Veto Override Brings Changes to North Carolina License Requirements for Consumer Finance Lenders and Servicers

Last month, the North Carolina General Assembly passed NC Senate Bill 331, which aimed to bring changes to the North Carolina Consumer Finance Act. Although Governor Roy Cooper had vetoed the bill, the state Senate voted to override the veto, making the bill effective on October 1, 2023. The amendments enacted in the bill will make a number of substantive changes to, among other things, the licensing requirements for lenders and servicers operating in the state.  More ›

Rhode Island Supreme Court Concludes that Door Hanger Left by Mortgage Servicer Prior to Foreclosure Satisfied HUD Face-to-Face Requirement

In Montaquila v. Flagstar Bank, the Rhode Island Supreme Court rejected a borrower's attempt to expand the plain language of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) federal regulation requiring loan servicers of FHA-backed mortgages to conduct a face-to-face meeting or make a "reasonable effort" to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the borrower prior to foreclosing. In reaching this conclusion, the court noted that the regulation only requires a trip to the property to arrange a face-to-face meeting; the actual face-to-face meeting is not required at this visit. More ›

SCOTUS Finds that Minnesota Tax Lien Statute Violates the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause

In Tyler v. Hennepin County, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the State of Minnesota violated a property owner's constitutional rights by keeping the excess proceeds from a tax lien sale. Geraldine Tyler owned a condominium in Hennepin County, Minnesota, but when she and her family decided she should move into a senior community in 2010, property taxes went unpaid. By 2015, Tyler owed the county $2,300 in unpaid taxes and $13,000 in accumulated interest and penalties. The county then seized and sold the condo for $40,000, extinguished the debt Tyler owed but retained all excess proceeds totaling $25,000 for its own use. Under Minnesota law, any excess tax sale proceeds could be split between the county, the town, and the school district. More ›

Maryland Moves to Eliminate Branch License Requirements for Non-Depository Institutions

As of July 1, 2023, Maryland will no longer require consumer finance company licensees to license their branch locations. Maryland House Bill 686 was signed into law by Governor Wes Moore on May 8, 2023 to effectuate the regulatory change. Up until the July 1 effective date, non-depository institutions operating in Maryland remain subject to branch license requirements. This means that these institutions are required to obtain and maintain separate licenses for each branch location. However, as a result of the change, licensees will be able to conduct business at multiple locations under a single license. More ›

California DFPI Announces Extension to Proposed Comment Period for Covered Person Registration Rulemaking

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) announced an extension to the proposed comment period for Covered Person Registration Rulemaking. The comment period, initially set to end on April 12, 2023, has now been extended to May 17, 2023. More ›

A Circuit Split Emerges on the Constitutionality of the CFPB's Funding Structure, Months Before the Issue Comes Before the U.S. Supreme Court

On March 23, 2023, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision in CFPB v. Law Offices of Crystal Moroney (Moroney). The case reviewed constitutional challenges to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) funding structure previously decided by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last October in Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd. v. CFPB (Community Financial). In Community Financial, the Fifth Circuit vacated the CFPB's 2017 "Payday Lending Rule" on the grounds that it was invalid "as the product of the Bureau's unconstitutional funding scheme." The CFPB's petition for writ of certiorari was granted by the U.S. Supreme Court in February. More ›

Utah Governor Cox Signs Bill to Repeal Collection Agency Registration Requirements

Effective May 3, 2023, Utah House Bill 20 (Collection Agency Amendments) will repeal a majority of Utah's collection agency statutes located in Title 12 of the Utah Code. Signed by Utah Governor Spencer Cox on March 13, 2023, the bill will repeal long-standing requirements for collection agencies to file a collection agency application, pay the registration fees, and obtain a surety bond with the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code (the Division) in order to receive approval for conducting business in Utah. More ›

Don't Be Fooled – April 1st Application Deadline for New Louisiana Virtual Currency License

April 1, 2023 marks the deadline to submit an application for the Louisiana Virtual Currency Business Activity License or Virtual Currency Limited Activity Registration in order to receive timely approval from the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions (OFI). Pursuant to the Louisiana Virtual Currency Business Act (VCBA), a license or other equivalent is required for a company to engage in the virtual currency business after June 30, 2023. Applications submitted by April 1, 2023 will be approved, conditionally approved, or denied before June 30. The OFI began accepting applications for the license and registration at the beginning of the year. More ›

SCOTUS Decision in Student Loan Forgiveness Cases May Hinge on Article III Standing

On February 28th, 2023, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two related cases, Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown, both of which challenge President Biden's one-time student loan forgiveness program. More ›

Rhode Island Federal Court Concludes FDCPA Lawsuit is Barred by the Doctrine of Claim-Splitting

In Laccinole v. MRS BPO, LLC, the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island denied a frequent pro se plaintiff’s multiple lawsuit attempt at pursuing relief against the same company under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Christopher Laccinole filed three separate lawsuits against the same company arising from fourteen different contacts between February 22, 2022 and May 5, 2022, in which Laccinole claimed the company wrongfully sought collection of a debt he did not owe. According to the decision, Laccinole deliberately pursued three separate actions for different FDCPA violations against the same party to circumvent the FDCPA’s cap on damages at $1,000 per defendant. (15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(2)(A)) The Court determined that Laccinole was claim-splitting by pursuing three separate lawsuits on additional calls: separate instances of the same course of conduct by one defendant. More ›