September 16, 2015

Our Mini-Theme: Consumer Financial Services Is Hot!

Therese G. Franzén

Just a few short years ago, I would have never expected my adult, non-lawyer daughter to pepper me with questions regarding the merits of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Inclusive Communities case, Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 576 S. Ct. ___, 2015 WL 2473449 (June 25, 2015). Imagine my surprise when she expressed her excitement about the Court’s decision over breakfast, while on vacation no less. We have come a long way, Baby! 

We are now living in a world in which not just practitioners, but also non-lawyer consumers, follow Supreme Court decisions which impact their lives. The Supreme Court has ruled on a consumer financial services issue in each of the last two sessions, and has accepted cert in other cases which did not reach a decision because of settlement. The Supreme Court is continuing this trend in the upcoming term in an FCRA case on the issue of standing, Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, ___ S.Ct. ___, 2015 WL 1879778 (Apr. 27, 2015). 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is continuing to provide plenty of work for regulatory compliance, enforcement/litigation, and consumer attorneys, as the article regarding the CFPB’s recent PHH enforcement action explains. The states’ level of activism is not far behind that of the CFPB as they enact new laws and regulations, and vigorously enforce those laws against their licensees. Both industry and consumer lawyers must work diligently to stay on top of this ever changing area of the law. 

This month’s articles will give you a small taste of the dynamic nature of the consumer finance industry. If you thought that you would never have to worry about your SAT score or college grades again, then read Katie Hawkins’ and Latif Zaman’s article on the use of SAT scores and academic performance in credit decisions. John Chiles’ and Nick Agnello’s article examining the CFPB’s enforcement action against PHH and the subsequent appeal to the agency’s director is a “must read” for all compliance, enforcement, and consumer attorneys. Finally, Anthony Sharett has written a fascinating article analyzing Dodd-Frank’s Section 342 diversity and inclusion rule. 

In recognition of the explosive growth in consumer financial services law and the need to introduce newer practitioners to the basics of the practice, the Consumer Financial Services Committee created its National Institute several years ago. The CFSC is continuing this Institute October 8 and 9, at the Waterview Conference Center in Arlington, Virginia. This conference is a sellout every year, so register now at http://shop.americanbar.org/ebus/ABAEventsCalendar/EventDetails.aspx?productId=185859342

The Consumer Financial Services Committee is a dynamic group of lawyers, which meets three times each year. The next meeting will be the “stand alone” Committee meeting in beautiful Park City, Utah, January 9–12, 2016. /content/aba-cms-dotorg/en/groups/business_law/events_cle/cfs-meeting.html. The other meetings are held during the Business Law Section’s Spring and Annual meetings. Each of these meetings offers a wide variety of CLE, as well as opportunities to network with experts in the industry. Join us!

For more information about the CFSC, go to https://www.americanbar.org/content/aba-cms-dotorg/en/groups/business_law/committees/cfs.html, or contact the Committee’s new Chair, Andrew Smith, at andrewsmith@cov.com.

Therese G. Franzén

Therese (Terry) G. Franzén
Chair, Sixth Annual National Institute, Consumer Financial Services Basics