Archive: 2019

1
HMDA Reality Check: What You Can and Cannot Conclude from New Mortgage Loan Data
2
What Is in a Name? The Third Circuit Holds That Debt Buyers Can Be Debt Collectors under the FDCPA
3
Trouble in Paradise: Florida Court Rules that Selling Bitcoin is Money Transmission
4
Revamped Relief: The CFPB’s Proposed Rule to Improve its No-Action Letter Program and to Establish a Regulatory Sandbox

HMDA Reality Check: What You Can and Cannot Conclude from New Mortgage Loan Data

Authors: Paul F. Hancock, Olivia Kelman

Extensive data about mortgage lending activity collected pursuant to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”) was just made available to the public for the first time on March 29, 2019. More detail about borrowers, about underwriting, and about loan features is now available than ever before, and that information also is easier for the public to access than it ever has been. The mortgage lending industry should expect that the expanded HMDA data will receive significant attention and scrutiny from private organizations and individuals, and the data is certain to spark controversy about the racial, ethnic and gender fairness of mortgage lending.

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What Is in a Name? The Third Circuit Holds That Debt Buyers Can Be Debt Collectors under the FDCPA

Authors: Gregory N. BlaseAndrew C. GlassRoger L. Smerage

“Debt buyers”—entities that purchase debt from original creditors or other downstream assignees—often view themselves as being different from “debt collectors”—entities that act to collect debts from obligors. But in Barbato v. Greystone Alliance, LLC, [1] the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit disagreed, holding that debt buyers can be debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). Specifically, the Third Circuit ruled that part of the FDCPA’s definition of “debt collector” encompasses debt buyers, regardless of whether they outsource collection activities to third parties.

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Trouble in Paradise: Florida Court Rules that Selling Bitcoin is Money Transmission

Authors: Judith RinearsonDaniel S. CohenJeremy M. McLaughlin

The growing popularity of virtual currency over the last several years has raised a host of legislative and regulatory issues. A key question is whether and how a state’s money transmitter law applies to activities involving virtual currency. Many states have answered this – albeit in a non-uniform way – through legislation or regulation, including regulatory guidance documents. For instance, Georgia and Wyoming have amended their money transmitter statutes to include or exclude virtual currencies explicitly. In other states, such as Texas and Tennessee, the state’s primary financial regulator has issued formal guidance. In New York, the Department of Financial Services issued an entirely separate regulation for virtual currencies. Still, in others, neither the legislature nor the relevant regulator has provided any insight into how the state’s money transmitter law may apply.

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Revamped Relief: The CFPB’s Proposed Rule to Improve its No-Action Letter Program and to Establish a Regulatory Sandbox

By Andrew C. Glass, Gregory N. Blase, Daniel S. Cohen

INTRODUCTION
In December of 2018, the Senate confirmed Kathy Kraninger as the second Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). The path Director Kraninger will chart is uncertain, but the CFPB has already begun initiating changes to which the financial services industry should pay attention. For instance, in mid-December 2018, the CFPB issued a proposed rule to modify its No-Action Letter Program (the “Program”) and to establish a regulatory “sandbox” (a formal process to temporarily exempt companies from certain statues and regulations so they can test new products with consumers). Below, we provide a brief history of the Program as well as a discussion of the key elements of the proposed rule.

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