary damages and prevents the company from engaging in any future fraudulent conduct that exploits the district’s residents. For more information, click here.
  • On November 16, state securities regulators in Texas, California, Alabama, Wisconsin, and Canada released cease-and-desist orders against GSB Gold Standard Bank Ltd. The group allegedly used multilevel marketing and purported athlete endorsements to promote certificates tied to digital assets — certificates, which regulators claimed constituted investment contracts. The orders from each respective state generally targeted the group’s advertising practices and sale of the certificate-securities. For more information, click here.
  • On November 15, the New York State DFS issued new guidance, introducing enhanced requirements for coin-listing and delisting policies of DFS-regulated virtual currency entities. The new guidance strengthens risk assessment standards for coin-listing policies and introduces enhanced requirements specifically for retail consumer-facing businesses. Furthermore, the guidance mandates licensees to develop and submit a coin-delisting policy to DFS for approval. This policy must comply with the new guidance and ensure that any coin delisting occurs in an orderly manner that protects consumers and minimizes market disruption. For more information, click here.
  • On November 14, Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that her office had filed a lawsuit against a landlord over its alleged unlawful leasing and debt collection practices. The lawsuit alleges that the landlord inflated certain security deposit charges by 50%, in violation of the Landlord and Tenant Act. Under the law, security deposit charges are limited to the “actual amount of damages” to the rental unit. The suit further alleges that, after consumers moved out, the landlord sent collection letters to consumers illegally threatening to take action if the consumer did not submit payment within 15 days. The suit seeks civil penalties and restitution, including refunds of inflated security deposit charges, and prohibits the company from illegal leasing and debt collection practices. For more information, click here.
Photo of Ethan G. Ostroff Ethan G. Ostroff

Ethan Ostroff’s practice focuses on financial services litigation and consumer law compliance counseling. Ethan is part of the firm’s national practice representing consumer-facing companies of all types in defense of individual and class action claims and counseling them on compliance with federal and

Ethan Ostroff’s practice focuses on financial services litigation and consumer law compliance counseling. Ethan is part of the firm’s national practice representing consumer-facing companies of all types in defense of individual and class action claims and counseling them on compliance with federal and state laws.

Photo of Elizabeth Briones Elizabeth Briones

Elizabeth is an associate in the Consumer Financial Services practice who represents businesses large and small – from corporations to local partnerships. She is an experienced litigator with a background in complex matters ranging from corporate contract disputes, premises liability, negligence, fraud, and…

Elizabeth is an associate in the Consumer Financial Services practice who represents businesses large and small – from corporations to local partnerships. She is an experienced litigator with a background in complex matters ranging from corporate contract disputes, premises liability, negligence, fraud, and other business torts. She has appeared in state, federal, and multidistrict litigation.

Photo of Addison Morgan Addison Morgan

Addison is an associate in the firm’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. He has represented several of the nation’s preeminent financial institutions in litigation arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Debt…

Addison is an associate in the firm’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. He has represented several of the nation’s preeminent financial institutions in litigation arising under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the FTC Holder Rule, and other consumer protection state analogs.

Photo of Thailer Buari Thailer Buari

Thailer is an attorney in the firm’s Consumer Financial Service practice, where he represents clients in consumer law, business disputes, and commercial litigation. Thailer manages cases from inception to trial, focusing on all aspects of the litigation process, including case development, settlement negotiations…

Thailer is an attorney in the firm’s Consumer Financial Service practice, where he represents clients in consumer law, business disputes, and commercial litigation. Thailer manages cases from inception to trial, focusing on all aspects of the litigation process, including case development, settlement negotiations, legal research and analysis, document review, motions hearings, and mediations.

Photo of Jed Komisin Jed Komisin

Jed defends clients engaged in civil litigation. He has significant courtroom experience and works with his clients to find comprehensive solutions to their legal issues.

Photo of Trey Smith Trey Smith

Trey is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement Practice. He focuses his practice on helping financial institutions and consumer facing companies navigate regulatory investigations and resulting litigation. He has experience litigating the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the FTC Act…

Trey is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement Practice. He focuses his practice on helping financial institutions and consumer facing companies navigate regulatory investigations and resulting litigation. He has experience litigating the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the FTC Act, the Truth in Lending Act, state UDAAP statutes, and other consumer protection laws.

Photo of Alan D. Wingfield Alan D. Wingfield

Alan Wingfield helps consumer-facing clients navigate compliance, litigation and regulatory risks posed by the complex web of state and federal consumer protection laws. He is a trusted advisor and tireless advocate, helping clients develop practical compliance and dispute-resolution strategies.