Troutman Pepper Weekly Consumer Financial Services COVID-19 Newsletter - July 2021 #3

Troutman Pepper

Like most industries today, Consumer Finance Services businesses are being significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Troutman Pepper has developed a dedicated COVID-19 Resource Center to guide clients through this unprecedented global health challenge. We regularly update this site with COVID-19 news and developments, recommendations from leading health organizations, and tools that businesses can use free of charge.

Our bank and loan servicing clients also face novel challenges affecting their industry due to COVID-19, particularly the ever-changing rules and regulations concerning evictions and foreclosures. We closely track these updates and have assembled an interactive tracker containing state orders and guidance documents regarding residential foreclosure and eviction moratoriums. You may access this interactive tool at https://covid19.troutman.com/.

To help you keep abreast of relevant activities, below find a breakdown of some of the biggest COVID-19 driven events at the federal and state levels to impact the Consumer Finance Services industry this past week:

Federal Activities

State Activities

Privacy and Cybersecurity Activities

Federal Activities:

  • On July 15, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced that they paid about $15 billion dollars to families that include nearly 60 million eligible children in the first monthly payment of the expanded and newly advanceable Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan that passed in March. Eligible families would receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age six and up to $250 per month for each child age six to 17. For more information, click here.

  • On July 14, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced the joint release of an enhanced version of the award-winning financial education curriculum, Money Smart for Older Adults, which includes new information regarding COVID-19-related scams. For more information, click here.

  • On July 14, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin, Jeff Merkley, Richard Blumenthal, and Sheldon Whitehouse introduced legislation that would cap fees and interest on consumer loans at a 36% APR. For more information, click here.

  • On July 13, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency requested public comment on proposed guidance designed to help banking organizations manage risks associated with third-party relationships, including relationships with financial technology-focused entities. The proposed guidance seeks to assist banking organizations in identifying and addressing the risks associated with third-party relationships and responds to industry feedback requesting alignment among the agencies on third-party risk management guidance. For more information, click here.

  • On July 13, U.S. Senate Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee sent a letter to Rohit Chopra, President Joe Biden’s CFPB director nominee. The letter calls to disqualify Chopra after he refused to answer questions regarding his knowledge about allegations that the political leaders at the Biden CFPB took potentially unlawful actions to push out CFPB employees, such as offering employees separation incentives. For more information, click here.

  • On July 13, the U.S. Department Health and Human Services issued an interim final rule to restrict surprise medical bills and balance billing from health care providers. The opportunity to submit comments is open through September 7. For more information, click here.

State Activities:

  • On July 7, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued another order extending the declaration of judicial emergency. Circuit courts may now exercise their own discretion in determining how to safely operate their respective courts, including how to safely conduct jury trials, and may follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent and the Virginia Department of Health. For more information, click here.

  • On July 16, the California commissioner of the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation announced that license applications required under the Debt Collection Licensing Act will be online through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry on September 1. Applications are due by December 31, with a start date of January 1, 2022. For more information, click here.

  • On July 14, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the return of consumer’s deposits for events cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The pandemic caused a wave of disruption throughout New York state as we saw weddings, religious ceremonies, professional conferences, and many other large gatherings cancelled or delayed,” said Attorney General James. “Since the start of the pandemic, we now have returned almost $800,000 to New Yorkers and will continue to fight for more, especially as the pandemic continues to take a financial toll on our state’s residents.” For more information, click here.

  • On July 13, Washington, D.C.’s City Council approved emergency debt collection legislation — the Protecting Consumers from Unjust Debt Collection Practices Emergency and Temporary Acts. Among other protections, this legislation would (1) require debt collectors to provide itemized statements and account numbers for debts owed, (2) limit the information that can be provided about a consumer’s employers or family members, (3) increase statutory damages to $4,000 per harmed individual, and (4) limit debt collectors to three calls in a seven-day period. The legislation would expire 90 days after signed by Mayor Bowser. For more information, click here.

  • On July 12, the Massachusetts Division of Banks (Division) issued guidance allowing licensees and registrants to continue working remotely subject to compliance with the Division’s conditions and restrictions. The Division’s guidance will remain permanently unless otherwise modified or withdrawn. For more information, click here.

Privacy and Cybersecurity Activities:

  • On July 12, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock called for police agencies worldwide to form a global coalition with industry partners to prevent a “potential ransomware pandemic.” Over the last year, the frequency of ransomware attacks has increased significantly. “[C]riminals made USD 350 million in 2020 from ransomware payments, representing an increase of 311 percent in one year. Over the same period, the average ransom payment increased by 171 percent.” This is, in large part, a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and “[m]uch like the pandemic[,] ransomware is evolving into different variants, delivering high financial profits to criminals.” To read Interpol’s four recommendations to create a global leadership framework for action to disrupt and mitigate the impact of ransomware, click here.

For those interested in learning how U.S. states are responding to the increased threat of ransomware, check out Troutman Pepper’s recent blog post by clicking here.

  • On July 12, it was reported that President Biden’s recent summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin involved discussions focused on cybersecurity. “Biden and Putin agreed that the U.S. and Russia would initiate a series of expert consultations to move toward more tangible outcomes related to cybersecurity.” The report suggests that the U.S.-Russia expert consultations should clearly outline the issues and topics discussed by taking a sector-specific approach. “The coronavirus pandemic provides one recent example of a sector-specific approach. The pandemic served as a focal point for sector-specific norms to gain traction[,] in terms of reinforcing both the centrality of information and communications technologies in general during the pandemic and the importance of protecting the health care and medical sector against malicious cyber activities.” To read more, click here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Troutman Pepper | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Troutman Pepper
Contact
more
less

Troutman Pepper on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.