January 21, 2020


CFPB Taskforce Will Conduct Much Needed Review Of Consumer Financial Laws

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced the members of a new task force that will undertake a complete review of U.S. consumer financial laws. Among them, the four members have decades of public service and consumer protection experience, and they include some of the country's leading consumer credit economists.
The taskforce members are:

Dr. J. Howard Beales, III, former Professor of Strategic Management and Public Policy at the George Washington University and former Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission;
Dr. Thomas Durkin, Senior Economist (Retired) at the Federal Reserve Board;
Read more at FORBES


Federal Reserve Giving Direct Access to Repo Lending?

What is a "repo"? This is a term for the practice of overnight lending between financial institutions that typically put up "safe" collateral such as treasury bonds and other "safe" securities and then repay the following day. This practice allows banks to settle their accounts for things like mortgage loans by borrowing cash against the securities they own. Typically, the overnight rate will be one of the lowest rates and only available to those with the highest levels of creditworthiness. Late last year, however, illiquidity in the overnight markets saw the interest rates climbing as high as 10%. The reason that the rates can climb to such a degree is because of a scarcity of cash available to the banks. Because of this, the banks will bid up the rate to meet regulations regarding the amount of cash they are required to possess. This is also a contributor to mortgage rates climbing towards the end of 2019 in the U.S. markets and led to the Federal Reserve pushing out funds to keep the rates in line with its expectations. While the overnight rate was as high as 20% at the start of the 1980s and as low as 0% in 2007 after the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve currently is watching this metric as a barometer for the economy and wants to avoid a credit crisis.



INDIANA: Senate Committee Will Hear Bill to Hike Interest Rates and Fees

In Indiana, a coalition of veterans groups, faith leaders, civil rights and community organizations, and social service providers has united to advance the call to rein in predatory lending. This year, legislators have introduced SB 26 and SB 415 to put a 36% cap on payday loans, and SB 407 and HB 1239, which aim to provide more tools to go after unlicensed lenders.

But instead of advancing these bills, on Wednesday the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee will hear SB 395. It puts 36% in all the wrong places.

With the exception of the carve-out for payday lenders, which allows them to charge up to 391% APR on short-term loans of up to $605, Indiana law currently allows other lenders to choose from a blended rate of 36% on the first $2000, 21% on $2000-4000, and 15% on $4000+ OR a flat rate of 25%.
Read more at WBIW

Dreher Tomkies LLP


Consumer Finance at REPAY

You are a life line for your customers, especially in times of need. You should always be able to count on quick, consistent payments with zero interruptions-and you can. REPAY ensures payment processing is simple, transparent and reliable for every industry we service.

How We Can Help?
Whether you're a small independent company or a larger enterprise, we'll work with you to create customizable solutions that fit the needs of your business-now and in the future. So no matter what changes in the payments industry or your business, you can rely on us to tackle it head-on.

From safeguarding card data to helping you manage the complexity of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), we make it our business to keep you and your customers secure.

Our team leverages years of specialized consumer finance experience to provide the best expertise and insights into your solutions.

Read more at REPAY


Democrats on House Financial Services Committee Forward Letter to GAO Inquiring About Alternative Data and Access to Credit

Democrat members of the House Financial Services Committee have sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) inquiring about the usage of alternative data by lenders and credit agencies.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Committee, Congressman Al Green (D-TX), Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL), Chair of the Task Force on Artificial Intelligence, Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Chair of the Task Force on Financial Technology, and Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), each signed the letter.

The Representatives stated:
"Alternative data can help lenders identify creditworthy potential borrowers that lenders would otherwise miss. For example, while nearly all millennials have a cell phone, only one-third of people between the ages of 18 and 29 have a credit card. By incorporating telecommunications payment history data,


National Debt Holdings

Compliance and Integrity are the Keystones of Success at National Debt Holdings

Compliance and integrity are the keystones of National Debt Holdings. We are dedicated to delivering the highest-quality service with honesty and accuracy to maximize performance for our clients while assisting consumers in their return to financial wellness.

National Debt Holdings is an official Certified Receivables Company (CRB) through Receivables Management Association International (RMAI).

We have pledged to uphold the code of ethics which governs the professional conduct and behavior that is expected of members. Before certification, RMAI requires companies to pass a background check and demonstrate compliance with uniform and rigorous industry standards of best practice. The RMAI standards address principles that include account documentation, chain of title, consumer complaint & dispute resolution, statute of limitation compliance, vendor management, credit bureau reporting, and many other relevant operational procedures. Our RMAI Certification proves our dedication to professional growth and building compliant partnerships within the industry.

Read more at National Debt Holdings


Big banks did big mortgage business in the fourth quarter

Mortgage originations rose at Wells Fargo, Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America

While the tallying up isn't quite done yet, all indications are that 2019 will end up being a very good year for the mortgage business.

Thanks to mortgage rates that were consistently a full percentage point below 2018's rates for much of the year, last year saw a significant rise in mortgage originations.

