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CFPB Acting Director Institutes Suspension of Data Collection, Reveals Plans to Bring in More Political Appointees, and Announces Review of Pending Enforcement Matters

Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney made three important announcements this week.  First, on December 4, he announced a suspension of the agency’s collection of consumers’ personal information due to concerns about cybersecurity. Mulvaney, who said he is taking data security “very, very seriously” according to The Wall Street Journal report (paywall), explained that the Bureau … Continue Reading

UK Regulator Extracts Compensation from Fund Operator and Parent

On November 10, the FCA issued a Final Notice relating that Capita Financial Managers Limited (“CFM”) had agreed to pay investors £66m over the collapse of a circa £110m unregulated collective investment scheme called the Connaught Income fund. The decision has garnered interest because the FCA faced political pressure to speed up its investigation into … Continue Reading

Kenneth Blanco Named FinCEN Director

According to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury earlier today, Kenneth A. Blanco has been named Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).  Mr. Blanco will join FinCEN after serving as the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ Criminal Division.  He has significant expertise in money laundering and terrorist … Continue Reading

CFPB Head of Enforcement to Step Down

On October 13, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the upcoming departure of its enforcement chief, Assistant Director of Enforcement Anthony “Tony” Alexis. Assistant Director Alexis has been with the CFPB since 2012, and in a statement (paywall) to The Wall Street Journal, CFPB Director Richard Cordray described him as “my strong right arm.” … Continue Reading

OCC Issues Guidance on CRA Ratings Downgrades for Consumer Compliance Violations

On October 12, 2017, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) issued a Policies and Procedures Manual (“PPM”) outlining the framework to be used by examiners to determine whether an OCC-regulated bank should receive a downgrade of its Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) performance rating based on evidence of discriminatory or other illegal credit … Continue Reading

SEC Brings Enforcement Action Against Two Companies Related to Initial Coin Offerings

On September 29, 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in federal court against REcoin Group Foundation, LLC (“REcoin”); DRC World, Inc., also known as Diamond Reserve Club (“DRC”); and their principal, Maksim Zaslavskiy. The complaint alleges false and misleading statements and violations of securities laws in connection with initial coin offerings … Continue Reading

UK Financial Conduct Authority Makes First Market Investigation Reference

On September 14, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed that it was making a Market Investigation Reference (MIR) to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in relation to services for investment consultancy and fiduciary management.  This is the first time the FCA, which has significant numbers of competition lawyers within its ranks, has exercised … Continue Reading

Federal Court Takes Expansive View of CFPB Statute of Limitations, Limits Restitution

On September 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California entered an order granting a civil penalty and injunctive relief in a CFPB case against mortgage loan servicer Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. (“Nationwide”), its wholly-owned subsidiary Loan Payment Administration, and the principal of Nationwide. In its suit, the CFPB alleged that the … Continue Reading

Federal Court Dismisses Part of CFPB’s Case Against TCF National Bank

On September 8, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota entered an order granting in part and denying in part a motion to dismiss claims brought by the CFPB against TCF National Bank (“TCF”) for alleged wrongdoing in connection with offering overdraft services. Brought in January, the case centered on allegations that TCF, … Continue Reading

CFTC Enforcement and Regulatory Report: 2017 Activity and Outlook

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC” or the “Commission”) has been very active since the beginning of this year, despite the change in Presidential Administration, the lack (until recently) of appointed Commissioners, and the turnover of leadership at both the Commission and Division level.  Notably, the Commission has announced over 20 enforcement actions, … Continue Reading

The OCC Rejects Operation Chokepoint in Letter to Chairman Hensarling

On August 21, 2017, Keith Noreika, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, sent a letter to Jeb Hensarling, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, stating that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) is not, and never was, a part of Operation Chokepoint, and that Operation Chokepoint is not the policy … Continue Reading

CFPB Obtains $2 Million Settlement Against Credit Repair Companies

On June 27, 2017, the CFPB announced it had filed complaints in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against credit repair companies Prime Credit, LLC, IMC Capital, LLC, Commercial Credit Consultants (d/b/a Accurise), Park View Law, Inc., and individuals who are principals of these companies, Blake Johnson, Eric Schlegel, and Arthur … Continue Reading

