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CFPB: Older Consumers More Frequently Reporting Complaints Related to Reverse Mortgages, Credit Cards

ABI Bankruptcy Brief
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June 1, 2017

ABI Bankruptcy Brief

CFPB: Older Consumers More Frequently Reporting Complaints Related to Reverse Mortgages, Credit Cards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday released its monthly complaint report showing that older consumers frequently report servicing problems with reverse mortgages, difficulties recovering money after financial scams, confusion around deferred interest credit cards and frustration when experiencing charges for unauthorized add-on products, reported today. The CFPB said that the snapshot provides an overview and analysis of more than 103,100 complaints submitted to the Bureau by consumers voluntarily reporting their age as 62 or older. “Older consumers who may be on a fixed income are at a greater risk for financial trouble if they encounter problems with financial products or services,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. Among the main problems seniors are facing, many pointed to reverse mortgages, which are exclusively available to people over 62 years of age. The CFPB said older consumers with reverse mortgages seeking to stay in their house following the death of the borrowing spouse report servicing problems that sometimes result in foreclosure proceedings.
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Click here to read the CFPB's report.

Commentary: CFPB's Director in a Tight Spot as GOP Pushes to Diminish Dodd-Frank's Crown Jewel

With President Donald Trump's election, Cordray's term has come to be bookended by a new stretch of uncertainty, according to a National Law Journal commentary. Republicans have urged Trump to fire Cordray, invoking an appeals court ruling that said the president should be empowered to outright terminate the bureau's director. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in late May was set to review the case, PHH v. CFPB, having earlier vacated the panel's decision. Republicans have continued to call for Cordray's head nonetheless, and companies are ramping up their pressure on the agency — and looking for the day when Cordray is no longer in charge. Cordray has made his intentions clear: "I was nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate on a significant bipartisan vote in July of 2013 to serve a five-year term," he recently told the House Financial Services Committee. But his termination may come sooner than expected as the D.C. Circuit weighs the CFPB's constitutionality and Republicans attempt to seize on their power to reform the Obama-era agency they've long vilified. Read the full commentary.
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Degrading Quality of Hospitals in Community Health System Has Doctors Blame Debt-Fueled Takeovers

There are two groups Community Health Systems Inc. can’t push too far: the doctors at its hospitals, and the debtholders it owes billions of dollars. Right now, the creditors are winning, and the doctors aren’t happy, according to a Bloomberg News analysis today. In Fort Wayne, Ind., the rancor about Community’s neglect of a local health system has gotten so bad that a group of doctors tried to get rid of corporate ownership and buy the company out. And 1,500 miles away on the island of Key West, Florida, doctors say that patients are being overcharged so that Community, sometimes called CHS, can rake in cash. Once the biggest U.S. for-profit hospital chain, Community is selling off other, poorly performing facilities to pay off $2 billion of its $15 billion in debt. Yet even as the company skimps on spending and patient satisfaction lags at key facilities, its bonds are rising in value – an indication that debtholders are betting that the chain will make a financial turnaround.
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Regulators Vote to Require Auditors to Share Critical Details About Companies with Investors

Audit regulators from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board voted today to approve a long-planned overhaul and expansion of the auditor’s report — the letter included in a company’s annual report in which the auditor blesses the financial statements, the Wall Street Journal reported. That statement, which hasn’t changed much in more than 70 years, has largely become legal boilerplate and doesn’t give investors much information about what an auditor actually thinks of a company. The new report will retain the current report’s up-or-down decision on whether an auditor thinks a company’s numbers are “fairly presented.” But it will also require auditors to tell investors about any “critical audit matters” — areas of their audit that were especially challenging or complex or forced them to make tough decisions in evaluating a company’s books.
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Latest ABI Podcast Examines Marketplace Lending and the Future of "Consumer Bitcredit"

ABI Resident Scholar Drew Dawson talks with Prof. Chris Odinet of the Southern University Law Center about "marketplace lenders," online firms that utilize automation for underwriting and big data to quickly process loans. Prof. Odinet's new research, "Consumer Bitcredit and Marketplace Lending," looks at how these firms grew out of the void left by banks that exited the consumer and small business lending after the 2008 financial crisis, and the role that they will play in consumer credit going forward. Click here to listen. 

To read Prof. Odinet's research, please click here

Next Consumer Commission Meeting Set for July 15 at NACTT

The ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy's next open meeting will be held on July 15 at the NACTT Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington (Sheraton Seattle Hotel). The meeting will be held from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. PT, and is a field hearing for the Chapter 13 Committee. Major topics for consideration by the Committee include (a) chapter 13 eligibility (b) homeowner issues (c) chapter 13 plans (d) credit reporting (e) local legal culture and (f) after acquired property. To request a time for a public statement or to submit a written statement, email the Commission at

For more information on the Commission, including oral and written statements from the May 6 meeting, please click here.

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