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2019: A Watershed Year for Consumer Financial Services Law

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It has been an extraordinary 365 days for consumer financial services law. I cannot recall a year where so many states introduced legislation or proposed regulations or rules impacting the credit industry. At the federal level, proposed rules for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act were (finally) released and California also proposed regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act.

And there were plenty of decisions too.

Looking back at 2019, it was a watershed year with events that will be with us well into the next decade. In short order, here is my recap of the Year in Consumer Financial Services Law – 2019.

The Proposed FDCPA Rules

In May, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released proposed rules for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Modernizing the four-decade-old FDCPA makes up a large part of the proposal, particularly in electronic communications between consumers and debt collectors.

The CFPB’s NPRM devotes significant coverage to the use of emails, text messages and other forms of electronic communications by debt collectors. At present, the FDCPA does not prohibit a debt collector’s use of emails or text messages.

A proposed “call frequency cap” would limit a debt collector from “placing a telephone call to a particular person in connection with the collection of a particular debt either: (i) More than seven times within seven consecutive days; or (ii) Within a period of seven consecutive days after having had a telephone conversation with the person in connection with the collection of such debt. The date of the telephone conversation is the first day of the seven-consecutive-day period.” Once a person answers a call, no more calls can be made within the seven-day period respecting that debt. But if the calls go unanswered, no more than seven calls in seven consecutive days can be made. And these limits are imposed with respect to each debt (except in the case of student loans).

Both the call frequency cap and the proposals for electronic communications have been harshly criticized. Some say the call frequency cap does not go far enough in restricting telephone communications while the electronic communications proposals allow unlimited texts and emails. I disagree. As to telephone communications, most courts interpreting the FDCPA would permit more calls than the cap proposes. At the same time, the cap allows debt collectors to reduce the risk of violating the FDCPA, so long as they stick with the call caps. The same is not true for texts, emails and other electronic communications. Whether seven, ten or 12 texts in a week runs afoul of the FDCPA will be left to the courts. But you can be sure, there is no provision in the proposed rule allowing for unlimited emails and texts. If anything, the absence of a text and email cap means the quantum of these communications that violate the FDCPA will be left to be determined by courts and regulators on a case-by-case basis.

The “validation notice” received a refresh with the introduction of a model form and procedures for its electronic delivery, including an alternative method in lieu of compliance with the federal E-Sign Act.

Expect to see the final rules in 2020.

State Legislative Activity

While the proposed FDCPA rules took much of the spotlight, state legislation was where the action was in 2019. California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia and Washington all either enacted new legislation or adopted regulations or court rules impacting consumer debt.

But it was the sheer number of proposals that deserves attention. New York had several bills proposing extraordinary restrictions on the collection of defaulted consumer debt. One bill proposed reducing the statute of limitations for most consumer debt to three years and “expunging” debt after the three-year period had run. The measure passed the New York Assembly, but narrowly failed in the Senate. Expect it to be re-introduced in 2020. A similar bill has been pending in Massachusetts.

In past years most proposals focused on “data and documents,” requiring particular documents and information to initiate a lawsuit or obtain a judgment. Proposals now address student loans, additional exemptions and restrictions on judgment and wage executions and reductions to the length of the statutes of limitations applicable to consumer debt. Many of these proposals, although offered as consumer protections, would actually cause consumers substantial harm. In Maine, a bill proposed to void judgments after one-year unless the judgment creditor took action to recover it. If the bill became law, judgment creditors would react by enforcing judgments annually, either by taking post-judgment depositions or executing on property when such measures would otherwise not be taken. Worse, a judgment creditor would still be required to act even if the circumstances made it impossible for the debtor to satisfy the judgment. In effect, the bill mandates harsh treatment of consumers.

Keep an eye on events in New York. Meantime, Maine, Massachusetts and Washington will remain active and bills are likely to be introduced in Connecticut and Vermont.

