Christopher J. Willis

Christopher J. Willis

Ballard Spahr LLP

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FTC Highlights FDCPA Risks for Debt Collectors Using Social Media, Texts

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently published a reminder to debt collectors of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) compliance risks that are created by the use of social media or text messages in connection...more

4/1/2016 - Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) Cell Phones CFPB Corporate Counsel Debt Collection Debt Collectors Facebook FDCPA FTC Popular Risk Management Social Media TCPA Text Messages

FTC Gets 3 Million Consumer Complaints in 2015

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 3 million consumer complaints in 2015 with debt collection topping the list, according to its newly released Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. The annual report, which...more

3/8/2016 - CFPB Consumer Complaint Database Corporate Counsel Debt Collection FTC Identity Theft Sweepstakes Telecommunications

FTC Announces ''Operation Collection Protection'' Developments

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced new developments in ''Operation Collection Protection,'' its new coordinated federal-state enforcement initiative targeting unlawful debt collection practices. The U.S....more

1/16/2016 - Attorney Generals CFPB Debt Collection DOJ Enforcement Actions FDCPA FTC FTCA

FTC Proposes Survey of Consumer Experience in Financing Auto Purchases through Dealers

The Federal Trade Commission has announced plans to conduct a survey of consumers regarding their experiences in buying and financing automobiles at dealerships. According to the supplementary information in the notice...more

1/6/2016 - Automotive Loans Car Dealerships CFPB ECOA FTC Surveys Truth in Lending Act (TILA)

Is Online Lead Generation Inherently Deceptive?

This post is the third in a series we’re writing on the FTC’s workshop on online lead generation entitled Follow the Lead. In our first post, we explored how online lead generation works. In our second, we covered the role...more

12/11/2015 - CFPB FTC Lead Generators Online Platforms Popular Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

The Five Stages of Online Lead Generation

On October 30, the FTC presented a workshop on lead generation entitled Follow the Lead. Online lead generation is an area receiving increased regulatory scrutiny by the FTC and other regulators, including the CFPB. Over the...more

11/5/2015 - Best Practices CFPB Consumer Financial Products Enforcement Actions Financial Institutions FTC GAO Lead Generators Online Advertisements Online Platforms Popular Search Engines Websites

ABA Consumer Financial Services Panel Highlights the Challenges of Serving Consumers in non-English Languages

On September 17, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee meeting in Chicago (which was held as a part of the ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting),...more

9/23/2015 - American Bar Association (ABA) CFPB Fair Lending Financial Institutions UDAAP

CFPB Finalizes Rule to Supervise Nonbank Auto Finance Companies, Releases Auto Finance Examination Procedures for Banks, Nonbanks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a final rule allowing it to supervise nonbank companies that qualify as “larger participants of a market for automobile financing.” Relatedly, it adopted simultaneously a...more

6/12/2015 - Auto Lease Automotive Industry Automotive Loans Car Dealerships CFPB Consumer Financial Products Consumer Lenders Final Rules Market Participants Nonbank Firms

Focal points for banks and nonbanks in the CFPB’s new auto finance exam procedures

Wednesday, the CFPB finalized its larger participant rule for nonbank auto finance companies, making them subject to supervision after the effective date of the rule. But the Bureau’s press release and newly-released auto...more

6/12/2015 - Automotive Loans Banks CFPB Consumer Lenders Industry Examinations Nonbank Firms

State AG – Credit Bureaus Settlement: What Furnishers Need to Know - More than 30 state attorneys general reached a settlement...

Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued a press release announcing the results of a multi-state investigation into the three national credit reporting agencies (CRAs) - Equifax Information Services LLC, Experian...more

5/29/2015 - CFPB Credit Reporting Agencies Credit Reports Debt Buyers Debt Collection Equifax Experian FCRA TransUnion

CFPB’s Claims under CFPA Survive Legal Challenges, but TILA Claim Is Time-Barred

In a civil action brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau involving student loans, an Indiana federal court recently granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss by ITT Educational Services, Inc. The...more

3/20/2015 - CFPB First Impression For Profit Education Itt Educational Services Statute of Limitations Student Loans Truth in Lending Act (TILA)

