Published: June 30, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 29 that the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) cannot constitutionally be subject to removal only for cause, as provided by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act), but must instead be removable at the President’s will. Seila Law LLC v. CFPB, No. 19-7 (U.S. June 29, 2020), arose from a constitutional challenge to the CFPB’s authority to issue a civil investigative demand (CID) for documents and information from a law firm that handled debt relief services. The firm asserted that the single-director structure of the agency, with the director removable only for cause, was a violation of the separation of powers under the Constitution. The district court rejected the argument and was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.

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Published: June 3, 2020

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen numerous class action lawsuits filed against companies for changing their refund policies to ones that have a negative impact on consumers or for not giving full monetary refunds for cancelled events or closed venues. Airlines, Ticketmaster, StubHub, Magic Mountain, and the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball are some of the entities currently defending these lawsuits. More companies could soon be defending against these types of claims, such as retailers that no longer allow the return of health, beauty, wellness, and pet products, and travel companies that have retroactively amended their refund policies to avoid issuing full monetary refunds for cancelled trips. 

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Published: June 2, 2020

On May 29, 2020, the OCC issued a final rule on permissible interest on loans that are sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred.

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Published: May 28, 2020

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Consumer Finance attorneys Trip Riley, Ryan DiClemente and Colleen Fox delivered a presentation about the CARES Act to the Women in Housing and Finance Professional Organization. The presentation covered the CARES Act’s mortgage payment forbearance on existing and deferment, along with what that means for servicers’ Reg. X compliance. The program also addressed servicers’ credit reporting obligations in light of a forbearance or deferment.

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Published: May 12, 2020

On May 5, the Seventh Circuit decided in Bryant v. Compass Group USA, Inc., 2020 WL 2121463 (7th Cir. May 5, 2020), that a plaintiff who alleges a procedural violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) without a showing of actual injury has standing to maintain suit in federal court under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. This opinion addresses an issue of first impression with great importance to the developing area of BIPA case law.

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Published: April 28, 2020

On April 23, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accused the country’s largest egg producer, which sells brands like Egg-Land’s Best and Land O’ Lakes, of raising the price of a dozen eggs by 300%. See Texas v. Cal-Maine Foods Inc., No. 20205427 (215th Dist. Ct. Harris Cty. Tex. Apr. 23, 2020). In California, in an apparently related consumer class action, Whole Foods, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and a host of other grocery businesses are alleged to be illegally marking up the price of eggs in violation of California’s consumer protection laws in the midst of the pandemic. See Frazer v. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., No. 3:20-cv-2733 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 20, 2020). It is alleged in the California case that more than two dozen grocery stores, wholesalers, and producers have been nearly tripling the price of eggs over the past month following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s emergency declaration that ordered all nonessential workers to stay home as the virus swept around the world.

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Published: April 22, 2020

As anticipated in a previous post, there have been at least six more consumer lawsuits filed against companies for failing to honor their pre-COVID-19 refund and cancellation policies in the past two weeks.

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