Privacy

The California Consumer Privacy Act ushered in 2019 and continued its roll with a slew of amendments and proposed regulations. The CCPA is truly alone in the scope of activities and information it covers, and the number of industries impacted. Expansive privacy regulation, like the CCPA, is bound to conflict with existing federal privacy and consumer protection law. Yes, such federal laws protecting privacy do exist and the CCPA, though valiant in its attempt to harmonize with existing law, inevitably collided with a few as explained in the RMAI comments to the CCPA’s proposed regulations earlier this month.

Other states are active as well as is explained by Maurice Wutscher’s Eric Rosenkoetter in his article reviewing 2019 privacy developments.

The Madden “Fix”

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2015 decision in Madden v. Midland was, to put it lightly, “disruptive.” A simple FDCPA case involving a debt buyer evolved into a nightmare, not for the debt buying industry, but for non-bank lenders who found themselves questioning whether their portfolios of performing loans were worthless. As my partner Ralph Wutscher explained, Madden “held that loans that are completely legal when made by a national bank subsequently become illegal if the national bank sells or assigns them to a non-national bank purchaser or assignee.” In November, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) both issued proposed rules to “fix” the uncertainty created by Madden. Ralph offers a detailed analysis in this article.

Top Decisions of 2019

A number of decisions were handed down this year, both notable and notorious. To keep the list short, they are organized by month and distilled down to those likely to have lasting impact or that changed the law. Most decisions come from the Second, Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits. The Supreme Court continues to be particularly active.

January

Usury – EBF Partners v. Burlow Pharmacy (Circuit Court of the First Judicial Circuit, Santa Rosa County, FL) – Merchant cash advance funding agreement for the company’s future receivables was not a “loan” because payment to the purchaser of the future receivables was not absolute. That is, the pharmacy would not owe anything to EBF if it filed bankruptcy or otherwise ceased operations in the ordinary course of business.

February

FDCPA – Kolbasyuk v. Capital Mgmt. Servs. LP (2nd Circuit) – A debt collection letter that informs the consumer of the total, present quantity of his or her debt satisfies section 1692g of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) notwithstanding its failure to inform the consumer of the debt’s constituent components or the precise rates by which it might later increase.

March

Article III Standing – Frank v. Gaos (Supreme Court) – Class action settlement vacated where lower courts failed to analyze whether any named plaintiff alleged violations sufficiently concrete and particularized to support standing.

April (tie)

Fair Credit Reporting Act – Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. (11th Circuit) – Risk of identity theft that the consumer suffered was sufficiently concrete to confer Article III standing.

Arbitration – Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela (Supreme Court) – Court cannot compel classwide arbitration where the parties’ agreement to arbitrate is ambiguous as to whether such classwide arbitration is contemplated.

May

Fair Credit Reporting Act – Kidd v. Thomson Reuters Corp. (2nd Circuit) – Media company was not a “consumer reporting agency,” because it did not intend to furnish “consumer reports” through its services, and thus was not subject to the FCRA.

June (tie)

Bankruptcy – Taggart v. Lorenzen (Supreme Court) –A court may hold a creditor in civil contempt for violation of a discharge injunction if there is “no fair ground of doubt” as to whether the order barred the creditor’s conduct.

FDCPA – Casillas v. Madison Avenue Associates, Inc. (7th Circuit) – Plaintiff lacked Article III standing to sue a debt collector for failing to include a required disclosure in its letter to her because the only harm she suffered was receiving the incomplete letter.

July

Fair Credit Reporting Act – Warner v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (9th Circuit) – To trigger claims under sections 1681i and 1681e(b) arising from a consumer’s dispute to a credit reporting agency, the necessary dispute must come from the consumer, not a third party. Here, the consumer engaged a credit repair company which made the disputes on her behalf.

August (tie)

Telephone Consumer Protection Act – Salcedo v. Hanna (11th Circuit) – Receipt of one unwanted text message in alleged violation of the federal TCPA was not enough to allege a concrete harm that meets the injury-in-fact requirement of Article III.

