Author Archives: Christine Hines

Net neutrality is back

Welcome back, net neutrality. This week, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced a proposal to restore FCC policies for the internet and oversight of internet service providers. Generally, net neutrality is a response to internet service providers treating internet users and traffic differently. The FCC has been here before. Most recently, the agency adopted open internet […]

Tax Preparation Companies Receive FTC’s “Penalty Offenses” Warning

The FTC’s Penalty Offenses authority seems good for consumers and businesses. It allows the FTC to warn businesses about specific practices that would constitute unfair and deceptive conduct under its statute, the FTC Act, with the threat of punishing penalties if they nevertheless engaged in the conduct. This warning ideally deters the misconduct and eliminates […]

FTC Can’t Refund Consumers in Deceptive Investment Scheme

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2021 decision in AMG Capital Management v. FTC continues to hamper the Federal Trade Commission’s work, and the Commission rightly is shining a spotlight on it. In a recently announced enforcement action, the FTC lamented the AMG decision, which it said limited its ability to secure refunds for duped investors of […]

It’s limbo for certain CFPB actions

Ever since the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held last year in Community Financial Services Association (CFSA) v. CFPB that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding structure violates the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause and the Supreme Court agreed to review the decision, the CFPB’s ability to complete its work has been stalled. In just the last […]

Here comes FedNow, the Fed’s instant payment mechanism for banks, credit unions

The Federal Reserve today launched FedNow, a new payment system that participating banks and credit unions can use to facilitate faster payments for their customers. So far, according to the Fed, 35 “early-adopting” financial institutions can receive payments instantly through FedNow. Does this new system, which facilitates sending and receiving payments at any day and […]

FTC, partners attack the root of robocall schemes

“You don’t need much agricultural expertise to know that every weed is supported by an extensive underground root structure.” What an A+ quote from the Federal Trade Commission’s business blog (Lesley Fair), which gives a visual description of the government’s latest effort to combat pervasive robocalls, this time tackling robocalls’ root structure: third-party lead generators. […]

CFPB, FTC riders in U.S. House appropriations bills

The U.S. Congress is considering FY24 funding for the entire government, and normally it should involve just that, funding. Yet the U.S. House Appropriations Committee recently dropped its Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) bill, which includes proposals that would impact consumer protection policy. These riders take aim at the substantive work of a number […]

Group tackles state of student loans for incarcerated borrowers

The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) today sued the federal government and issued a report on the student loan experience for incarcerated borrowers. In its first lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education, SBPC is seeking to compel the production of documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The request concerns the federal government […]

FTC refunds to consumers drop post-SCOTUS decision

The Federal Trade Commission reported this week on the refunds returned to harmed consumers in 2022 from its cases against bad actors that cheated, deceived, defrauded people out of their money. The agency’s press release also contained a sober message: refunds to consumers are dropping due to AMG Capital Management, LLC v. FTC, a 2021 […]

No preemption here. FTC backs state-law privacy protections for children

In an amicus brief filed this week, the Federal Trade Commission once again stood up for children’s privacy protections under state law that are consistent with federal law and its regulations. The case, Jones v. Google, involved a group of children who, through their guardians ad litem, sued online video platform YouTube and its owner […]