Medical service providers who engage in medical billing, debt collection, and credit reporting are the focus of new regulations and regulatory enforcement efforts. Civil litigation is sure to follow. Under the direction of its new Director, Rohit Chopra, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “is working to stop unfair medical debt collection and coercive credit reporting practices that add to the strain on American families.” The Bureau has targeted that “$88 billion of outstanding medical bills are currently in collections – affecting one in five Americans.” Id. A federal consumer protection law, the “No Surprises Act,” came into force this year. It provides billing and collection rights to medical patients, both insured and uninsured. The Bureau has issued a Bulletin, warning that the attempted collection of a medical debt that is barred by the No Surprises Act may violate federal consumer debt collection practice law. A plethora and ever growing number of state laws also heavily regulate medical billing, collection, and credit reporting practices.

To read the full Legal Update, click here.

Monday, May 10, 2021
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Central
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Mountain
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Pacific

About the Program

On October 30, 2020, the CFPB released its long-awaited final collections rule, which restated and clarified certain prohibitions on harassment and abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices by debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  The release marks one of the most significant developments in the debt collection industry since the FDCPA was enacted in 1977.

In the third installment of the Consumer Financial Services Litigation Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys will break down various portions of the final rules. Below is the list of topics that we plan to discuss in further detail.

  • Overview of the FDCPA and Rulemaking that led to the Fall 2020 new regulations;
  • Highlight of changes and key provisions in the new FDCPA regulations;
  • Recent CFPB actions to delay and supplement the new FDCPA regulations (i.e., the two notices I circulated in the last few days).

Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series
Given the magnitude of the potential changes ahead, Seyfarth has developed a webinar series designed to convey strategies and best practices to help you to ensure that your company and internal clients are prepared for what is ahead. To stay abreast of these changes, please subscribe to our mailing to list.

Subscribe to Seyfarth’s Consumer Financial Services Mailing List.

For updates and insight on Consumer Financial Services Issues, we invite you to click here to subscribe to Seyfarth’s Consumer Class Defense Blog

Speakers

Tonya M. Esposito, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Michael Jusczyk, Associate, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
J. Patrick Kennedy, Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

On January 5, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law (Taskforce) issued a nearly 900-page final report (Report) making extensive recommendations for legislative and regulatory reform, enactment, and adoption of new initiatives in the financial marketplace. In proposing changes to the existing legal and regulatory framework, the Report is centered around five key principles: (1) consumer protection; (2) information and education; (3) competition and innovation; (4) regulatory modernization and flexibility; and (5) inclusion and access.

In the second installment of the Consumer Financial Services Litigation Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys offered predictions on what financial services companies might expect from the CFPB in the months ahead as a result of the Taskforce Report. Specifically, Seyfarth attorneys provided a deeper dive into the following:

  • The Background of the Taskforce, its Report and prior studies that provided the starting point and reasons for the current consumer financial services regulatory review.
  • Status of a recent legal challenge to the Taskforce and its Report pending in the Massachusetts federal court.
  • Key recommendations, including:
    • Focusing enforcement decisions on the “lodestar” of consumer harm;
    • Providing public transparency as to how enforcement decisions are made;
    • Rethinking Regulation Z’s required disclosures to better inform consumers;
    • Increasing access to credit for more consumers;
    • Providing the CFPB flexibility to determine that compliance with particular federal and state regulations during times of emergency would be impracticable.
  • Predictions for the scope of reliance and magnitude of the Taskforce Report given the change to the Biden-Harris Administration and nomination of a new CFPB Director.

Subscribe to Seyfarth’s Consumer Financial Services Mailing List.

Please see the webinar recording and presentation below for the March 25th Webinar: “Deeper Dive into the CFPB Taskforce Report Recommendations and Q&A Session”

Presentation Recording
PowerPoint Presentation

Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series

Given the magnitude of the potential changes ahead, Seyfarth has developed a webinar series designed to convey strategies and best practices to help you to ensure that your company and internal clients are prepared for what is ahead. To stay abreast of these changes, please subscribe to our mailing to list.

On January 5, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law (Taskforce) issued a nearly 900-page final report (Report) making extensive recommendations for legislative and regulatory reform, enactment, and adoption of new initiatives in the financial marketplace. In proposing changes to the existing legal and regulatory framework, the Report is centered around five key principles: (1) consumer protection; (2) information and education; (3) competition and innovation; (4) regulatory modernization and flexibility; and (5) inclusion and access.