FTC Issues 2014 Complaints Report

The Federal Trade Commission received more than 2.5 million consumer complaints in 2014, according to its newly released Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. The annual report provides national and state-by-state data on...more

3/13/2015 - Annual Reports CFPB Consumer Complaint System FTC

CFPB Releases Report on Fair Credit Exams and White Paper on Proxy Methodology

Along with its proposed larger participant rule for the auto financing market, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a special edition of Supervisory Highlights (the "report") describing its fair credit supervisory...more

9/24/2014 - Automotive Industry Automotive Loans Car Dealerships CFPB Debt Buyers Larger Participant

CFPB Proposes Rule To Supervise Nonbank Auto Finance Companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a proposal to supervise nonbank companies that qualify as “larger participants of a market for automobile financing.” Comments on the proposal will be due 60 days after the...more

9/19/2014 - Automotive Industry Automotive Loans Banks CFPB Nonbank Firms

Hanna Law Firm Moves to Dismiss CFPB Complaint

Today, the law firm of Fredrick J. Hanna & Associates filed a motion to dismiss the enforcement action brought by the CFPB against it in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia....more

9/15/2014 - CFPB Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions FDCPA Motion to Dismiss

The CFPB’s Debt Collection Complaint Report: Lots of Fury Signifying Nothing

Yesterday, the CFPB released its annual report on debt collection, along with a press release. The headline, according to the Bureau, is that “Consumers Report Being Hounded About Debts Not Owed,” and the Bureau reported that...more

3/24/2014 - CFPB Debt Collection

CFPB Issues Aggressive Rulemaking Agenda

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recently released fall 2013 rulemaking agenda portends aggressive rulemaking by the Bureau in 2014. With most of the rulemaking mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act now completed,...more

12/6/2013 - CFPB Compliance Dodd-Frank Enforcement Mortgages

CFPB Finalizes Rule To Supervise Student Loan Servicers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a final rule allowing it to supervise nonbank servicers of private and federal student loans who qualify as “larger participants” in the student loan servicing market. The...more

12/4/2013 - CFPB Loan Servicing Nonbank Firms Student Loans Students

Federal Regulators Issue Statement on Qualified Mortgage Fair Lending Risks

Federal regulators have issued an interagency statement intended to address industry concerns regarding the fair lending risks associated with compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s...more

10/25/2013 - Ability-to-Repay CFPB Fair Lending FDIC Mortgages NCUA Qualified Mortgage Rule

CFPB Issues Response Guidance for Compliant System’s Company Portal

The CFPB recently posted new "Response Guidance," which outlines what the CFPB deems "best practices" for financial institutions to follow in responding to consumer complaints, on its company portal....more

8/12/2013 - Best Management Practices CFPB Consumer Complaint System Recordkeeping Requirements

CFPB issues response guidance for complaint system’s company portal

Companies logging on to the CFPB’s company portal recently discovered that the CFPB had posted new “Response Guidance.” The guidance supplements the CFPB’s Company Portal Manual which describes the operation of the online...more

8/7/2013 - CFPB Fees Internet Websites

CFPB Targets Debt Collection in New UDAAP Bulletins, Complaint System, Consumer Action Letters

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made clear that debt collection continues to be a major focus by issuing two new bulletins and five action letters for consumers to use when responding to debt collectors....more

7/11/2013 - CFPB Compliance Consumer Complaint System Debt Debt Collection Dodd-Frank FDCPA Harassment UDAAP

CFPB Finalizes Procedures for Supervising Nonbanks Engaged in Risky Conduct

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has adopted a final rule setting forth the procedures it will use to supervise nonbanks engaged in conduct that poses risk to consumers....more

7/2/2013 - CFPB Credit Reports Dodd-Frank Final Rules Financial Products Lenders Mortgages Nonbank Firms Wall Street

CFPB responds to letter from Democrats requesting auto fair lending information and gets new request from Republicans

As we reported, on May 28, 2013, Democratic members of the House Committee on Financial Services sent a letter to Director Cordray requesting information about the CFPB’s activities related to auto fair lending, including...more

6/27/2013 - Automotive Industry CFPB Fair Lending Richard Cordray

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