Looking Back at AFSA’s Success in 2019 January 09, 2020 AFSA’s federal government affairs team continued to be highly effective in advocating for the protection of consumer credit and choice in 2019. Below are just a few of the 2019 federal successes. Rate Caps: Prevented legislation extending the Military Lending Act and its 36% all-in rate cap to all consumers from being considered and advanced by the House Financial Services Committee despite numerous attempts. Military Lending Act (MLA): Continued to push for relief on the MLA 2017 Interpretive Rule relating to GAP, both in the executive and legislative branches. Assisted with efforts to secure a bipartisan letter to the Department of Defense from members of Congress emphasizing concerns. Auto Finance: Reduced focus on auto lending during House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on auto discrimination and thwarted attempts to pass legislation relating to disparate impact. Operation Choke Point: Secured provision in Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act that prevents the return of Operation Choke Point and advocated for Senate passage. The bill was passed by the House by a strong bipartisan vote of 321-103. Telephone Consumer Protection Act: Worked with key members of Congress to secure business-friendly changes to the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, a bipartisan and bicameral bill that would prevent robocalls, but not increase TCPA lawsuits. Also met with the FCC asking them to issue new TCPA regulations. Arbitration: Prevented harmful House-passed provisions prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration agreements from being incorporated in final National Defense Authorization Act. AFSA also worked with key senators to prevent Senate consideration of the House-passed FAIR Act, which would eliminate arbitration as an option in many types of disputes. Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL): Obtained a provision in FY2020 appropriations legislation requiring the Department of Treasury to conduct a study on the need for changes to the regulatory capital requirements resulting from CECL within 270 days. We also continue to gain bipartisan support for House and Senate legislation that would require a delay of the CECL accounting standard until a study is completed. We also obtained a delay in the implementation date for some companies. Small-dollar Rule: Met with the CFPB and asked for guidance to help implement the payments provisions of the small-dollar rule in a consumer-friendly way. Debt Collection: Obtained extension from the CFPB on debt collection rule comment period. Sent to the CFPB a completed study on the importance of allowing creditors to contact their borrowers in response to the CFPB’s rule on debt collection. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Worked with the CFPB on defining “abusive,” implementing small-business lending data reporting, and resolving problems with credit reporting. Industrial Loan Companies: Weighed in against harmful Senate legislation that would effectively eliminate industrial loan companies. Issued support for the FDIC Chairwoman's initiative to encourage new bank formation through ILCs. Credit Reporting: Advocated for changes to H.R. 5332 so that it does not inhibit businesses’ ability to run credit checks and keeps individuals’ ability to have safe, accurate credit reporting information. Annual Privacy Notice: Continue efforts to gain sponsors for legislation that would eliminate auto lenders from being required to mail annual privacy notices to all customers if the policy has not changed. Data Privacy/Security: Advocated for a federal data privacy standard preempting state laws to the Senate Banking Committee and Federal Trade Commission. E-SIGN: Worked with Senate staff to draft legislation modernizing and streamlining the consumer consent process and make it less duplicative for financial institutions. HUD Disparate Impact Rule: HUD issued a proposed new rule supported by AFSA that will likely be finalized soon. Safeguards Rule: Asked the FTC to modify its proposed Safeguards Rule to give financial institutions flexibility. Innovation: Encouraged the CFPB to revisit policies that encourage innovation. Amicus briefs: Submitted friend-of-the-court briefs in key cases affecting the financial services industry. AFSA will continue its efforts regarding these issues and other priority issues in 2020, and next week, we’ll take a deep dive at what AFSA is looking to accomplish in 2020.