FDCPA – Lavallee v. Med-1 Solutions, LLC (7th Circuit) – Attempt to provide FDCPA’s 1692g “validation” notice via an emailed hyperlink insufficient and emails that did not mention a debt or debt collection were not “communications” as defined by the Act.

September

Class Action Fairness Act – Arias v. Residence Inn by Marriott (9th Circuit) – When a statute or contract provides for the recovery of attorneys’ fees, prospective attorneys’ fees must be included in the assessment of the amount in controversy.

October

Fair Credit Reporting Act – Nayab v. Capital One Bank (9th Circuit) – A party suffers a concrete injury in fact merely by a person obtaining the party’s credit report for a purpose not authorized by the statute.

November

Bankruptcy – Crocker v. Navient Solutions, LLC (5th Circuit) – Bankruptcy courts lack authority to enforce discharge injunctions entered in other districts. For more on bankruptcy litigation in 2019 and the year ahead, read an analysis from Maurice Wutscher’s bankruptcy authority Alan Hochheiser.

December

FDCPA – Rotkiske v. Klemm (Supreme Court) – The one-year statute of limitations under the FDCPA begins to run when the violation occurs, not when it is discovered.

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Credit Repair Companies

How to Get Help with My Credit?

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A low credit score does not only make loans costly or inaccessible. It may affect your employment, and even prevent you from renting the best apartment. As an indicator of creditworthiness, it is checked by lenders, insurers, employers, and landlords. If the total is far from perfect, there are several ways to fix it. The best repair companies will do it on your behalf. 

Why Scores Go Down

In the US, the most popular scoring systems are FICO and VantageScore. They use a similar combination of factors to assess data on credit reports. Three major bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — document your payments and all events related to borrowing. For example, the three most important elements for FICO are:

From this, you can deduce the conditions for the best scores. You need to have an impeccable record without missed or late payments, and the total amount of debt should be as low as possible. The longer your history — the better. You may also raise the score by using more credit products (credit mix accounts for 10%) and opening new accounts (10%).

Do You Need Repair? 

This term refers to the correction of official records. Today, affordable credit repair services help you clean the reports fast. These measures are not always necessary. The accuracy of the records determines whether you need repair. You may need to rebuild your history, not fix it. For example, you will see the credit score go up after paying debt

Every year, you may request a copy of your reports. There is no need to contact the agencies individually. Until April 20, 2022, www.annualcreditreport.com allows you to get them for free once a week.

If the documents are accurate, there is nothing to fix. However, you may still raise the score by rebuilding your credit history. There are several ways to do this, such as:

  1. Increasing limits on credit cards or paying off the balances (this lowers the credit utilization ratio);
  2. Getting a new credit card (to bring down the same indicator);
  3. Taking out new loans and paying back diligently;
  4. Adding more data to your reports through Experian Boost, and more. 

How Repair Works

Mistakes on official reports are not uncommon. You may find errors in spelling or completely false entries, such as judgments, evictions, or bankruptcies. These derogatories will tarnish your records for a long time. Most negative entries affect the score for 7 years, and some bankruptcies influence it for a decade, depending on the chapter.

Every consumer has a right to dispute such errors on their own. This is a challenging and lengthy process. Not only should you navigate consumer credit laws. It is necessary to liaise with bureaus, lenders, and collectors. Communication involves formal letters of specific formats. If you lack the expertise, a credit repair company is your best bet.

Professional Services

Overview of Professional Services

These providers have teams of weathered experts. They will collect your data, identify the most damaging mistakes and have them removed. This process involves four key stages and takes several months on average. The company will:

  • collect your reports from all major bureaus;
  • scrutinize the documents to identify inaccuracies;
  • develop a strategy to fix the score as quickly as possible;
  • collect evidence to prove that the items are false;
  • send formal dispute letters to credit bureaus to have the mistakes deleted. 

Most providers offer different tiers of services. The cheapest packages include five disputes per billing cycle on average. The core services are analysis and disputes. In addition, you may access score monitoring tools, personal budgeting apps, identity theft protection, and other extras.

