Trump Administration and CFPB

Bankruptcy News Briefs 4/19

Prior Express Consent Defeats TCPA Claim, But Jury May Find 87 Calls Over 19 Days to be FDCPA Violation

Emotional Distress Damages Available for Stay Violation

FCC Seeks Comment By May 18 on Voicemail Drop Petition

Justices Appear Reluctant to Close Debt Collection Loophole

Dodd-Frank Needs Reform: Start With The CFPB

U.S. Economy in a Snapshot Shows Decline in Consumer Spending

CFPB Sues Another Debt Collection Law Firm

D.C. reaches settlement with debt collection company over allegations of illegal collections

California’sBankruptcy Court Imposes Massively Disproportionate $45 Million Punitive Exaction, Then Plays Santa Claus With $40 Million Of It

New ‘ReLIEF Act’ Could Make Student Loan Refinancing Cheaper

Bank of America Must Pay $46 Million for Improper Foreclosure

NACBA25 is Less Than A  Month Away! Are You Registered?

Join us in celebrating 25 years of NACBA on May 4th-7th in Orlando, Florida at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Visit NACBA25 for all the details on speakers, sessions, hotel reservations, registration and more! Register today!

Receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

In honor of NACBA’s 25th Anniversary, we want to reward you with a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Introduce a new member to NACBA and we will send you $25 Amazon Gift Card. Not only will YOU receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card but the NEW MEMBER will also receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Check out the Requirements and start referring today!

 It’s a New Month! Renew Your Membership to Enter This Awesome Giveaway!

Renew your membership in April and be entered to win a copy of NCLC Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice Volume I & II, Eleventh Edition (Value $130). Two winners, will be selected at random each month

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Bankruptcy News Briefs 3/8

Breaking News: Trump Administration Signals Opposition to CFPB in D.C. Circuit

State Law Applicable Solely to Bankruptcy Is Not Non-Bankruptcy Law

Sterling Jewelers, Wells Fargo Scandals Show Why Forced Arbitration Must End

Debt collectors lead Colorado attorney general’s 2016 list of top consumer complaints

U.S. credit card debt shrinks in January

Consumer Borrowing Growth Drops to 5 Year Low

CFPB Monthly Report Returns its Focus to Credit Reporting and Mortgage Complaints Fall Out of the Top Three

Negative Equity Decreasing, Many Homeowners Still Underwater

Bankruptcy Court’s Mortgage Mediation Program a Success

U.S. credit card debt shrinks in January

Upcoming NACBA Events

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Join us in celebrating 25 years of NACBA on May 4th-7th in Orlando, Florida at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Visit NACBA25 for all the details on speakers, sessions, hotel reservations, registration and more! Register today for the Early Bird Rate that ends March 17th, 2017 for savings!

Register Today for Two New NACBA Webinars in  March!

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10 Critical Numbers That Will Determine the Success or Failure of Your Law Firm
Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM ET
Presented by: Stephen Fairley, The Rainmaker Institute
Cost: No Fee – NACBA Member Benefit
Register HERE

What to do: Post HAMP for Mortgage Borrower Clients
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2017, 3:00 PM Eastern to 4:00 PM Eastern.
Presented by: Marc Dann Esq., and Bobby Rivera Esq.
Register HERE

Receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

In honor of NACBA’s 25th Anniversary, we want to reward you with a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Introduce a new member to NACBA and we will send you $25 Amazon Gift Card. Not only will YOU receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card but the NEW MEMBER will also receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Check out the Requirements and start referring today!

 NACBA Membership Promotion!

Renew your membership this month and be entered to win a copy of NCLC Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice Volume I & II, Eleventh Edition (Value $130). Two winners, will be selected at random each month

NACBA’s Washington Update IX

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This is the latest update from Washington, designed to keep NACBA members informed about significant and relevant activity on the part of Congress, regulatory agencies and interest groups/think tanks.  Feedback should be directed to mthompson@hastingsgroup.com.

Obviously, the big news out of Washington continues to be the election results.  NACBA members who joined us for the November 18 webinar, “The 2016 Election: What Now?,” heard NACBA leaders and our representatives in Washington answer the questions about what to expect in 2017 from the Administration, Congress and the courts.  We are planning to issue a special report in the next few weeks, after we learn more about the Cabinet and priorities of the Trump Administration and Congress.  Our report will focus not only on what to expect from the White House come January, but also the key agencies of interest to NACBA — Department of Justice, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Department of Education — as well as the leadership and key committees in Congress.

Continue reading for non-election news out of Washington this week.

ON THE HILL The 114th Congress has unofficially come to a close, but our elected officials are still at work.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) are broadening their investigation of the Wells Fargo scandal to examine whether Prudential Financial insurance products were also charged to the bank’s customers without their knowledge.  In a December 13, 2016 letter to Prudential’s CEO, the two Democrats asked for documents related to the bank’s sales of Prudential insurance. They requested the information and a briefing by January 13, 2017.

The action came after three former Prudential (PRU) employees alleged that Wells Fargo employees signed up customers for a low-cost Prudential life insurance policy without their knowledge or permission.  The three former PRU employees filed a Dodd-Frank whistleblower complaint with the SEC alleging they were retaliated against after uncovering the misconduct.

IN THE AGENCIES Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a program to aid homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments.  The Flex Modification loan program will begin in January 2017 and replaces the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), a foreclosure-prevention policy that’s set to expire at the end of this year. Loan servicers have until October 2017 to implement the program.

