March 25, 2021
The Gateway For Payroll Data
How Much Debt Americans Have at Every Age

Borrowing increases buying power. Without credit and loans, the vast majority of Americans would not be able to buy a home, a car or even a major appliance like a refrigerator or washing machine. The tradeoff for that purchasing power, however, is debt—and debt is a fact of life for most families in the United States.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, America holds a combined $4.13 trillion in personal debt, with more than two-thirds of that going to non-housing debt and the rest being owed to mortgage lenders.

Your age, however, often has a lot to do with what you owe and to whom. Using data from Experian’s 2019 Consumer Debt Study, GOBankingRates examined how much debt average American consumers have at every age. The results are ranked from youngest to oldest and include data on credit card debt, mortgage debt, auto loans, student loans, personal loans and HELOCs. It also lists the U.S. average in each category for context.

Generation Z (18-23)
Average debt 2019: $9,593

Paving the Payments Future
CFPB: Our commitment to protecting vulnerable borrowers

The CFPB is acutely aware of consumer harms in the small dollar lending market, and is particularly concerned with any lender’s business model that is dependent on consumers’ inability to repay their loans. Years of research by the CFPB found the vast majority of this industry’s revenue came from consumers who could not afford to repay their loans, with most short-term loans in reborrowing chains of 10 or more. One-in-five payday loans, and one-in-three vehicle title loans, ended in default, even including periods of reborrowing. And one-in-five vehicle title loan borrowers ended up having their car or truck seized by the lender. That is real harm to real people.

In 2020, the prior administration issued a rule revoking parts of a 2017 CFPB rule that would have addressed these harms. The later rule was challenged in court and the Bureau had a legal obligation to respond to the lawsuit. Accordingly, yesterday the Bureau filed a brief addressing only the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case. The brief does not address the merits of the underlying rule, and the Bureau’s filing should not be regarded as an indication that the Bureau is satisfied with the status quo in this market. To the contrary, the Bureau believes that the harms identified by the 2017 rule still exist, and will use the authority provided by Congress to address these harms, including through vigorous market monitoring, supervision, enforcement, and, if appropriate, rulemaking.

Tax Day for individuals extended to May 17:
Treasury, IRS extend filing and payment deadline

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

More Economic Impact Payments set for disbursement in coming days; taxpayers should watch mail for paper checks, debit cards

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the next batch of Economic Impact Payments will be issued to taxpayers this week, with many of these coming by paper check or prepaid debit card..
CFPB Encourages Financial Institutions and Debt Collectors to Allow Stimulus Payments to Reach Consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Acting Director Dave Uejio issued the following statement regarding consumers’ access to Economic Impact Payment (EIP) funds distributed through the American Rescue Plan:

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is squarely focused on addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economically vulnerable consumers and is looking carefully at the stimulus payments that millions are now receiving through the American Rescue Plan. The Bureau is concerned that some of those desperately needed funds will not reach consumers, and will instead be intercepted by financial institutions or debt collectors to cover overdraft fees, past-due debts, or other liabilities.

“In recent days, many financial industry trade associations in dialogue with the CFPB have said they want to work with consumers struggling in the pandemic. Many of these organizations have told us they have begun or soon will take proactive measures to help ensure that consumers can access the full value of their stimulus payments. If payments are seized, many financial institutions have pledged to promptly restore the funds to the people who should receive them. We appreciate these efforts, which recognize the extraordinary nature of this crisis and the extraordinary financial challenges facing so many families across the country.

FCC cracks down on robocalls with record $225 million fine

The Federal Communications Commission fined two Texas-based telemarketers a record $225 million on Wednesday for making automated sales phone calls, or robocalls, in 2019.

The marketers, under the business names Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom, used robocalls to falsely sell short-term health insurance plans. They made about one billion robocalls, according to the FCC.

The fine, originally proposed last summer, is one part of an expanded effort to rein in automated sales calls the FCC announced on Wednesday. It’s the largest fine in the commission’s history.

