Like most industries today, consumer finance service companies are significantly affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Troutman Pepper has developed a 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 healthcare organizations, and tools businesses can use for free.
Our banking and loan clients are also facing new challenges affecting their industry as a result of COVID-19, especially the ever-changing rules and regulations around evictions and foreclosures. We are following these updates closely and have assembled an interactive tracking tool with state orders and guidance material regarding residential lockdowns and eviction moratoria. You can access this interactive tool at https://covid19.trutman.com/.
To help you stay on top of relevant activities, below is a breakdown of some of the biggest COVID-19-related events at the federal and state levels that have impacted the fundraising services industry. consumption last week:
Privacy and cybersecurity activities
- On October 15, the Ministry of Education announced the creation of an Enforcement Office within Federal Student Aid, reporting directly to the Director of Operations. The Enforcement Office will be responsible for monitoring enforcement actions against post-secondary schools that participate in federal student loans, scholarships, and work-study programs. For more information, click here.
- On October 15, the Department of Education announced that it had awarded contracts to six different companies that will be responsible for managing and collecting federal student loans. For more information, click here.
- On October 13, the Federal Reserve announced that it had joined the Central Bank’s Indigenous Inclusion Network, which will foster ongoing dialogue, research and education to raise awareness of economic issues and opportunities and financial resources linked to indigenous economies. For more information, click here.
- On October 13, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced leadership changes within the Bureau. The positions advertised today are: Assistant Director; associate director for consumer education and external affairs; Leader; and chief technologist. For more information, click here.
- On October 12, Rohit Chopra was sworn in as director of the CFPB. For more information, click here.
- On October 4, the CFPB announced that the deadline to apply for initial forbearance for loans guaranteed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United States Department of Agriculture or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has been extended to at the end of the national COVID-19 emergency. The deadline was September 30, 2021. For more information, click here.
- On October 3, the Consumer Bankers Association sent a letter to Rohit Chopra, the director of CFPB, urging the CFPB to adopt a broader participation rule for fintech consumer lenders. For more information, click here.
- On October 1, the CFPB published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the limited content message and calling frequency presumptions included in Regulation F (Reg F). These FAQs are a compliance aid designed to help collection agencies comply with Reg F, which comes into effect on November 30, 2021. For more information, click on here.
- On October 26, the Maryland Financial Regulatory Commissioner’s Office will host a free online information session for Maryland consumer debt collection agencies. The session will feature a discussion of the CFPB Debt Collection Rule, The Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act, Medical Debt Collection, Debt Buying, Consumer Privacy and Data Security, Debt Review System condition and use of technology to improve operations and compliance. For more information, click here.
- On October 26, the Nevada Financial Institutions Division is hosting a workshop on Medical Debt Collection Regulations and SB 248. The bill requires debt collectors who collect medical debts, within the meaning of the law, to provide medical debtors with 60 days notice. placement or assignment before the debt collector takes action to collect a medical debt. It also prohibits certain practices relating to the collection of medical debts, including restrictions on civil actions to collect medical debts, restrictions on medical debts relating to credit, and restrictions on collection costs (including medical fees). ‘lawyer) that can be added to medical debt balances. For more information, click here.
- On October 15, the governor of Florida ordered the state to stop assigning accounts to debt collectors in situations where people received excess unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic due to issues that arose. as a result of accelerated approvals to help those in need. For more information, click here.
- On October 13, Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine “called on 11 hospitals in the district to fully comply with new federal hospital regulations that came into effect earlier this year to make the pricing of medical services more transparent and accessible. to consumers “. Attorney General Racine said, âWhen consumers need critical medical care, they need to know exactly what that care will cost them – and it is up to hospitals to work in the best interests of consumers to make those prices readily available. We want to ensure that district hospitals comply with new federal regulations that require hospitals to be more transparent with consumers about the cost of services. Â»For more information, click on here.
- On October 8, New York Governor Kathy Hochul enacted Senate Bill S737A. Among other provisions, S737A requires that “debt collectors inform debtors in each initial communication that written communications are available in large print” and requires debt collectors to offer other forms of communication upon request. For more information, click here.
- On October 6, California Governor Gavin Newsom promulgated AB 424 which will come into effect on July 1, 2022. AB 424 will, among other provisions, impose new documentation requirements on all collection activity relating to loans. students for private lenders. For more information, click here.
Privacy and cybersecurity activities:
- On October 15, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned individuals against marketing scams during the Medicare 2022 open enrollment period. People in need of health care during the COVID-19 pandemic may be faced with scam-type tactics. Scammers can ask people to provide money or some unnecessary personal information when signing up for Medicare. For example, “[s]cammers can call and pretend to be Medicare representatives or agents for the purpose of stealing your Medicare number or other personal information. The FTC reminds individuals:
- Know your rights. âAgents should give you information only about the items listed in the appointment scope form that you filled out when you requested an appointment; “
- Agents cannot set their time limits for enrolling in Medicare;
- Agents cannot threaten to take away your Medicare benefits; and
- Medicare does not endorse or prefer other paid plans.
To read the full FTC warning, click here.
- On October 14, the United States National Security Agency [NSA] shared techniques to protect against phishing scams. As more people rely on email and social media to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, “Cybercriminals trick people into clicking malicious links or attachments to collect personal and financial information,” and infect your device with [malicious software] and viruses. The NSA advises individuals that they can stay protected by:
- Ignore suspicious links or attachments in social media or email;
- Be wary of communications from individuals who prompt you to act immediately;
- Use passwords of at least 12 characters and at a minimum use different passwords for work and home; and
- Disconnect from social networks and emails when you leave the workplace.
To read the full notice, click here.