CLEAR Regulatory News

Licensing

Below is a sampling of news from CLEAR REGULATORY NEWS section of the
Council on Licensure Enforcement and Regulation organization

Alaska: debate over optometry bill

Senate Bill 55 in Alaska, currently referred to the Health and Social Services Labor and Commerce committee, would allow the Board of Optometry to adopt regulations related to the prescription and use of pharmaceutical agents.

Kentucky and Nebraska to exempt hair braiders from regulation

Both the House and the Senate in Kentucky have approved a bill to exempt natural hair braiders from cosmetology licensing requirements.

Vermont considers police officer regulation

The Vermont legislature is calling for a panel to study issues related to overlapping police forces and the need for a disciplinary system for officers accused of professional misconduct.

Update: New York proposal concerning undocumented workers

A proposal approved by the New York State Board of Regents to allow individuals who cannot obtain legal residency due to their parents’ immigration status to apply for professional licenses is facing political pressure.

National Board of Medical Examiners being petitioned to eliminate patient care skills exam

More than 6,000 medical students, residents and faculty are petitioning the National Board of Medical Examiners to eliminate the Step 2 CS patient care skills exam, which they claim is a costly “waste of time.”

For full articles go here.

The Heads and Tails of Investing in Compliance

March 30, 2016
By Jennifer Tabb, VP Customer Relations
eSoftware Solutions

I hear it from companies all the time. It is usually one side of the coin or the other:

Heads: The head in the sand tactic
I am hoping that I don’t need compliance practices, software and other activities. My fingers are crossed that the regulators will not come my way or ask to audit my business.

Tails: The help me not get kicked again tactic
I’ve been audited and paid penalties, ouch! Can you help me make sure it can never happen again?

Compliance is a battlefield these days. Because of this, investment into a comprehensive compliance program pays off in huge dividends in the form of business security, management consistency and legal stability. All of these, of course, point to profitability over the long term. These things are, as the commercial says, priceless!

I would like to share the following article with you from Blue Hill Research on this exact issue.

Blue Hill Research

Transforming Fear into ROI in Compliance & GRC Investments

Pain and fear are tremendously great motivators. The problem is that they don’t make for great strategic planning.

by David Houlihan, Esq.

More than a few governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) implementations were launched by pain or fear. That’s not always the case, of course, but we hear it often enough. An organization gets hit by a penalty (probably related to something they weren’t paying attention to) or a story appears in the Wall Street Journal about regulators’ interest in a competition and, after some phone calls from directors asking “how do we keep this from happening (again)”, and a mandate is born.

These scenarios are gold mines for GRC vendors, but they are minefields for organizations. That’s not to say that those situations aren’t great opportunities to implement GRC. They are. In fact, for the risk and compliance teams that have been pushing for a GRC platform, the moment is probably never better than when corporate leadership has a clear view of what poor safeguards might cost them.
Read the whole post here from Blue Hill Research.

Headshots-8

Jennifer Tabb is the Vice President for Customer Relations at eSoftware Solutions, Inc., working with a national clientele for eCompliant Software and other products. Since 2007, eSoftware Solutions serves  financial institutions, government agencies and businesses and is an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America for 2015, a three-time honoree.

CFPB’s Cordray appears before House Financial Services Committee

March 17, 2016
By  Terry Freeze, CFO
eSoftware Solutions

With information from reports by Barbara S. Mishkin on March 17th, 2016 Posted in CFPB General

I listened in to the hearing yesterday, LIVE, from the House Financial Services Committee chambers. Director Cordray was the sole witness presenting “The Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.”

While much of his report was not new, there were noteworthy points for the Financial Services Industry about the timing of CFPB rulemaking:

1) Director Cordray indicated that the CFPB still expects to issue a final prepaid card rule in Spring 2016.

2) He stated that the CGPB would also issue a proposed rule on payday (and other small-dollar, high-rate) loans in Spring 2016.

3) And, finally, Director Cordray indicated that a proposed overdraft rule would NOT be issued in Spring 2016.

He noted that Spring 2016 begins next week and continues until the third week of June and therefore may signal that the rules are most likely to be issued in late Spring of this year pushing rules announcements to June, perhaps.

You can read the entire report from our partner, Ballard Spahr, in their CFPB Monitor here.

Software for licensing, financial, and compliance

Terry Freeze is the Chief Operating Officer of eSoftware Solutions, Inc., a software leader in segments that serve the financial, government and business markets with three products: eCash, eLicense and eCompliant software. eSoftware Solutions is an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America for 2015, a three-time honoree.

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Licensing 1992: What a Year it was 24 Years Ago!

“I’m doing licensing on a legacy system from 1992.” This is a direct quote from someone I talked to last week.

To set the scene, in 1992, Bill Clinton becomes president, Hurricane Andrew hits south Florida, the Washington Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI and (some things don’t change) Alabama wins the NCAA National Football Championship. To get to the Olympics in Barcelona, the theme of the American Olympic Trials was, “No Pain, No Spain.”

