April 16, 2020
AFSPA Partner



As businesses across the country temporarily close stores, reduce employee hours or implement other responsive measures to the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) is encouraging its members to provide greater flexibility to customers who may be unable to repay their small-dollar loans in a timely manner. This includes greater leniency in collecting past due accounts, restructuring or suspending loan payments and for certain loans offering the Extended Payment Plan (EPP), a provision of CFSA's Best Practices. CFSA members are continuing to serve customers across the United States during these challenging times, having been deemed essential businesses due to the important role they play in providing access to credit.

"We recognize that some small-dollar loan customers may undergo financial hardships during this pandemic, and therefore, we are encouraging our members to go above and beyond our association's Best Practices and give customers experiencing hardships more time to repay their loans during this period of uncertainty," said CFSA Chairman D. Lynn DeVault. "The health and safety of our member companies' customers, employees, and their families is our highest priority during these unprecedented times, and CFSA will continue to serve as a resource for its members as they work to serve their customers and communities across the nation."

Community Financial Services Association of America

AFSPA Partner


As stimulus payments begin, a rural pawnshop keeps an already-struggling town afloat

ASH FLAT, Ark. - Jeremy Rowland woke up alone, away from his wife and teenage son, in the back office of the pawnshop he now calls home.

He pulled himself out of his brown recliner, counted the cash in his register and posted the day's deals on Instagram. Lysol and hand sanitizer within reach, he perched beside the shop's new drive-through window. In the thick of a global pandemic, Triple R Pawn was still open.

Rowland had closed the store for 10 days in March, fearful he would bring the coronavirus home. Then came the questions from concerned customers who had already secured loans against their property, and who would need him in the months to come. Rowland needed them, too.

"I can't go home," he said, fielding calls from three cellphones. "We have bills to pay, we have a livelihood. We discussed it as a family, and we made the decision that I'm the sacrificial lamb."
Read more at STARS and STRIPES

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Paves Way for Consumers to Receive Economic Impact Payments Quicker

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) took steps to make it easier for consumers to receive pandemic-relief payments, including the economic impact payments authorized in the CARES Act, through prepaid accounts. Federal, State, and local governments are considering a variety of approaches to providing consumers relief from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In these unprecedented times, policymakers are acting swiftly to provide consumers with needed financial support through new mechanisms and for new purposes outside of existing government benefit programs," said CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. "The steps we are taking today ensure that consumers can receive these payments in a fast, secure, and efficient manner."

Government agencies may not always be able to use direct deposit to distribute funds because they do not have access to consumers' account information, such as account and routing numbers, and because some consumers receiving payments do not have a pre-existing account that can accept direct deposits. Read more at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


Behind The Apply Button Episode 12 - "The Great Reset Begins..." with Timothy Li

Everything's changed and nothing's changed. We are in the middle of the most incredible crisis in modern times. We are thankful every day for the resilience of our leaders and our government. We are band together with our friends, co-workers and our family to help each other, comfort each other.

The next 90 days

I just read that New York City registered another 4,000 death today, counting all of the suspected death from Covid19. It's a heartwrenching story to read and a sobering moment. "We will get through this" has been the rallying cry of many leaders, business owners, entrepreneurs that I talk to daily. And they are right, we will get through this.

People ask me, "what's next?". Truthfully, I don't know what's going to happen next. But here's what I do know, our entire team is on point to service our clients. We are actively planning with our clients and customers to get through the next 90 days.



Arkansas banks offering certified checking accounts so people can get stimulus payments, official says

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Bank On Arkansas+ is offering access to certified checking accounts to ensure Arkansans are able to receive government-issued relief in a timely manner, according to a press release.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the IRS will distribute economic impact payments to help ease American's COVID-19-related financial challenges.

Those who are unable to receive funds through direct deposit may not receive paper checks until September.

In order to receive the IRS economic payments immediately, unbanked and underbanked Arkansans will need to open a bank account and provide their banking information through a secure IRS portal. Read more at FOX13


Here are the 19 US states that are in the best fiscal position for a recession

It seems a recession is drawing near due to the novel coronavirus and the drastic measures taken to slow the spread of the new disease. Some states might be more prepared to handle the financial burden than others.

Many businesses have had to temporarily close or lay off workers. A record-shattering 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on March 21 according to a new report by the US Department of Labor. Different industries are already taking a hit as people cancel flights and are told to stay at home.

State governments could begin to feel economic pain soon as well. Personal income tax and sales tax contribute the most to a state's revenue, and those sources will be affected by a decrease in consumer spending and increase in job layoffs, according to a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Read more at BUSINESS INSIDER

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Our attorneys routinely advise clients on consumer lending, home equity lending, first and second mortgage lending, private label and general purpose credit card lending, student lending, retail sales financing, payday lending, title lending, RAL lending, agricultural lending, wholesale financing, inventory financing, business revolving credit and charge programs, factoring, health care and medical financing, deposit taking, home banking, annuity and insurance sales, GAP programs, reinsurance, debt cancellation and suspension, debt collection compliance, money transmitting, state and federal regulatory compliance, and the licensing and chartering of institutions. Such counseling can include the rendering of advisory opinions, state law outlines and summaries, product design and development and the identification of appropriate product delivery vehicles, as well as program planning, implementation and maintenance.

Dreher Tomkies LLP


States brace for massive budget gaps in coronavirus recession

State governments have spent a decade stockpiling billions of dollars in reserve funds for the next economic downturn, scarred by the steep cuts they were forced to make in the midst of the last recession.

Now, with the coronavirus grinding the global economy to a virtual halt, those billions could be gone in a matter of months.

State and local experts say the coming months will be a bloodbath for governments that are required by law to maintain balanced budgets. They will be forced to choose between steep and painful cuts to social programs that are already underfunded or tax hikes at a time when millions of people will be unemployed. Read more at THE HILL


Rent-A-Center Donates $100,000 to Support Disaster and Hunger Relief Efforts During COVID-19 Pandemic

Rent-A-Center, Inc. (NASDAQ: RCII) ("Rent-A-Center" or the "Company"), a leader in the lease-to-own industry, proudly announces $100,000 in donations to disaster and hunger relief efforts to support the increased need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each year, Rent-A-Center supports charities that align with its community pillars: disaster relief, family and youth empowerment, and hunger relief. Our desire to help families during times of need drives our supported causes. The hard-hitting impact of COVID-19 to communities and families across the country inspired Rent-A-Center to help its long-term partners as they work to help those less fortunate.

"Rent-A-Center works each day to provide our customers the essential products they need during this difficult time," says Mitch Fadel, Chief Executive Officer. "But, in a time like this, it's important we remember the impact this has not only on our customers, but also the communities we serve. That's why we want to support our partners and do our part to help them in their mission to serve those in need." Read more at YAHOO FINANCE

Lawmakers urge Mnuchin to stop debt collectors from seizing direct payments

Lawmakers are calling on the U.S. Treasury to protect recipients of direct payments from having their money seized by debt collectors.

In a letter sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Thursday, Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and Josh Hawley, R-Mo urged the Treasury to exert its ability to protect individuals from having their direct payments seized - or "garnished" - from debt collectors.

The payments are part of the more than $2 trillion relief bill know as the CARES Act signed late last month to help alleviate the financial pain from the coronavirus pandemic. The bill calls for one-time direct payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, with $500 added for every child.

"Congress included this critical relief in order to help American families struggling to pay for food, medicine, and other basic necessities during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and resulting economic crisis," wrote Senators Hawley and Brown.
Read more at CNBC


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