Posts Authored by David K. Stein

FTC takes action and fines loan servicer: How to avoid being the subject of the next case

Loan servicers, beware! The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a large fine to a loan servicer, based on Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP) standards. On April 15, 2019, the FTC and Avant, LLC, an online consumer lender and loan servicing company, entered into a settlement and stipulated order to resolve a lawsuit that alleged Avant violated federal consumer protection laws. The FTC asserted that Avant’s loan servicing practices constituted unfair and deceptive acts and practices under Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 41-58, as amended).

The FTC has the authority to regulate businesses engaging in interstate commerce, including online lenders that fund consumers or small businesses, and, among other areas, the FTC has oversight and enforcement obligations concerning unfair and deceptive acts and practices under the FTC Act. Unlike UDAAP under the Dodd-Frank Act, which applies only to consumer transactions, the FTC Act applies to both consumer and commercial lenders and loan servicers, as well as all other businesses operating in interstate commerce. Read more >>

Consumer Lending and Services, Legal Developments

Ohio goes digital: The Notary Public Modernization Act

In December 2018, now former Governor Kasich signed into law S.B. 263, also known as the Notary Public Modernization Act. The act overhauls Ohio’s notary laws and will allow documents to be notarized online through audio-video conferencing.

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Legal Developments, State Regulatory

Mortgage lenders: The “black hole” has closed

In astronomy, there can be no escape from a black hole. In the world of residential mortgage lending, the CFPB has charted a new course, finally creating an escape from one of TILA/RESPA’s most impracticable rules. On April 26, 2018, the CFPB finalized amendments to “TRID”, its “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule.  

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Consumer Lending and Services

PHH’s hidden gem

The long-awaited en banc decision in PHH Corp., v. CFPB has finally been issued. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and reversed a prior finding that its structure is unlawful. This case has been discussed for years, with good reason.What is truly notable is the underlying issue that was appealed in the first place:  the CFPB’s new interpretation of RESPA regarding payments for business referrals. 

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Consumer Lending and Services, Federal Regulatory, Legal Developments

TCPA: Not all leads are created equal

This year, more than 5,000 lawsuits alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) have been filed. Many of these suits are destined for class action status.

The TCPA, in its present state, is almost unworkable for most modern businesses, most of which now drive business through technology and automation. If your company is engaging in any form of phone sales based on leads created through the internet or smart phone applications, it is particularly at risk. Read more >>

Federal Regulatory, State Regulatory

Federal district court sanctions CFPB for violations of discovery orders

A federal court in Georgia recently imposed sanctions on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) after finding that the regulator engaged in a pattern of conduct that warranted substantial penalties. While the bureau is usually the accuser of wrongful conduct, it had some explaining to do in CFPB v. Universal Debt Solutions. Read More >>

Consumer Lending and Services, Federal Regulatory, Legal Developments