On November 12, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (“ANPR”) in the Federal Register seeking information from the public about the operations, disclosures and practices used by debt collectors as well as creditors selling and collecting on their own consumer debts. The ANPR follows the CFPB’s July 2013 issuance of two guidance bulletins (“July 2013 Bulletins”) that address debt collection practices. The CFPB continues to explore ways to uniformly apply federal debt collection requirements to both creditors and debt holders—which are generally exempted from the requirements of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) when collecting on their own debts—and third- party debt collectors.
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Before receiving cease and desist letters in November 2012, companies providing smartphone apps connecting users in need of rides to willing drivers had operated in their own unregulated market. That has changed now that the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) voted on September 19th to accept a proposal to regulate the nascent industry.The CPUC asserted its jurisdiction over Transportation Network Companies (“TNCs”) as a subset of chartered passenger services already under their regulatory control.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued an interim final rule, as well as an explanatory bulletin, to further detail and clarify the requirements of the agency’s mortgage servicing rules that were finalized in January 2013 (the Servicing Rules). The Servicing Rules implement the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amending the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act of 1974 (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to provide borrowers with more detailed information regarding their loans, ensure that borrowers are not unexpectedly assessed charges or fees, and inform borrowers of alternatives to foreclosures.
The past few weeks have seen the airline industry suffer from regulatory issues both in the U.S. and abroad.
In the United States, the proposed merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways is causing a headache. Officially bankrupt since 2011, American Airlines’ bankruptcy exit plan was approved by a federal judge in late September of this year, such plan being contingent upon its merger with U.S. Airways going ahead successfully.
It is well known that Chair White and her staff have stressed that their immediate focus is on completing the mandatory rulemaking under the Dodd-Frank and JOBS Acts, but in a sign of possible things to come after that task, Chair White spoke to the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) about the risk of information overload in the disclosure companies provide to investors.
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[Editor's note: The following post is authored by Goodwin Procter LLP.]
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (“BCBS”) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”) jointly issued a final policy framework (the “Policy Framework”) establishing minimum standards for margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives. The Policy Framework is a result of a 2011 G20 agreement calling upon BCBS and IOSCO to develop, for consultation, global standards for margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives; BCBS and IOSCO released two consultative versions prior to releasing the current final version of the Policy Framework.
The Policy Framework requires the exchange of both initial and variation margin between so-called “covered entities” that engage in non-centrally cleared derivatives. The document explains that margin requirements for such derivatives “would be expected” to reduce systematic risk by ensuring the availability of collateral to offset losses caused by a counterparty default, and would also promote central clearing by reducing the perceived cost benefits of engaging in uncleared derivatives transactions. The Policy Framework further explains that margin requirements have certain benefits over capital requirements, such as being allocated to individual transactions rather than being shared across an entity’s full range of activities. Margin is also, in the words of the document, “defaulter-pay” in the sense that the margin provided by the defaulting party is used to absorb the losses caused by the default, as opposed to capital’s “survivor-pay” model in which the non-defaulting party bears losses out of its own assets.
U.S. Sanctions and Export Controls Update: Amended Regulations Expand Opportunities for Companies to Export and Reexport to Syria and Iran
[Editor’s Note: The following update is authored by Kirkland & Ellis LLP]
At the end of July, U.S. administering authorities for economic sanctions and export control regulations took actions to expand the potential for U.S. and other companies to export and reexport certain items to Syria and Iran. Such actions are particularly notable in the current political environment in which U.S. authorities have continuously expanded sanctions and other restrictions with regard to exports and other transactions related to these two countries. U.S. authorities, however, have described the recent liberalization as consistent with U.S. national security and other policy aims. These actions are intended to allow the provision of important assistance to the ordinary people of these countries who have suffered under the current governmental regimes, which are primary targets of U.S. punitive international trade measures. U.S. and other companies in numerous sectors have the potential to benefit from these latest actions. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday the CFTC adopted final regulations harmonizing the compliance obligations of registered investment companies (RICs) that are also required to register as commodity pool operators (CPOs). Harmonization of the CFTC’s regulatory regime with that of the SEC is “grounded in the concept of substituted compliance” in that “CPOS or RICs that maintain compliance under the SEC regime would be deemed to fulfill their obligations” under CFTC regulations. Harmonization eliminates discrepant reporting instructions and reduces unnecessary costs for investors. Read the rest of this entry »
[Editor’s Note: The following update is authored by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP]
On July 10, 2013, the SEC adopted amendments to the Regulation D and Rule 144A private-placement safe harbors, as mandated by the JOBS Act of 2012. The amendments, which will become effective on September 23, 2013, will eliminate the prohibition on widespread advertising and other forms of “general solicitation” or “general advertising” in private offerings under Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 or under Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933, so long as all purchasers of the securities are reasonably believed to be accredited investors upon taking reasonable steps to verify as much (under Rule 506) or are reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers or “QIBs” (under Rule 144A). The amendments, however, did not extend the ability to engage in general solicitation to private placements that are not conducted in reliance on Rule 506 or Rule 144A, such as Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday a hearing was held to determine whether the House and Senate Agriculture committees will re-authorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The hearing is one in a series of reauthorization hearings scheduled to occur every five years. The biggest complaint is that the CFTC is behind schedule on implementing Dodd-Frank rules. Specifically, commissioners cited problems with the issuance of no-action letters and the confusion surrounding swap dealer definitions. Read the rest of this entry »