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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

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  • Kentucky creates separate licenses for check cashing and deferred deposit service businesses

    State Issues

    On March 19, the Kentucky governor signed S.B. 145, which establishes separate licenses for check cashing and deferred deposit service businesses. In addition, S.B. 145 creates a new section that allows the Department of Financial Institutions commissioner to (i) require license applications and certain other regulatory filings to also be filed with the State Regulatory Registry (Registry); (ii) report violations, enforcement actions, and other relevant information to the Registry; and (iii) access the Registry as “an agent for requesting information from and distributing information to the [DOJ] or other governmental agencies.” The act takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the legislature.

    State Issues State Legislation Licensing Check Cashing Deposits

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  • Virginia requires breach of personal information notification

    State Issues

    On March 18, the Virginia governor signed HB 2396, which amends the Code of Virginia and requires an individual or entity owning or licensing computerized data that includes personal information to disclose all data breaches without “unreasonable delay” to the Virginia Attorney General and any affected Commonwealth residents. Under HB 2396, “personal information” is defined as “the first name or first initial and last name in combination with and linked to any one or more of the following data elements that relate to a resident of the Commonwealth, when the data elements are neither encrypted nor redacted.” The list of data elements was amended to add passport numbers and military identification numbers to the previous list, which included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and financial account numbers or credit/debit card numbers combined with codes or passwords that would grant access to a consumer’s financial account. The amendment is effective July 1.

    State Issues State Legislation Privacy/Cyber Risk & Data Security Data Breach State Attorney General

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  • Virginia provides certain debt management plan licensing exemptions

    State Issues

    On March 8, the Virginia governor signed HB 2284, which amends Title 6.2 Chapter 20 of the Code of Virginia to exempt banks, savings institutions, credit unions, and individuals licensed to practice law in the state from the licensing requirements applicable to persons that provide debt management plans. Additionally, persons licensed under the amended chapter are not required to obtain a money transmitter license under Chapter 19, provided the “money transmission activities are limited to providing debt pooling and distribution services in accordance with [Chapter 20].” The amendment is effective July 1.

    State Issues State Legislation Licensing Money Service / Money Transmitters

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  • Virginia law allows financial institutions to share documents related to elder exploitation

    State Issues

    On March 12, the Virginia governor signed HB 2225, which amends the state’s law relating to financial exploitation of adults, to provide that any financial institution staff who “suspects that an adult has been exploited financially” may now provide supporting information and records to the local department of social services, in addition to simply reporting the suspected exploitation as provided for under current law. The amendment is effective July 1.

    State Issues State Legislation Elder Financial Exploitation

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  • North Dakota allows collection agencies to charge credit card fees to debtors

    State Issues

    On March 6, the North Dakota governor signed HB 1204, which allows a collection agency to collect a transaction fee for processing a credit card payment. Under the amended law, a collection agency may collect, in addition to the principal amount of the claim, a transaction fee up to two and half percent for processing a credit card payment if: (i) the transaction fee is not otherwise prohibited under the law; (ii) a no-cost payment option is available to the debtor; and (iii) the no-cost payment option is disclosed to the debtor at the same time and in the same manner that the credit card information is taken. The law takes effect on August 1.

    State Issues Debt Collection State Legislation Credit Cards Fees

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  • Colorado provides certain digital tokens licensing exemptions

    State Issues

    On March 6, the Colorado Governor signed SB 19-23, which provides limited exemptions from the state’s securities registration and licensing requirements for persons dealing in certain types of digital tokens. The “Colorado Digital Token Act” (the Act) provides issuer exemptions for digital tokens sold for a “consumptive purpose”—the token is used in exchange for a good, service, or content—rather than a “speculative or investment purpose.” Specifically, the Act attempts to reduce regulatory uncertainty by providing a safe harbor from state securities laws for persons that meet the specified conditions. Subject to the filing of a referendum petition, the Act will take effect August 2.

