A court settlement involving Illinois lenders suggests that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is making good on her promise to crack down on lenders’ attempts to charge excessive fees to debtors. The settlement in Illinois v. CMK Investors, Inc., which the Attorney General’s office announced this week, requires CMK Investors, Inc. to both cease efforts to collect on accounts with excessive fees and reimburse customers who overpaid. The settlement also permanently and immediately prohibits CMK from making loans with an interest rate above the state’s 36 percent limit.

A court settlement involving Illinois lenders suggests that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is making good on her promise to crack down on lenders’ attempts to charge excessive fees to debtors. The settlement in Illinois v. CMK Investors, Inc., which the Attorney General’s office announced this week, requires CMK Investors, Inc. to both cease efforts to collect on accounts with excessive fees and reimburse customers who overpaid. The settlement also permanently and immediately prohibits CMK from making loans with an interest rate above the state’s 36 percent limit.


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On October 11, 2016, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in the matter of Johnson v. Midland Funding LLC, on appeal from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in order to resolve whether a conflict exists between the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and the Bankruptcy Code. In Midland Funding, the appellate court found a debt collector to have violated the FDCPA by filing a proof of claim on time-barred debt in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has stated that discrimination by creditors based on gender identity or sexual orientation violates the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. As Slate online magazine put it, when providing the first widespread coverage of this issue in an article published last week,“[t]he federal government just accomplished a decades long goal of LGBTQ advocates with a single letter.” The letter referred to was actually sent on August 30, 2016, from the CFPB to Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (“SAGE”), a national social service and advocacy organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender elders.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued yet another suite of regulatory changes related to mortgage servicing. The rules add additional protections for borrowers—and therefore increased requirements for servicers—as well as clarify certain issues that have been the subject of questions and confusion by servicers.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced yesterday at a field hearing in Sacramento, California, that it is considering several potential approaches to issuing rules on debt collection. The CFPB would take this action pursuant to its authority under the Dodd-Frank Act to issue regulations implementing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) as well as to issue regulations prohibiting unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices. This rulemaking would mark the first time regulations would be issued to implement the FDCPA, and it is likely to have significant effects on the debt collection industry.

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In an important ruling for debt collectors, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Hernandez v. Williams, Docket No. 14-15672 (2016), that the failure of a debt collector (successor or otherwise) to send its own “validation notice” under 15 U.S.C. §  1692g(a) to a consumer violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), specifically 15 U.S.C. § 1692g, even when a prior debt collector sent its own validation notice to the same person. In doing so, the Court reasoned that placing the requirement on any and all debt collectors involved was in line with the consumer-protection purpose of the FDCPA.

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As the clock ticks toward the July 22 comment deadline for the proposed Dodd-Frank incentive compensation rules, entities that may be covered by the rules continue to evaluate the potential effects on their operations and their compensation practices. The rules could significantly affect how financial institutions provide incentive-based compensation to their employees. As proposed, the rules would impose obligations such as lengthy clawback periods; deferral of compensation; limitations on “excessive” compensation; specific governance requirements; and long recordkeeping periods.
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After much anticipation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has released its proposed small-dollar lending rule. Spanning 1,334 pages in length, the proposal marks the first time the CFPB has exercised its authority to issue regulations prohibiting unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (“UDAAP”). Until now, the CFPB has elected to define UDAAP through its enforcement actions. And despite the proposal’s length, it does not appear that it fully covers the waters of consumer credit in the CFPB’s sights. Accompanying the proposed rule is a Request for Information (“RFI”) asking additional questions about certain other high-cost, longer-term installment loans and open-end lines of credit, raising the possibility of additional rulemakings in the future.

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