Today's Headlines

    HUD’s Disprate Impact Rule under Review at OMB

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week announced that the department’s disparate impact rule is under review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Judge Richard J. Leon announced the status of the issuance of the rule in an order dated February 6, 2019, and that the stay in question was to be extended to March 15 in order to accommodate the OMB. The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking can be read here.

    Webinar will address strategy and bottom line results

    Join AFSA on Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. ET for the webinar, “Optimize your acquisition strategy and elevate profits,” presented by Experian. The capabilities of today’s technologies, backed by real-time data updates make it possible to engage consumers when they are most motivated to respond. Learn how the right prescreening process can help identify consumers who are more likely to respond to credit offers and are likely to repay.

    This webinar will demonstrate how current consumer data can invigorate your acquisition strategy by providing: 

    ·         Accurate, data-driven prospect lists tailored to your campaign goals.

    ·         The flexibility to customize your decision criteria.

    ·         Effective consumer targeting for maximized campaign performance.

    ·         Confidence to expand your risk tolerance to include qualified, vetted subprime consumers.

    Registration and materials from previous webinars are available at AFSA’s Webinar Resource Center.

    AFSA’s Law & Compliance Symposium Will feature CFBP’s John McNamara

    John McNamara, Assistant Director of Consumer Lending, Reporting, and Collections Markets with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will address attendees at the 2019 Law & Compliance Symposium, March 5-7 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

     McNamara will discuss the latest activities at the Bureau, including an update on the debt collection rulemaking expected in March. Prior to joining the Bureau, McNamara was the chief marketing officer for LiveVox, a provider of cloud contact center solutions, and was the president, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Fidelis Recovery Solutions, Inc. McNamara has over 30 years of experience working in the debt collection market and will provide great insight into the bureau’s processes to attendees.

    The deadline to register for accommodations at the conference hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Ft. Lauderdale, has already passed but AFSA members have until tomorrow, Feb. 15, to confirm your stay at the Westin next door.

    Visit the Law & Compliance Symposium website for accommodation and conference registration information.

    AFSA does in-depth study on Municipal Zoning Restrictions

    AFSA’s State Government Affairs department this month published its Municipal Zoning Restrictions white paper. AFSA’s white paper takes an in-depth look at recent activity by municipalities seeking to regulate small loan locations, including trends in introductions of such ordinances and recent state legislation setting requirements for municipalities looking to regulate small lending.

    Some municipalities, dissatisfied with state law, have used zoning ordinances to restrict the growth and activities of payday lenders and check cashers within their own cities and county borders.

    While these ordinances are usually cited as a means to keep payday and title lenders in check, they are sometimes written so broadly that they have significant unintended consequences for other sources of small dollar credit, including traditional installment lenders.

    The shortcoming of this approach has often been a failure of local lawmakers to appreciate the differences between payday loan-type products and safe and affordable traditional installment loans. Zoning ordinances that intend to tackle problems associated with predatory lending, but fail to exempt safe, beneficial credit options for local borrowers, create “credit deserts,” leaving local individuals either without recourse or forced to turn to black market sources.

    AFSA’s State Government Affairs team publishes white papers monthly, and AFSA members can find previous papers on AFSA’s website under the SGA Resources section.

    AFSA Continues Push for TCPA modernization

    AFSA continues to push for the modernization of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The most recent step has been a meeting with the staff of the new commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).Commissioner Geoffrey Starks was confirmed on Jan. 31.

    This week, AFSA staff joined with several other trade associations to talk to his staff about the need for some common-sense revisions to the regulations implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The current regulations, which the FCC is in the process of revising, restrict financial institutions ability to contact their customers without risk of crippling litigation. The FCC’s new regulations are expected to be released this spring.

    AFSA’s installment lending executives visit Capitol Hill

    The American Financial Services Association (AFSA) held its annual Installment Lenders Summit and Congressional Fly-in this week as 22 executives from 16 companies visited Congressional offices on Capitol Hill.

    AFSA members visited a variety of Senate offices and House offices. Most AFSA members visited four offices Wednesday afternoon. Many other associations and groups were also visiting their Congressional reps as the “halls of Congress” were packed with visitors, lobbyists and staff people.

    The main purpose of the Congressional visits was the education of members of Congress and their staffs on the benefits of traditional installment lending and its positive economic impact for their constituents and their communities.

    But the education went beyond members of Congress to include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and representatives of the Trump Administration’s National Economic Council (NEC).

    Kathy Kraninger, the recently-confirmed Director of the CFPB, attended the Summit’s Wednesday morning program which included speakers and presentations from inside and outside of AFSA.

    Kraninger’s “Listening Session” focused on AFSA member executives walking her through their business models, and the numbers of employees, branches and states they operate in, plus general reasons why they’ve been successful in making small loans for generations.

    AFSA Submits Three Comments on Critical Rulemakings

    AFSA this week submitted three comment letters to federal agencies.The first letter is in response to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s (FDIC) request for comment on the agency’s process for approving new state chartered banks. The letter spelled out the importance that the creation of new industrial banks has and pushed the FDIC to make the process easier.

    FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams noted in recent comments that, “Over the past decade, de novo activity has screeched to a historic halt. As FDIC chair, one of my key priorities is to encourage new bank formation. The FDIC needs to do its part to make that happen.”

    The second letter addressed the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) proposed revision of the Red Flags Rule and Card Issuers Rule, collectively referred to as the Identity Theft Rules.

    The letter notes that AFSA and its members overwhelmingly support the FTC’s goal of protecting consumers from identity theft and that the rules do not warrant modification or rescission. It also highlighted that compliance costs incurred by financial institutions at the rules inception were significant and any revision would drive up those costs unnecessarily.

    The third letter addressed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed no-action letter policy and Product Sandbox. AFSA supports both the policy and the creation of the sandbox as an important tool in financial services innovation.

    All three letters can be found in the Legal & Regulatory area of the AFSA website.