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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations


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  • CFPB reports low delinquency rates despite Covid-19

    Federal Issues

    On June 16, the CFPB released findings on delinquency trends for auto loans, student loans, mortgages, and credit cards. The post—the first in a series that will document consumer credit trend outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic—examines how trends have evolved since June 2020. As previously covered by InfoBytes, last August, the Bureau issued a report examining trends through June 2020 in delinquency rates, payment assistance, credit access, and account balance measures, which showed that generally there was an overall decrease in delinquency rates since the start of the pandemic among auto loans, first-lien mortgages, student loans, and credit cards. According to the Bureau’s recent findings, as of March 2021, new delinquencies remain below pre-pandemic levels, despite a slight rise since July 2020 in auto loan and credit card delinquencies. These levels, the Bureau noted, may be attributed to federal, state, and local policy interventions that provide payment assistance and income support to consumers. Researchers also found that overall trends in new delinquencies were consistent across credit score groups, although “trends were more pronounced for consumers with lower credit scores.” Additionally, the Bureau reported that while stimulus payments and increasing vaccination rates may boost economic activity and keep delinquency rates down, accounts that would have been delinquent in the absence of payment assistance may begin to be reported as delinquent as assistance programs begin to end. Later this year, the Bureau will release a post in this series discussing payment assistance trends since June 2020.

    Federal Issues CFPB Credit Cards Covid-19 Auto Lending Student Lending Consumer Finance Consumer Credit Outcomes

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  • CFPB reports on use of payday, auto title, and pawn loans

    Federal Issues

    On May 5, the CFPB released a new report surveying the prevalence, persistence of use, and other credit sources accessible for consumers who utilize payday, auto title, and pawn loans. The report uses the first two rounds of the Bureau’s Making Ends Meet survey, which was conducted before the Covid-19 pandemic in June 2019, and offers a nationally representative assessment of consumers with credit records (covered by InfoBytes here). As such, the survey allows the possibility of combining a survey of the same consumers spanning over two years with credit record data to understand consumers’ decisions about debt. Report highlights include:

    • “In June 2019, 4.4 percent of consumers had taken out a payday loan in the previous six months, 2.0 percent had taken out an auto title loan, and 2.5 percent had taken out a pawn loan.” These consumers are more concentrated in the age group between 40 and 61. The report discloses that “because the number of consumers using these loans in the survey is small, there is some survey uncertainty in these estimates.”
    • “77 percent of consumers using alternative financial services experienced a shock and had difficulty paying a bill or expense during the same timeframe in which they also reported borrowing a payday, auto title, or pawn loan.”
    • “Payday, auto title, and pawn users who experience difficulty paying a bill or expense tend to also use other available credit, suggesting that for some consumers, these loans might be part of a broader and more complicated debt portfolio to deal with difficulties.”


    Federal Issues CFPB Consumer Finance Payday Lending Auto Lending

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