On average, repair takes between 2 and 6 months. This depends on the number of mistakes you want to eradicate. The more derogatories — the longer you (or your hired experts) need to collect the evidence and initiate the disputes.

How to Find a Reliable Provider

In the United States, credit repair is a big industry. Dozens of companies offer to raise your total quickly, but choosing the right one is tricky. Pay attention to the following:

  • reputation and BBB rating;
  • range of services;
  • pricing;
  • support;
  • money-back guarantee.

Your provider may or may not be accredited with the Better Business Bureau. Still, this platform offers crucial insights (e.g., the number of complaints in the past 3 years and any pending lawsuits). Feedback is also available on sites like www.consumeraffairs.com and TrustPilot. In addition, check expert reviews from reputable sources like Investopedia. 

In terms of pricing, learn about the ‘first work fee’, or ‘setup fee’. It is paid upfront. Subsequently, the company will charge you every month as long as you need its services. On average, you may pay between $79 and $129 per cycle.

Pay close attention to the refund policy. Some companies will not return your money even if they fail to delete a single item from the records. At the same time, there are unconditional policies. These allow you to get a refund for any reason within the first 90 days.

You need convenient access to progress tracking. Most providers allow you to check the status of your case on their web portal. The biggest companies have proprietary apps. You may reach their office by phone on any weekday, and support is also available during shorter weekend hours. 

Final Words

If you need help with repair, choose trusted providers in your area. Check their reputation, legal status, and feedback from customers. Beware of scammers. With professional assistance, you may see the first results in just over a month.  









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Credit Repair Companies

La Reyna Del Credito Helping People Defeat the Financial System by Improving Their Credit Scores

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La Reyna Del Credito Helping People Defeat the Financial System by Improving Their Credit Scores

Financial freedom is somewhat an alien word where Ivonne Arvizu comes from, and she made a solemn promise to make it happen for herself and as many others as possible. With a work rate that has cut across different clients with varying professions such as medicine, entertainment, business, legal, real estate, financial professionals, police officers, and thousands of other people who needed credit report at one time or the other, Ivonne Arvizu has created a strong impression about La Reyna Del Credito. Ivonne acquired her credit repair knowledge a long time before she established her credit repair company, and she started helping people fix their credit while she worked at a bank. The bank was against her offering such services due to a conflict of interest. Ivonne, not willing to let herself get tied down in some banking bureaucracy she didn’t agree with, resigned from the bank and made her company into a full-fledged, official credit repair business.

Ivonne Arvizu has always been about excellence and flying the flag high all her life. Despite coming from a humble background and a poor family that never fulfilled the American dream, Ivonne set out to make a difference. She became a homeowner at the age of 20 and has dedicated more than 18 years of her life helping the Latino community elevate its financial status. Ivonne has been featured in Spanish programs on television networks like Telemundo, Univision, Radio Nueva Vida, Radio Inspiracion, and other broadcast services educating the public about financial freedom. Through La Reyna Del Credito, Ivonne is changing lives and shaking things up in the financial world.

La Reyna Del Credito was established on the premise of “Life happens, and anyone can get into a bad credit situation.” In Ivonne’s words, “Nobody ever hopes to have bad credit. It just happens, and it does not discriminate. There are so many variables that cause people to have bad credit and fortunately for them, ‘La Reyna del Credito’ exists.” Beyond fixing bad credit scores, La Reyna Del Credito helps people get their mortgage credit within days so they can buy their dream homes without stress. The company established a FICO program that ensures this guarantee, and it has boosted La Reyna Del Credito’s credibility in the Latino community.

La Reyna Del Credito has proven to be a game-changer for the Latino community and has pushed its members to focus on becoming more financially stable in their retirement age.  With more than 1,087 real estate deals closed in 2018 alone and a money-back guarantee on all credit fixes if the company does not deliver the score, La Reyna Del Credito has given people more confidence in its services as it continues to deliver excellent results. The bulk of the company’s clients are Spanish-speaking Latinos who migrated to the United States without knowledge of how credit scores work, and they need guidance. Ivonne Arvizu has built something outstanding, and she’s willing to see it through till she has fixed the finances of hundreds of thousands of people.

