General Business Consumer Protection

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

FTC Blocks Merger Between Staples and Office Depot

A federal court in Washington, D.C. issued an order blocking Staples' acquisition of Office Depot on the grounds that it would substantially lessen competition in the sale of consumable office supplies to national business...more

Supreme Court: Special Counsel Using State AG Letterhead Not in Violation of FDCPA

On May 16, the Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit’s ruling that special counsel using Ohio AG letterhead to collect debts owed to the state is false or misleading in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act...more

CFPB Release Report Critical of Auto Title Loans

On May 18, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a report on auto title loans. Auto title loans are small-dollar, high interest, loans that are generally used by borrowers to cover emergency expenses...more

Recommendations for Evaluating Your Organization’s Use of Social Media

The majority of organizations utilize social media to market their products and services, interact with consumers, and manage their brand identity. Many mobile applications and websites even permit users to sign-in with their...more

SCOTUS decides FDCPA case

On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Sheriff v. Gillie that an independent contractor to the Ohio Attorney General (OAG) did not mislead consumers in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act...more

German Court orders WhatsApp to provide consumers in Germany with T&Cs in German language

In a press release dated 17 May 2016, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv) announced that on 8 April 2016, the Court of Appeal Berlin (Kammergericht Berlin; “Court”)...more

Comment period on CFPB proposed arbitration rule ends August 22

With the publication of the CFPB’s proposed arbitration rule in today’s Federal Register, the 90-day comment period is now running.  Comments on the proposal must be received on or before Monday, August 22, 2016....more

Contractor's Use of AG Letterhead Not a Violation of FDCPA, Supreme Court Holds

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously held that an independent contractor to the Ohio Attorney General did not mislead consumers in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when it used the Attorney...more

SEC Approves FINRA’s Educational Communication Rule

The SEC recently approved FINRA’s new Rule 2273 (Educational Communication Related to Recruitment Practices and Account Transfers), which requires delivery of an educational communication prepared by FINRA to customers of a...more

High Praise for WSJ Editorial, with a Small Caveat

A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal is a “must read” for those who will be affected if the CFPB’s May 5, 2016 proposed rule banning class action waivers in consumer financial services arbitration agreements becomes...more

NY DFS Obtains $3 Million in Restitution for Illegal Payday Lending

On May 18, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced a consent order with a debt buyer for purchasing and collecting on allegedly illegal payday loans made to New York consumers, in violation of the...more

NY DFS Obtains $119K in Restitution for Illegal Payday Lending

On May 18, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced a consent order with a Virginia debt buyer for collecting on illegal payday loans from New York consumers, in violation of the Fair Debt...more

The CFPB’s auto title loan report: last step to a payday/title loan proposal?

The CFPB has issued a new report entitled “Single-Payment Vehicle Title Lending,” summarizing data on single-payment auto title loans. The latest report is the fourth report issued by the CFPB in connection with its...more

CFPB schedules June 2 field hearing on small dollar lending

The CFPB has announced that it will hold a field hearing on small dollar lending in Kansas City, Missouri on June 2, 2016. We anticipate the field hearing to coincide with the CFPB’s release of its proposed rule which is...more

CMA warns UK estate agents against colluding in online portal selection

On 21 April 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published an open letter to estate agents in the UK stressing the importance of making independent commercial decisions and warning them against unlawful...more

CFPB Proposes Ban on Class-Action Limitations in Arbitration Agreements

On May 5, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB” or the “Bureau”) issued a long anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for arbitration agreements (the “Proposal”) that, if finalized as proposed, is...more

How to Evaluate a Credit Monitoring Service

Organizations are not, generally, required to offer services to consumers whose information was involved in a breach. Nonetheless, many organizations choose to offer credit reports (i.e., a list of the open credit accounts...more

CFPB Proposes Rule Banning Class Action Prohibitions

On May 5, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposed rule that drastically limits the effectiveness of arbitration clauses in consumer financial product agreements. Specifically, the proposed rule...more

FTC Suffers Setback in Campaign to Slow the Rising Tide of Healthcare Consolidations

The FTC just suffered a major setback in its concerted efforts to challenge the ever growing number of consolidations in the healthcare industry, failing to secure a preliminary injunction to block a hospital merger in...more

A Sweet Win for Hershey Medical Center's Proposed Merger: District Court Denies FTC's Attempt to Block Pennsylvania Hospital...

The district court’s decision may mark a turning point away from purely formulaic reliance on the FTC’s preferred approach and the testimony of self-interested payers....more

CFPB Issues Proposed Rule to Restrict the Use of Mandatory Arbitration Clauses and Class Action Waivers

If implemented, the Proposed Rule will result in an increase in class action lawsuits against consumer finance companies that currently include class action waivers in their contracts. Please see full Advisory below for...more

Treasury Releases White Paper on Online Marketplace Lending

The U.S. Treasury Department has released a white paper addressing the online marketplace lending industry. Based in part on the responses to Treasury's July 2015 Request for Information (RFI), the white paper offers a broad...more

CFPB Issues Proposed Rule Seeking to Prohibit Mandatory Arbitration Clauses

On May 5, the CFPB released a highly anticipated proposed rule that would ban covered providers of most financial consumer products and services from including mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses in future consumer...more

CFPB Report Reviews 2015 Fair Lending Activities and Notes Continuing Priorities

On April 29, the CFPB released its fourth annual report to Congress on fair lending activities. The report recaps the CFPB’s 2015 supervisory and enforcement efforts around fair lending and identifies ongoing priorities in...more

Rule Proposed by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Regarding Arbitration Clauses

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”), a consumer watchdog agency, unveiled a proposed rule that would restrict the use of arbitration clauses in contracts with respect to consumer financial products and...more

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