    State Issues State Legislation Virtual Currency Licensing Securities Cryptocurrency

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  • Wyoming law classifies digital assets as personal property

    State Issues

    On February 26, the Wyoming Governor signed SF 125, which classifies digital assets, including virtual currency, as personal property. Specifically, the bill divides digital assets into three categories of intangible personal property within the existing Wyoming Uniform Commercial Code: (i) digital consumer assets are considered “general intangibles”; (ii) digital securities are considered “intangible personal property” and classified as securities and investment property; and (iii) virtual currency is classified as money. Among other things, SF 125 also establishes an opt-in framework for banks to provide custodial services for digital assets as custodians (and authorizes supervision fees for banks that provide such services), and clarifies the jurisdiction of Wyoming courts to hear claims related to digital assets.

     

    State Issues State Legislation Virtual Currency Securities Fintech

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  • Arkansas modifies Fair Mortgage Lending Act

    State Issues

    On February 26, the Arkansas Governor signed SB 188, which amends certain provisions of the state’s Fair Mortgage Lending Act (the Act) to comply with recent developments in federal law. Among other things, the amendments, which take effect 90 days after adjournment, include (i) modifying the Act’s definition of an “applicant” and “licensee” to now include transitional loan officers; (ii) specifying that an “exempt person” must comply with outlined compensation limits, mortgage banker affiliation disclosures, and loan term negotiation restrictions; (iii) defining a “transitional loan officer” to mean “an individual who, in exchange for compensation as an employee of, or who otherwise receives compensation or remuneration from, a mortgage broker or mortgage banker, is authorized to act as a loan officer subject to a transitional loan officer license,” with term limits of no more greater than 120 days and is not subject to commissioner reapplication, renewal, or extension requirements; and (iv) outlining transitional loan officer termination conditions and employment restrictions. The amendments also address audited financial statement requirements for mortgage bankers and servicers, and state that transitional loan officers may now be subject to criminal background investigations should the state join a multistate automated licensing system.

    State Issues State Legislation Mortgages Licensing

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  • California AG seeks to strengthen the California Consumer Privacy Act

    State Issues

    On February 25, the California Attorney General announced a legislative proposal that would amend several aspects of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The CCPA was originally enacted in June 2018 (covered by a Buckley Special Alert) and subsequently amended in September 2018 (covered by InfoBytes here). The CCPA, which carries an effective date of January 1, 2020, on most provisions, sets forth various requirements for businesses that collect, transfer, or sell a consumer’s personal information. Under SB 561, which was introduced on February 22, the law would be amended to (i) expand the right of California citizens to bring private legal actions, removing aspects of the law that provided exclusivity to the AG; (ii) remove provisions that would allow companies to request guidance from the California AG on how to comply with the law, instead allowing the AG to publish general guidance; and (iii) would allow enforcement actions to be brought immediately, removing the 30-day cure window.

    State Issues Privacy/Cyber Risk & Data Security State Legislation State Attorney General

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  • Wyoming is second state to create fintech sandbox

    Fintech

    On February 19, the Wyoming Governor signed HB 57, which creates a fintech sandbox program in the state for companies to test innovative financial products and services. Wyoming is the second state to introduce a regulatory sandbox program, following Arizona’s sandbox introduction last March. (Previously covered by InfoBytes here.) Under the “Financial Technology Sandbox Act” (the Act), the state’s sandbox will be open to innovative financial products and services, including those focused on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and will allow testing of these products for up to two years with the possibility of an additional 12 month extension before requiring participants to apply for formal licensure. Additionally, under certain conditions, the Act—which grants various supervisory and enforcement power to the state banking commissioner and the secretary of state, including revocation and suspension rights—will authorize (i) limited waivers of specified statutes or rules, and (ii) reciprocity agreements with other regulators. The Act takes effect January 1, 2020.

    Fintech State Issues State Legislation Regulatory Sandbox Blockchain Cryptocurrency Licensing

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