Learn more about La Reyna Del Credito on the company’s official website.

Media Contact
Company Name: La Reyna Del Credito
Contact Person: Ivonne Arvizu
Email: Send Email
Phone: (213) 434-9873
Country: United States
Website: http://www.lareynadelcredito.com

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Improve Your Credit Score with a Credit Repair Company

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Securing a loan for your home or business investment can turn out to be quite overwhelming for individuals and businesses out there. People with poor credit scores often struggle with their loan applications, as it gets a bit challenging to have your loan application approved at a low interest. In fact, a credit score happens to be the first thing a bank or a financial institution is likely to notice when reviewing your loan application.

Sometimes, simple things such as late payments and irregular bill payments can lower your credit score significantly. Even if you manage to find a private lender who’s willing to approve your loan application, there is a good chance they will charge you a high interest for the loan.

Why Do I Need to Hire a Credit Repair Company?

It isn’t always your utility bills or debt payments that lower your credit rankings, but sometimes, you might end up with a bad credit score because of a small error on your credit report. Regardless of the complexity of the issue you are facing, you can’t deal with the problem on your own. It is important that you seek help from a credit repair company to look into the matter and fix the issue quickly. As the name suggests, the credit repair company is in charge of fixing the errors in your credit report and removing the items that might be lowering your credit score. This includes charge-offs, late payments, liens, debt collections, and so on.

With a large number of credit repairing companies claiming to offer high-quality and cost-effective services, the decision of choosing the most reliable company could be a little overwhelming. Each company offers a set of unique services that are designed to improve your credit score in different ways. You might have to apply for a loan to finance emergency health requirements, your dream home, a startup, business capital, child’s education, and other requirements. Here are a few other reasons why you must hire a credit repair company:

·      Fix Inaccuracies on Your Credit Reports

Research shows that more than half the population of the United States report inaccuracies and unnecessary errors in their credit reports every year. These errors occur due to the miscalculation is wrong information. As mentioned earlier, it isn’t always your debts and late payments that affect your credit rankings.

Sometimes, small errors in the report could have a profound impact on your credit score. It is, therefore, important for businesses and individuals to get their credit reports reviewed once in a while. Only a credit repair company has the expertise and skills it requires for reviewing the credit reports thoroughly and fixing the errors. The sooner you get these errors fixed, the faster you will be able to apply for a home loan.

·      Job Opportunities

Many reputable companies ask applicants to attach a copy of their credit reports with the job application so that they know their staff is trustworthy. A good credit score increases your chances of getting hired by a reputable company.

·      Insurance Policies

You can’t secure the best and low-priced insurance policy with a bad credit score. It’s important to work on your credit score to get the best deals on insurance policies. That’s because a majority of insurance providers offer insurance plans based on your credit reports. A reliable credit repair company will help fix your credit score, saving you a significant amount of money on an insurance policy.

Best Credit Repair Companies

There is no denying that good credit repair companies can help improve your credit reports by erasing the negative items and fixing the inaccuracies. Here are a few popular credit repair companies you can count on for premium services.

·      Credit Saint: With more than 10 years of experience in this industry, Credit Saint tops our list of the best credit repair company. The Better Business Bureau has rated it A+ for the variety of services it offers. The company has undoubtedly improved the credit rating of a large number of customers successfully over the past few years. It reviews your FICO credit score, evaluates the negative items, and fixes the damaged credit score.

·      Sky Blue Credit: If the price and quality of the services are your main concerns, Sky Blue Credit is your best bet. The company has kept a fixed price, which is $79 a month, for an extensive range of credit repair services.

·      The Credit Pros: With over 200,000 customers based across different parts of the world, The Credit Pros is a 12-year old company that has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. You can enroll in its monthly plan that costs a flat fee of $49 or choose the prosperity package – whatever fits your preference and budget.

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