Creditors and credit servicers face stringent compliance issues when working with members of the armed forces due to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), new Department of Defense rules implementing the Military Lending Act (MLA), and increasing attention from state legislatures. Protection of military members has become a particular focus of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Attorneys on our Military Lending Task Force work with lenders and loan servicers to ensure compliance with rules implemented or enforced by the CFPB, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, prudential regulators, and state regulators and attorneys general. Our attorneys keep clients aware of developments in military lending laws both at the federal and state levels and ensure our clients have the correct policies, procedures, and practices in place. In addition to advising on compliance, we guide clients on enforcement actions and the defense of litigation when necessary.
An increasing number of financial products used by military personnel now are covered by federal and state regulations. Many credit cards, installment loans, retail installment sales, private and federal student loans, and deposit advance loans now face scrutiny under the MLA. Noncompliance for lenders and servicers carries significant risk. Agreements that violate the MLA are void from inception and plaintiffs can recover significant damages.
We closely monitor agencies including the CFPB and FTC to remain informed on directives, rule interpretations, and enforcement actions. Our attorneys pass this information on to our clients to make sure they are complying with the most recent orders and regulations. Our award-winning blog, CFPB Monitor, frequently features articles of interest to clients working with military customers.