Robocalls are a daily annoyance for many Americans, and they have been rising in recent years, with some estimates showing that billions are made per month. The number of spam calls received in the U.S. rose 26% in the last year, according to Robokiller, an anti-spam call app.

CFPB Submits 2020 Report to Congress on the Administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Report highlights commitment to protect consumers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the 2020 annual report to Congress on the administration of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The report highlights efforts by the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect consumers, particularly those who have suffered profound financial impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFPB and the FTC, along with state and federal partners, accomplished much toward stopping unlawful debt collection practices and continuing their vigorous law enforcement, consumer education and public outreach, and policy initiatives.

In 2020, the CFPB engaged in four public enforcement actions, arising from alleged FDCPA violations. The CFPB resolved two of these cases. The two judgments ordered nearly $15.2 million in consumer redress and $80,000 in civil money penalties. Two cases remain in active litigation. Among other highlights, the report notes the following CFPB accomplishments:

Illinois governor signs off on law that caps consumer loan rates at 36%

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday signed a bill into law that will cap rates at 36% on consumer loans, including payday and car title loans.

The Illinois General Assembly passed the legislation, the Predatory Loan Prevention Act, in January, but the bill has been awaiting the governor’s signature to turn it into law.

Introduced by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, the newly signed legislation is modelled on the Military Lending Act, a federal law that protects active service members and their dependents through a range of safeguards, including capping interest rates on most consumer loans at 36%.

“The Predatory Loan Prevention Act will substantially restrict any entity from making usurious loans to consumers in Illinois,” Pritzker said Tuesday. “This reform offers substantial protections to the low-income communities so often targeted by these predatory exchanges.”

FTC Staff Provides Annual Letter to CFPB On Debt Collection Activities

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission has provided the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with an annual summary of the FTC’s activities in the debt collection arena.

The FTC shares enforcement responsibility for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) with the CFPB, which provides an annual report to Congress about debt collection enforcement activities. The annual report, which was released today, highlights both agencies’ efforts to stop unlawful debt collection practices, including law enforcement, education and public outreach, and policy initiatives. Among the actions taken to combat unfair, deceptive, and otherwise unlawful debt collection practices in 2020, the FTC:

led Operation Corrupt Collector, a nationwide federalstate law enforcement sweep and outreach initiative targeting phantom debt collection and abusive and threatening debt collection practices;
filed or resolved 7 cases against 39 defendants, and obtained $26 million in judgments;

Consumers struggle as CFPB complaints break records, report finds

"The surge in complaints is a signal of the strain the pandemic put on consumers, and of the minefield of tricks and traps they face in the financial marketplace."

A review of consumer complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last year tells the story of Americans navigating a fraught financial marketplace amid a pandemic.

Complaints about problems with financial companies, including banks, credit bureaus and debt collectors, rose by 50 percent in 2020, setting new records each month of the year, according to a report from U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

Of particular concern were complaints about credit reporting, which doubled.

"The surge in complaints is a signal of the strain the pandemic put on consumers, and of the minefield of tricks and traps they face in the financial marketplace," said Gideon Weissman, Frontier Group analyst and report co-author.

U.S. to erase $1 billion in debt for students scammed by for-profit colleges

Tens of thousands of U.S. student loan borrowers defrauded by for-profit colleges are getting debt relief. The U.S. Department of Education is cancelling $1 billion in debt held by about 72,000 student borrowers misled by institutions including the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute.

The stance, which takes effect Thursday, represents an about-face from a process touted by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that offered only partial student loan forgiveness to those defrauded by private, for-profit colleges.

The Education Department is instead taking a "streamlined approach" for granting complete forgiveness to borrowers who had their claims approved, but received only partial forgiveness under DeVos' formula. Affected borrowers can expect to get notices in coming weeks, with discharges to follow, the department said.

Alternative Financial Service Providers Association
315 Tuscarora St., Lewiston, NY 14092