The Biden Administration’s “Junk Fees” Initiative Continues: What the Latest Actions Mean for the Consumer Financial Services and Rental Housing Industries, Part II

December 14, 2023
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This two-part podcast repurposes our most recent webinar on the latest salvo of actions in the Biden Administration’s initiative directed at combatting so-called “junk fees.” Launched in January 2022, the initiative shows no signs of abating.

In Part II, we first look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s advisory opinion on fees charged by large banks and credit unions to respond to information requests, including the Bureau’s discussion of non-fee obstacles such as chatbots that could unlawfully impede consumers’ ability to make an information request. We then discuss the CFPB’s second edition of Supervisory Highlights focused on “junk fees,” taking a close look at the CFPB’s findings regarding deposit account fees, auto servicing fees, and remittance transfer fees and its discussion of the CFPB’s circular on reopening closed deposit accounts, a remedial action against an auto servicer, and risks in connection with payment processing platforms for student meal accounts. We also discuss CFPB “junk fees” enforcement actions involving NSF fees, fees for add-on products charged by an installment loan lender, and refinancing costs imposed by a high-cost installment lender, as well as state law activity in California and elsewhere related to “junk fees.” We conclude with a discussion of potential future CFPB rulemaking and other actions involving “junk fees,” steps providers should consider to reduce “junk fees” compliance risk, and the preemptive effect on state law of an FTC “junk fees” rule.

Alan Kaplinsky, Senior Counsel in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, moderates the discussion, joined by John Culhane and Reid Herlihy, Partners in the Group, Michael Gordon and Kristen Larson, Of Counsel in the Group, and Roger Winston, a Partner in the firm and Leader of its Mixed-Use, Condominium, and Multifamily Development Team.

View the recording transcript here. 

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