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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FTC shares 2019 enforcement report with CFPB

Federal Issues FTC CFPB Enforcement TILA CLA EFTA

Federal Issues

On June 4, the FTC announced that it submitted its 2019 Annual Financial Acts Enforcement Report to the CFPB. The report covers the FTC’s enforcement activities regarding the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA), and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA). Highlights of the enforcement matters covered in the report include:

  • TILA and CLA. FTC enforcement actions concerning TILA/Regulation Z and CLA/Regulation M include: (i) efforts to combat deceptive automobile dealer practices; (ii) a payday lending action involving undisclosed, inflated fees; (iii) credit repair and debt relief schemes, including the failure to make clear, conspicuous written disclosures for closed-end financing; and (iv) consumer electronics financing.
  • EFTA. The FTC reported 12 new or ongoing cases related to EFTA/Regulation E. These include: (i) negative option plans involving, among other things, companies applying recurring charges to consumers’ debit or credit card numbers for goods or services without obtaining proper written authorization; and (ii) unfair loan servicing practices.

Additionally, the report addresses the FTC’s research and policy efforts related to truth in lending and leasing, and electronic fund transfer issues, including (i) a study of consumers’ experiences in buying and financing automobiles at dealerships; (ii) a small business financing forum to examine “trends and consumer protection issues in the small business marketplace, including. . .online loans and alternative financing products”; and (iii) the FTC’s Military Task Force’s work on military consumer protection issues. The report also outlines the FTC’s consumer and business education efforts, which include several blog posts warning of new scams and practices.