The President signed this week the congressional joint resolution nullifying the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) arbitration agreements rule. Following adoption by the House, the Senate, in a 50-50 split with the Vice President breaking the tie, voted last week to approve the resolution (noted in a previous post here). The CFPB can only reinstate the rule, or one that is similar, if Congress expressly authorizes it to do so in subsequent legislation.
Over the last several years, a number of U.S. state and federal government enforcement actions have challenged the viability of the bank partnership model that many marketplace lenders have used to fund consumer and small business loans. Specifically, regulators have argued that, in partnerships where the non-bank entity controls much of the funding process or the bank has little-to-no risk of loss, the non-bank entity is the “true lender.”
At the end of 2014, the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) became the first state regulator to settle a case using its authority to enforce the federal Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”). In Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services of the State of New York v. Condor Capital Corporation and Stephen Baron, the DFS claimed that indirect auto lender Condor Capital Corporation (“Condor”) and its sole shareholder, Stephen Baron, violated both New York State law and the CFPA’s prohibition on unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (“UDAAP”) by, among other matters, overcharging consumers and deceptively retaining credit balances due to them. The settlement requires Condor and Baron to admit to New York and federal violations, pay an estimated $8-9 million in restitution and pay a $3 million penalty, and surrender all of Condor’s state lending licenses.
To read the full alert, click here.