In the second installment of the Consumer Financial Services Litigation Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys will offer predictions on what financial services companies might expect from the CFPB in the months ahead as a result of the Taskforce Report. Specifically, Seyfarth attorneys will provide a deeper dive into the following:

  • The Background of the Taskforce, its Report and prior studies that provided the starting point and reasons for the current consumer financial services regulatory review.
  • Status of a recent legal challenge to the Taskforce and its Report pending in the Massachusetts federal court.
  • Key recommendations, including:
    • Focusing enforcement decisions on the “lodestar” of consumer harm;
    • Providing public transparency as to how enforcement decisions are made;
    • Rethinking Regulation Z’s required disclosures to better inform consumers;
    • Increasing access to credit for more consumers;
    • Providing the CFPB flexibility to determine that compliance with particular federal and state regulations during times of emergency would be impracticable.
  • Predictions for the scope of reliance and magnitude of the Taskforce Report given the change to the Biden-Harris Administration and nomination of a new CFPB Director.

Submit your questions for our Q&A Session upon registration. There is an additional field in the registration link to enter your questions.

Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series

Given the magnitude of the potential changes ahead, Seyfarth has developed a webinar series designed to convey strategies and best practices to help you to ensure that your company and internal clients are prepared for what is ahead. To stay abreast of these changes, please subscribe to our mailing to list.

Subscribe to Seyfarth’s Consumer Financial Services Mailing List.

For updates and insight on Consumer Financial Services Issues, we invite you to click here to subscribe to Seyfarth’s Consumer Class Defense Blog.

*CLE Credit for these webinars is approved in the following states: CA, IL, NJ and NY. CLE Credit is pending for GA, TX and VA. Credit will be applied for, but cannot be guaranteed, in all other eligible jurisdictions. Please note that in order to receive full credit for attending each webinar, the registrant must be present for the entire session.

Speakers

J. Patrick Kennedy, Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
James R. Billings-Kang, Associate, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Michael E. Jusczyk, Associate, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Thursday, March 25, 2021

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Central
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Mountain
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Pacific

If you have any questions, please contact Kelli Pacha at kpacha@seyfarth.com and reference this event.

In the first installment of Seyfarth’s 2021 monthly Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series held on February 24, 2021, attorneys David M. Bizar, Tonya M. Esposito and J. Patrick Kennedy discussed the major legislative initiatives, regulatory and enforcement, and executive actions that are likely to be prioritized by the Biden-Harris administration; the key financial department appointees of the new administration; and the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on the status of federal foreclosure and eviction moratoria.

As a conclusion to this webinar, we developed a summary of key takeaways:

  • Until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, CARES Act provisions providing for mortgage payment forbearance and foreclosure eviction moratoria will continue to cause disruptions in the consumer lending and mortgage servicing marketplaces.  With the administration change following the November election, new legislative initiatives will be heavily consumer-focused, and enforcement of consumer laws by the CFPB and other executive agencies will dramatically increase.  Fintech, student lending and smaller-dollar consumer products such as payday loans are expected to be a particular focus under new CFPB Director Rohit Chopra.
  • The Biden-Harris administration’s financial department appointees are smart; consumer-focused; experienced in leading important consumer initiatives in prior Democratic administrations; and are expected to be aggressive in their enforcement and rule-making positions.
  • The federal eviction and foreclosure moratoria have been formally extended due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic through March 31, 2021, will be extended further until June 30, 2021, and absent a dramatic improvement in conditions related to COVID-19 are expected to be in place through at least September 2021.  Federal restrictions generally take precedence over state-law restrictions, unless state bans are more inclusive.  These moratoria will result in increasing numbers of mortgage loans in default status, requiring more default servicing and foreclosure resources for banks and other financial servicers once the pandemic subsides.

Banks and financial institutions should review their compliance protocols and procedures, and be prepared for increased scrutiny by federal regulators during the Biden-Harris administration.  Our next scheduled event in the monthly Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series will be held on March 25, 2021, and will explore the recently-issued CFPB Taskforce Report and Recommendations.

With the Democrats in control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, combined with the ongoing effect of COVID-19’s effect of consumer lending, we anticipate a heightened focus on consumer protection issues and financial services enforcement at every level in 2021.

President Biden recently appointed FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As we await Chopra’s Senate confirmation process, there is much to consider in terms of what the future may bring for consumer lending, including the recently released report of the CFPB’s Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law’s recently released report. Noteworthy among the recommendations in the taskforce’s report is that the CFPB be given the authority to license and regulate financial technology companies. If implemented, that change would broaden the CFPB’s regulatory oversight powers.

Please join us for our first Consumer Financial Services Litigation Webinar of 2021. This webinar will discuss what the incoming Biden-Harris administration’s likely policy, regulatory and enforcement agenda might mean for banks and financial institutions. Specifically, our attorneys will touch on:

  • The major legislative, regulatory and administrative acts that are likely to be prioritized by the Biden-Harris administration;
  • The Biden-Harris administration’s financial regulatory agency appointments, including Chopra to head the CFPB, and their backgrounds, and expected platform for change; and
  • COVID-related impacts, including the status of the federal foreclosure and eviction moratoria.

Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series

Given the magnitude of the potential changes ahead, Seyfarth has developed a webinar series designed to convey strategies and best practices to help you to ensure that your company and internal clients are prepared for what is ahead. To take part in the webinars, please subscribe to our mailing to list receive future invitations. We urge clients interested in this topic to register immediately.

Subscribe to Seyfarth’s Consumer Financial Services Mailing List.

Speakers

David Bizar, Partner,  Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Tonya Esposito, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
J. Patrick Kennedy, Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Central
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Mountain
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Pacific

If you have any questions, please contact Kelli Pacha at kpacha@seyfarth.com and reference this event.

On July 6, 2018, Leandra English, through her attorney via Twitter, announced she would be resigning from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). In so doing, Ms. English is also dropping her lawsuit against the CFPB in which she challenged Mick Mulvaney’s status as the acting director and claimed that she was the true acting director. Ms. English attributed her resignation decision to President Trump’s nomination of Kathy Kraninger, a White House aide, to be the CFPB’s director.

Ms. English was previously promoted by then-Director Richard Cordray before his departure the day after last November’s Thanksgiving holiday. Later, during that holiday weekend, Ms. English filed suit to block President Trump’s appointment of Mr. Mulvaney as the CFPB’s acting director. In her suit, Ms. English argued that she was the rightful successor to Director Cordray and challenged the President’s authority to appoint Mr. Mulvaney under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (“FVRA”). Ms. English pursued the lawsuit even though the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel had issued a memorandum that concluded the president had the authority to appoint a temporary replacement since the statute provided him with the “exclusive means” to do so unless there was a supervening statute that specified otherwise.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied relief to Ms. English over Mr. Mulvaney’s appointment. She appealed that decision to the D.C. Circuit, which appears poised to reject her claim due, in part, to her lack of standing. If the Senate confirms Ms. Kraninger’s nomination, the confirmation will moot Ms. English’s lawsuit. Although Ms. English’s decision may end that lawsuit, the CFPB faces other challenges, and several courts have found the agency’s statutory structure unconstitutional. For additional information, see our prior alerts on this issue here.

On June 21, 2018, in deciding a motion to dismiss a complaint brought the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”)and the State of New York, Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that the CFPB’s structure is unconstitutional.

Previously the D.C. Circuit, sitting en banc in PHH Corp. v. CFPB, 881 F.3d 75 (D.C. Cir. 2018), had held that Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, which “established the CFPB as an ‘independent bureau’ within the Federal Reserve System,” was validly enacted. Judge Preska disagreed with the panel and adopted the minority view proposed by the dissent in that case. First, she accepted Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s conclusion that the CFPB was unconstitutionally structured because it is an “independent agency that exercises substantial executive power and is headed by a single Director.” Namely, Judge Kavanaugh took issue with the CFPB’s unchecked authority vested in a single director, where history, liberty, and presidential authority dictate otherwise. Continue Reading An SDNY Dilemma: CFPB Held Unconstitutional Over Director Removal Provision

The battle for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) raged on this Thursday during oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in English v. Trump. All three panel judges seemed skeptical of English’s claim that she should be acting director of the CFPB, but two judges questioned whether President Trump could appoint Mulvaney as acting director when a provision in the Dodd-Frank Act states that a subsection on budgeting and financial management “may not be construed as implying … any jurisdiction or oversight over the affairs or operations of the [CFPB]” by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”).  Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Questions English’s Standing to Challenge CFPB Control

In response to “the void left by the Trump Administration’s pullback of the [CFPB],” the New Jersey Attorney General recently announced that Paul R. Rodriguez will be serve at the Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, the state’s lead consumer protection agency.  Mr. Rodriguez will serve as the Acting Director of the Division beginning on June 1, 2018, until he is confirmed by the New Jersey Senate.  This appointment fulfills one of Governor Phil Murphy’s promises to create a “state-level CFPB” in New Jersey.

Several other state attorneys general, including those in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, have announced that they intend to fill any void resulting from leadership changes at the CFPB by continuing to vigorously enforce federal consumer protection laws, as well as the consumer protection laws of their respective states.  This sentiment was memorialized in a December 14, 2017, letter from the attorneys general to President Trump expressing their support for the CFPB’s mission and their disapproval of Mick Mulvaney’s appointment as CFPB Acting Director.

Seyfarth Shaw will continue to monitor and report on this potential state-level CFPB formation trend and related enforcement activity.