That was clearly seen at Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup, which all saw their respective mortgage originations rise in each quarter of 2019.

Originations first began to pick up at each of those big banks in the second quarter, which isn't that unusual as spring homebuying season typically leads to an increase in the mortgage originations in the second quarter.
Read more at HOUSING WIRE



ValidiFI is Powering Decisions & Payments

ValidiFI is a technology company that delivers data and payment solutions for companies in the financial services industry. Our data and payment solutions provide insights to acquire more customers and improve the payment process. Businesses of every size-from new startups to public companies-use our solutions to increase sales and facilitate payments. Through a combination of technology and strategic partnerships, we create better ways to validate and analyze information.

Passion for Results

Our platforms give companies the confidence to serve financial products to consumers, and enable choices when sending payments, or getting paid. Through ValidiFI's data and payment solutions, businesses are empowered to manage risk more efficiently, protect its consumers from unnecessary fees, lower costs associated with customer acquisition and payment processing, and maximize profits.

Read more at VALIDIFI


4 banking trends to watch in 2020

M&A, climate change, fintech partnerships and challenger banks' experiments overseas are among the narratives Banking Dive expects to resurface throughout the year.

A new year, or even decade, can stand as an easy marker to open a fresh chapter in business, but some issues will enter the conversation again and again. Banking Dive has identified four trends we expect to resurface throughout 2020.

Climate dominoes
2020 may demonstrate the seriousness of banks' commitment to environmentally and socially responsible lending. Banks arguably took a herd-mentality approach last year to lending on certain issues. As tension over immigration simmered in the U.S., one bank after another - JPMorgan Chase, then Bank of America, then SunTrust, then Barclays - pulled out of funding the private-prison industry. Then it was gun sales. But climate change remained the elephant - er, let's pick a more timely vulnerable species: koala - in the room.

Forward-thinking fintechs such as Stripe committed to carbon capture. But how is that measured? Read more at BANKINGDIVE


62% of breached data came from financial services in 2019

The financial services industry contributed 62% of exposed data in 2019, though it accounted for 6.5% of data breaches, according to a report from data protection company Bitglass, compiled from data by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and the Ponemon Institute.
Capital One was a leading contributor to the amount of compromised data this year, following its data breach, announced in July, that exposed the personal information of 106 million customers. The bank hadn't suffered a breach since 2014. American Express and SunTrust suffered the most breaches since 2009, with five each.

Across industries, financial services has the second-highest cost per breached record, behind health care. An average breach in financial services costs $210 per record, while a "mega breach," like Capital One's, can cost up to $388 per record. In health care, a breach can cost $429 per compromised record, according to the report.

Read more at BANKINGDIVE


4 changes that could affect Social Security in 2020

If you're one of almost 69 million Americans who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, you'll notice a small change in your monthly check this year.

More than 63 million beneficiaries will receive a 1.6% cost-of-living adjustment this month. The 8 million SSI beneficiaries received their COLA on Dec. 31.

Put another way: The average monthly benefit for all retired workers will rise from $1,479 to $1,503 this month. And the average monthly benefit for couples who both receive benefits will rise from $2,491 to $2,531.

That's one of many changes beneficiaries and would-be beneficiaries can expect in 2020.
Read more at YAHOO Finance


Windows 10 Has a Security Flaw So Severe the NSA Disclosed It

In a shift toward transparency, the National Security Agency announced a bug that could have left over 900 million PCs vulnerable to attack.

Microsoft released a patch for Windows 10 and Server 2016 today after the National Security Agency found and disclosed a serious vulnerability. It's a rare but not unprecedented tip-off, one that underscores the flaw's severity-and maybe hints at new priorities for the NSA.

The bug is in Windows' mechanism for confirming the legitimacy of software or establishing secure web connections. If the verification check itself isn't trustworthy, attackers can exploit that fact to remotely distribute malware or intercept sensitive data.

"[We are] recommending that network owners expedite implementation of the patch immediately as we will also be doing," Anne Neuberger, head of the NSA's Cybersecurity Directorate, said on a call with reporters on Tuesday. "When we identified a broad cryptographic vulnerability like this we quickly turned to work with the company to ensure that they could mitigate it."
Read more at WIRED


JP Morgan admits to 'terrible customer experience' in response to discrimination allegations

J.P. Morgan Chase admitted to failures brought to light in a New York Times article last month and said it had taken a series of steps to learn from the episode.

In letters to congressmen and senators who requested information from the bank about allegations in the article, the bank acknowledged several shortcomings. The article detailed racial discrimination experienced by a black J.P. Morgan employee and customer at branches in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

"The Times also reported about a client, Jimmy Kennedy, who experienced multiple delays in onboarding, from opening a new investment to transferring money in his account," bank executives said in the letters obtained by CNBC. "It's clear Mr. Kennedy had a terrible customer experience with us. Our review of the matter found there was a series of administrative delays in processing his investments that would have frustrated any client."
Read more at CNBC


Alternative Financial Service Providers Association

315 Tuscarora St., Lewiston, NY 14092