Goodwin Releases Annual Review of Key Developments Within the Consumer Financial Services Industry

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Goodwin announces the release of its third annual Consumer Finance Year in Review, an in-depth report that analyzes the principal litigation, enforcement actions and regulations that have impacted the consumer finance industry over the prior year. This report synthesizes Goodwin’s consumer finance coverage from 2017 and offers predictions and insights on what the industry can expect in 2018.

Produced by Goodwin’s industry-leading Financial Industry Practice, the report analyzes consumer finance developments across key issues in the mortgage, credit card, student lending, credit reporting, auto lending, payday lending, debt collection, and Telephone Consumer Protection Act areas. It also focuses on the potential changes that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) leadership and the current Administration may bring to bear on the industry.

“In 2018, while federal agencies are likely to remain at the forefront of enforcement activity, state actors are expected to continue the trend of increasing their enforcement footprint,” said Anthony Alexis, a Goodwin partner and head of the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Enforcement Practice who co-authored the report. “This was first observed in 2017 and we foresee a continued increase in the future.”

“2017 was a year of major changes in the consumer financial services industry,” said Kyle Tayman, a Goodwin partner and a co-author of the report. “A steady effort at the federal level to repeal regulations along with agency turnover contributed to a decrease in the total recovery and number of enforcement actions over the past year.”

“We saw regulatory agencies continuing to issue and implement new regulations, only to see them met with opposition from Congress,” said Sabrina Rose-Smith, a Goodwin partner and a co-author of the report. “In 2017, Congress repealed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration rule and threatened to repeal several other CFPB rules through its powers under the Congressional Review Act. Only time will tell if Congressional counters like these to agency-led regulatory measures are the new normal.”

The report’s key predictions for 2018 include:

  • An increased focus on FinTech regulation;
  • Mortgage servicing will become a critical focal point for the CFPB as the agency re-examines its mortgage-related regulations;
  • Credit and debit card enforcement will be in the spotlight as tensions increase between the CFPB and Congress around regulation for credit and prepaid cards; and
  • Expected greater scrutiny on accuracy by furnishers of credit reporting information, given the expansion of the Fair Credit and Reporting Act liability beyond “traditional” credit reporting agencies.

The report can also be accessed through Goodwin’s LenderLaw Watch and Consumer Finance Enforcement Watch blogs.

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