CFPB Seeks Contempt Order against Investigation Target

On June 21, 2017, a federal district court judge referred to a magistrate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) first attempt to obtain a contempt finding against a subject who allegedly failed to comply with a civil investigative demand (“CID”). The matter arrived in district court in November 2016, when the CFPB first sought judicial … Continue Reading

Texas District Court Rules that Notification of Purpose in CFPB CID Provides Fair Notice

On January 5, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) issued a civil investigative demand (“CID”) to The Source for Public Data, L.P. (“Public Data”), a company that collects personal information about consumers. The CID requested information to determine whether consumer reporting agencies, persons using consumer reports, or other persons have engaged or are … Continue Reading

CFPB Enters Consent Order with Mortgage Servicer Fay Servicing

On June 7, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced entry of a consent order against mortgage servicer Fay Servicing, LLC for alleged violations of the Bureau’s 2014 mortgage servicing rules. The CFPB alleged that Fay Servicing failed to provide timely notices to delinquent borrowers acknowledging that their loss mitigation applications were complete or incomplete, … Continue Reading

CFTC Acting Chairman Makes Budget Request

On June 8, 2017, Acting Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) made his request for the CFTC’s budget for fiscal year 2018 (“FY 2018”) to the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies (“Subcommittee”).  Acting Chair Giancarlo is seeking an increase in the CFTC’s budget from … Continue Reading

CFTC Adopts Amendments to Whistleblower Rule, Asserts Anti-Retaliation Authority

On May 22, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced the finalization of amendments to its whistleblower rules.  The most important change is the CFTC’s assertion of the authority to enforce Section 23(h)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), which prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers.  When it originally promulgated its whistleblower rules in 2011, the … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Holds Oral Argument in Rehearing of PHH v. CFPB

On May 24, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held en banc oral argument in the rehearing of PHH Corp., et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“PHH”).  The lively oral argument extended well beyond the time originally allotted by the Court, as lawyers for PHH, the Department of Justice, and … Continue Reading

FDIC Settles Unfair and Deceptive Practices Investigation with Bank and Institution-Affiliated Parties

On May 11, 2017, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) announced settlements with Bank of Lake Mills and two of its institution-affiliated parties, Freedom Stores, Inc. and Military Credit Services, LLC.  The settlements require the companies to pay restitution totaling $3 million to past and present borrowers who were harmed, impose civil monetary penalties totaling … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues its First Fine for a Violation of a Consent Order

On April 26, 2017, the CFPB announced it had entered into a consent order (the “2017 Order”) with Security National Automotive Company, LLC (“SNAAC”).  The consent order, for the first time, imposes a $1.25 million fine for the violation of a prior CFPB consent order.  In October 2015, the CFPB issued a consent order against … Continue Reading

CFPB Monthly Complaint Report Highlights Consumer Complaints Regarding Student Loans

On April 25, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released its monthly complaint report.  For the month of March 2017, the products and services generating the most consumer complaints were debt collection, credit reporting, and mortgages, collectively representing approximately 65% of all complaints received.  This continues the trend from February 2017, when the same … Continue Reading

CFPB Sues Ocwen for Alleged Violations of Consumer Financial Laws

On April 20, 2017, the CFPB sued nonbank mortgage loan servicer Ocwen Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries (collectively, “Ocwen”) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Bureau’s complaint alleges violations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Real Estate Settlement … Continue Reading

CFPB Sues Debt Collection Law Firm for Allegedly Misleading Communications

On April 17, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed suit in the Northern District of Ohio against Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A. (“Weltman”), a debt collection law firm.  The CFPB’s complaint alleges that the firm misrepresented the level of attorney involvement in its collection efforts in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices … Continue Reading

CFPB Announces Fair Lending Priorities in Fifth Annual Fair Lending Report

On April 15, 2017, the CFPB issued its fifth annual Fair Lending Report (“Report”). The Report describes the CFPB’s 2016 fair lending supervisory, enforcement, and rulemaking activities, interagency collaboration, and outreach to stakeholders. Most importantly, the Report outlines the CFPB’s fair lending priorities for 2017, indicating that the CFPB will increase its focus on redlining, … Continue Reading
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