The new loan modification guidelines are expected to expand the population of homeowners eligible for lower monthly payments, short sales and other alternatives to foreclosure, according to Fannie Mae.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report documenting the consequences that the Department of the Treasury’s practice of garnishing Americans’ social security payments has on student loan borrowers in default. The number of older Americans defaulting on education loans has steadily increased in recent decades, as many have returned to college or co-signed loans for family members. Unpaid debt has resulted in the government garnishing the benefits of 114,000 people age 50 and older in the past year, more than half of whom were receiving Social Security disability rather than retirement income.  The report found that for more than two-thirds of borrowers whose monthly benefit was below the poverty line, the money deducted from their Social Security benefits was enough only to pay fees and interest, so the amount of the debt was not even reduced. The report also found that of older student loan borrowers with a Social Security offset, 43% had held their loans for 20 years or more and 80% had held their loans for 10 years or more.  Although there are rules designed to protect a portion of the recipient’s benefits, the dollar amount protected has not changed since 1996, and leaves a borrower with only $750/month ($9,000/year) to live on.

MORE FROM CFPB  The Bureau released a report raising new concerns about costly fees and risky features that can be attached to certain college-sponsored accounts. The report comes after analysis of roughly 500 marketing deals between the schools and large banks found that many deals allow for risky features that can lead students to rack up hundreds of dollars in fees per year. The report also examines trends in the school-sponsored credit card market. The CFPB also issued a bulletin today reminding colleges and universities they are required to publicly disclose marketing agreements with credit card companies.  The campus banking report is available at here.

Both the Director of the CFPB and the head of the FHFA have expressed their intent to finish out their terms at their respective agencies.  Richard Cordray “has no plans” to leave the top job at the CFPB, the agency said. “Director Cordray was confirmed by a bipartisan group of 66 senators to serve a term until July 2018 and has no plans to step down,” CFPB Communications Director Jen Howard said in an email.  Mel Watt, the FHFA head overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will serve out the remaining two years of his term after President-elect Donald Trump takes office.  Watt made his intent clear during a recent meeting with agency staff, according to people familiar with that gathering who confirmed the remarks Friday. His term expires in January 2019.

FROM THE INTEREST GROUPS U.S.PIRG has released a report titled “Big Banks, Big Overdraft Fees” that concludes that “overdraft fees are a major source of consumer pain, since they are borne disproportionately by Americans with few financial resources” but, that the CFPB is working to protect consumers from unfair overdraft fees.” A copy of the report is available here.

The private student loan industry is making a push to expand its role in the Department of Education’s growing $1.3 trillion portfolio of federal student loans.  A main lobbying group for the industry, the National Council of Higher Education Resources, wrote a letter this week to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, making a series of proposals that included a bold plan to auction off some of the existing portfolio of federal loans to private investors. You can read a copy of the letter here.

Bankruptcy News Briefs 11/18

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TCPA Cases Approach Milestone for 2016: Consumer filings under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act could top 5,000 this year.

Bankruptcy History Creates Inference of Intent to Hinder, Delay

Can Trump Make the TCPA Great Again? A Highly-Speculative Look at the Future of the TCPA under a Trump Presidency 

CFPB Field Hearing Investigates Storage, Use and Transmission of Digital Financial Records

Money 101: Here’s everything we know about Trump’s student debt plans

UDAAP Violations in Consumer Debt Collection

The CFPB must educate as it regulates debt collection

Upcoming NACBA Events

There’s Still Time to Register for Today’s Webinar

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Post Election: Now What?

Date: November 18, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM Eastern / 12:45 PM Pacific (45 minutes)
Presenters:
– Maureen Thompson, NACBA Legislative Director
– Jonathan Yarowsky, NACBA Advocate
– Ike Shulman, NACBA Legislative Committee Chair
– Ed Boltz, NACBA President
Cost: No Cost to NACBA Members – Member Benefit

Register HERE

Few people predicted that we would wake up on November 9th to a Trump Administration. But, come January 20th Mr. Trump will be in the White House and Republicans will control the Administration, the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time since 2005.

NACBA invites you to join a webinar on Friday, November 18, 2016 to learn about how NACBA’s Advocacy program intends to respond to the new environment, the opportunities and challenges we see ahead, what the new Administration might mean for your bankruptcy practice, and how you can get involved to help NACBA reach its goals.

Growing Your Bankruptcy Practice in 2017 and Beyond

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Time: 3:00 PM Eastern / 12:00 PM Pacific (60 minutes)
Presenter: Richard James, CEO, Office of Richard James
Cost: No Cost to NACBA Members – Member Benefit

Register HERE

If you want to build a law firm that supports your lifestyle, instead of undermining it, then join me on Wednesday, December 14th at 3pm ET. If you want 2017 to be the year that you finally build the law firm of your dreams, then you have to be on this webinar training. I am going to share with you the key strategies that hundreds of my clients are using to grow like never before. This is real world, in the trenches advice you can put to practice right away.

Celebrate 25 Years of NACBA!

Save the Date for NACBA’s Silver Anniversary Annual Convention

2017 NACBA’s 25th Annual Convention
Thursday, May 4’th – Sunday, May 7’th, 2017
Orlando, Florida

Interested in Sponsorship Opportunities at #NACBA25? Check out the Prospectus and join us in 2017!

JOIN NACBA TODAY

Become a member of NACBA! Join today and take advantage of the benefits, networking opportunities and resources NACBA has to offer!