Government Relations Updates

Government Relations Updates

Government Relations Committee (GRC) Updates

(Includes all updates related to Covid-19)

The Many Shapes and Sizes of Bank Discontinuance

2/24/2022  Why this is important for Pawnbrokers: Bank discontinuance comes in many shapes and sizes and here’s a new twist. If you haven’t seen your customers’ government benefit cards or tax refund cards declined, it is quite possible that it will happen. In a report in American Banker this week, federal regulators are investigating Bank of America’s handling of government benefits ...

ANOTHER BUSY WEEK AT THE CFPB

2/17/2022 By Fran Bishop, NPA Government Relations Liaison COMPLIANCE—COMPLIANCE—COMPLIANCE  Another busy week at the CFPB:  Action taken to prevent prepaid card issuers from siphoning consumers government benefits. A great number of Americans have chosen to receive payments on a prepaid card in lieu of to a bank account which many do not have as they are ‘unbanked or underbanked’.   Under ...

More State Legislature Activity

2/17/2022 By Fran Bishop, NPA Government Relations Liaison Again this week I reviewed 200+ bills that our keyword search produced from our NPA State Bill Tracking service. A counterfeit precious metals crime bill in New Jersey is my favorite.  Why this is important for Pawnbrokers… New Jersey Assembly Bill 2597 states that an individual is guilty of a third degree ...

TEAM GRC FIGHTS FOR PAWNBROKER RIGHTS

2/10/2022  State Legislature activity is at a fever pitch.  As your GRC Government Relations Liaison, I am working overtime to keep pace with our NPA State Bill Tracking service. Just this week 300 bills were flagged by our keyword list for my review, and bills were sent to 17 states.   Firearms is always a hot topic with much attention to ...

CFPB “JUNK FEES”

1/27/2022 By Fran Bishop The CFPB continues to be in the news with several initiatives including colleges and universities that make loans to their students, and what they call “junk fees” charges by banks and financial companies, credit card issuers. These “junk fees” include penalties for late payments, nonsufficient funds, and account maintenance. Rohit Chopra, Director of the CFPB, also ...

TEAM GRC CONGRESS UPDATES

1/13/2022  The 2nd Session of the 117th Congress has convened. New legislation is being filed and the sponsors of bills already in committee from the previous Session are picking up where they left off in 2021.  As always, NPA’s Team GRC is monitoring all activity in Washington relative to the pawn industry. There will be a GRC webinar on Thursday, January 27 at 4:00pm EST to ...

Be Sure That Your Pawn Store’s Advertising Complies with TILA

December 9, 2021  TILA (Truth in Lending Act) compliance remains important and is a top priority for the CFPB.   TILA regulates the disclosures you put on your pawn tickets.   Compliance with all disclosure requirements and calculations such as the “finance charges” and “Annual Percentage Rate” (“APR”) is very important.   TILA also regulates how you advertise the terms on which you offer pawn transactions. These are ...

Frequently Asked Questions: Compliance with the Military Lending Act

Updated November 23, 2021  We’re here with answers to NPA members’ recent questions on Military Lending Act (MLA) compliance!   1. How do we determine whether a pawn customer is a “covered borrower” eligible for the maximum 36% Military Lending Act Annual Percentage? Pawnbrokers may use any reasonable means to determine whether a pawn customer is an active-duty service member or a dependent of one. The “check-the-box” is a method many pawnbrokers use. However, any “check-the-box” method does not qualify you for the “safe harbor” ...

36% Rate Cap Bill filed in the U.S. House of Representatives

On November 15, 2021, H. R. 5974 the Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act was introduced by Rep. Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia, (IL-D-4). Although the text is not yet publicly available for NPA’s Team GRC to review, the intent of the bill is to amend the Truth in Lending Act by extending the 36% APR of the Military Lending Act ...

Protecting Your Business and the Pawn Industry Following the CFPB’s Military Lending Act Enforcement Action against First Cash/Cash America West, Inc.

November 16, 2021  The NPA has reviewed the CFPB’s Military Lending Act (MLA) enforcement action against First Cash, Inc./Cash America West, Inc. that we informed you of on November 12, 2021, and is following pawnbrokers’ questions and comments on various forums. It is important for all NPA members to take these steps to protect your businesses:  A CFPB civil investigative demand (CID) may be based on just one consumer complaint. A CID is a complicated and expensive ...

CFPB Commences Military Lending Act Enforcement Action Against  FirstCash, Inc. and Cash America West, Inc. 

November 12, 2021  Earlier today, the CFPB filed an action in Texas federal district court against FirstCash, Inc. and Cash America West, Inc. The CFPB previously ordered Cash America International, Inc. to halt its practices against military families, which prohibited Cash America and its successors from violating the MLA. As FirstCash is a successor to Cash America it is subject to that order.   The CFPB ...

Buy Now, Pay Later In The News

11/4/2021  Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is not just for online shopping. It is another option for extending credit to consumers on purchases.   Do an internet search for BNPL and the results of available offers are astounding.   Is it an option for your retail sales?  What does the BNPL option mean?  Is it available on all purchases or just certain items?  I ...

Update On IRS Reporting Plan

10/28/2021 Latest episode in the mini-series about an IRS reporting plan is…  Some media reports the plan is dead, but industry sources are not ordering flowers just yet.  Nothing is dead until the Senate votes on the final tax ‘pay-for’ package in the budget reconciliation bill.  Today’s revisions do not appear to include the IRS reporting plan.  Read more from the banking industry here

Postal Banking Pilot Program Not Authorized by Congress

10/28/2021 Ranking Members of the House Financial Services and the Oversight and Reform Committees sent a letter to the Postmaster General regarding the USPS paycheck-cashing services pilot program at East Coast locations. Several points are…  The USPS does not have the authority to expand non-postal services without congressional approval.   During previous Committee negotiations the USPS never mentioned their intention to expand into ...

IRS Treasury Fact Sheet

What is the latest DC discussion on the Administration/Treasury/IRS modified proposal to receive information on your bank transactions?  Treasury Department 10/19/2021 press release refers to “financial institutions and banks” only having to add two additional numbers to what they already report. (see link)  Revisions include raising the reporting threshold from $600 to $10,000 and exempting certain wages and federal benefits.  Republicans on Ways & Means oppose surveillance (see link)  NPA ...