Allison D. Wood

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A common question that we all ask whenever we meet someone new in a social setting is “what do you do?” This seemingly innocuous question always makes me brace myself for the inevitable exchange that will follow. When I say that I am an environmental attorney, the next question is almost always whether I work for the “good” or “bad” guys. The clear assumption in this question is that environmental advocacy groups are “good,” while…
  On August 31, Judge Walter of the Central District of California entered summary judgment in favor of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) on its claims against CashCall, Inc. arising out of allegedly unfair and deceptive loan practices. The CFPB had sued payday lender CashCall and various affiliates for violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (“CFPA”), based on CashCall’s alleged scheme to avoid state usury laws through the use of an…
Today, the CFPB released its proposed amendments to disclosure requirements under RESPA and TILA. These disclosure requirements are also known as the “Know Before You Owe” rule (the Rule). The amendments propose several notable changes: The CFPB proposes to change the way loan tolerances are calculated. Tolerance calculations will now include finance charges “and disclosures affected by the finance charge.” This amendment would effectively bring loan tolerance calculations back to what they were before the…
On March 29, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its monthly report summarizing consumer complaints received through February 2016. Overall to date, the CFPB has received over 834,400 complaints. Nationally, the CFPB noted a 13 percent uptick in credit reporting complaints between January and February 2016. Many complaints concern credit reporting agencies. Most consumer complaints across all products come from California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois. New York and Texas, however, have recently…
On March 9, 2016, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) Director Richard Cordray outlined the CFPB’s progress and future plans to the Consumer Bankers Association (“CBA”). Cordray touted the CFPB’s great success despite pushback from the CBA and others from the financial industry. Cordray was careful, however, to note that the CFPB has taken the CBA’s criticisms to heart and applied some of them to improve the CFPB’s programs and regulations. Cordray’s remarks deflected criticism that…
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has settled a lawsuit with a Georgia law firm allegedly functioning as a debt-collection mill. As reported by Credit Union Insight, the CFPB and the Georgia law firm agreed on a Stipulated Judgment on December 28. The CFPB’s lawsuit alleges Georgia law firm Frederick J. Hanna & Associates and its individual principals (collectively, “Hanna”) functioned as little more than a debt-collection mill for over four years. Hanna primarily represented…
We have an update to our September 23 post regarding the CFPB’s expanded definition of “small creditors” and “rural areas” for purposes of meeting the requirements of qualified mortgages. As first reported by Housing Wire, the CFPB has now published an updated list of places the CFPB has determined qualify as “rural counties” and “underserved areas.” The full list may be found here. As discussed in greater detail in our September 23 post, creditors…
Lenders utilizing “marketing services agreements” (“MSAs”) beware: On October 8, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a new bulletin strongly cautioning that MSAs often violate Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act’s (“RESPA”) “primary purpose” of preventing kickbacks. Lenders that use MSAs bear a high risk of eventually facing a CFPB enforcement action, which could carry stiff monetary and nonmonetary penalties. According to the CFPB, “MSAs are usually framed as payments for advertising or promotional services,…
On September 21, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released final and revised versions of mortgage rules regarding small creditors. These changes should ease lenders’ ability to originate qualified mortgages in rural areas. These revisions comport with Director Richard Cordray’s stated position that community banks and credit unions did not cause the financial crisis—and thus, implicitly, should not be overburdened in their ability to generate loans.…