1992 line     

“You can’t handle the truth!”
Jack Nicholson said this in ‘A Few Good Men’ in 1992. The truth in 2016 is that you should be working on web-technology that makes licensing a breeze. “There’s no crying in baseball,” said Tom Hanks, in ‘A League of Their Own’ and there should be no crying over processing licenses, registrations and permits.

eLicense is the intuitive, easy, real-time technology that we have come to expect in 2016. You should try it.

And a few more notes from 1992 because I love the movie My Cousin Vinnie and it was in this year that Marisa Tomai won Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance in that movie (so funny). We’ll never forget the #1 song from 1992 into 1993 was ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston.

It’s fun to look back but it is not fun to work on 24 year-old technology.

Ben Kapner
Customer Relations and good guy to talk to on the phone

Ben

Ben Kapner is a Customer Relations Representative for eSoftware Solutions, Inc. coordinating lead generation and sales for eLicense Software. Since 2007, eSoftware Solutions serves a national client base of financial institutions, government agencies and businesses and is an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America for 2015, a three-time honoree.

Kapner is expert in managing professional relationships across all industries and at all levels. He comes to eSoftware Solutions from Indeed.com where he was an Account Executive focusing on new account generation and long-term growth strategies.

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LEAP YEAR INSIGHT: 3 Biggest Challenges for Financial Services Industry

Feb. 29, 2016
By Scott Putnam, CEO
eSoftware Solutions, Inc.

The financial services sector for consumers – payday lending, check cashing, title loans, installment loans and line of credit lending – have three major challenges that stand out in today’s market. Each needs strong leadership attention to address with technology, staff training, marketing and a focus on compliance to make it through this next year.

Here are, what I believe to be, the top 3 challenges facing the financial services industry:

  1. Regulatory pressure from the CFPB
    Regulatory requirements continue to increase, and we were expecting new announcements in March aimed at the financial services industry that may be pushed to April. So, the time is now to spend budget dollars on getting compliant and training your staff. Make sure your systems, policies and processes will be able to keep up with new and changing regulations.
  2. Profitability
    Your systems need to be good at making the transaction and better be GREAT at managing the business side, as well. Understanding and maximizing your software reporting, employee oversight and other management functionality can make a big difference in your bottom line.
  3. Consumer expectations are changing
    Are you feeling pressure yet from your customers for more and varied services? As this sector serves a lot of customers that are “unbanked,” offering customer services that promote convenience will also help to make that customer a recurring customer. It may be time to expand your portfolio of services as well as different kinds of loan products to keep up with your customer needs and wants.

It is a fast paced world and technology is driving many positive changes that equate to convenience, profitability and being compliant so you can keep your doors open for business.

I am looking forward to attending the CFSA 16th Annual Meeting next week and bringing back more insights to share.

Scott w title

Scott Putnam is the Chief Executive Officer of eSoftware Solutions, Inc., a software leader in segments that serve the financial, government and business markets with three products: eCash, eLicense and eCompliant software. eSoftware Solutions is an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America for 2015, a three-time honoree.

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2016: Looking Ahead to March and the Rest of the Year

Feb. 5, 2016

By Scott Putnam, CEO
eSoftware Solutions, Inc.

 

The CFPB is busy. They are focusing on several areas early in 2016 that includes checking account access, debt buying, the use of big data, student loans, credit card add-ons and other mortgage disclosure and reporting requirements. In the payday areas, debt collection and UDAAP is getting the spotlight initially.

We await March madness

March is the month and new proposed rules are expected for the payday industry. Here are a few things to consider. The following is taken from an article by Norbert J. Michel, PhD, Research Fellow in Financial Regulations at the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, published by the Heritage Foundation: “Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Put Squeeze on Private Payday Lenders.”

The CFPB’s current proposal creates two classes of short-term loans: those with up to 45 days in duration and longer-term ones that mature in up to six months. For both categories, the CFPB has proposed two options, where lenders can choose between a prevention or protection framework.

Class I: Prevention Option

  • For the shorter-term loans, the prevention option requires lenders to apply the ability-to-repay standard. This standard generally requires lenders to “make a reasonable and good faith determination based on verified and documented information that the consumer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms.
  • If the borrower then defaults, he has the right to sue the lender for misjudging his ability to repay the loan. This option also creates a rebuttable presumption of an inability to repay either a second or third short-term loan within 60 days of the original loan.

In other words, a lender cannot make another loan to the consumer within a 60-day period unless the lender can “prove” the borrower can repay. If the lender can rebut the presumption, it can provide no more than three consecutive loans without a 60-day cooling off period.

Combined, these two new provisions would severely shrink payday lenders’ profitability and ultimately shrink consumers’ access to capital.

Class II: Protection Option

Alternatively, a lender can choose the protection option, a framework that includes several screening and structural requirements.

  • Using this option, the lender must first (among other requirements) verify the consumers’ income and borrowing history, as well as verify that extending a loan will not result in the customer being in debt “for more than 90 days in the aggregate during a rolling 12-month period.”This option would impose a major change on the industry—currently, most payday lenders only require proof of employment and a bank account.
  • Once all screening requirements are met, the lender can provide only a loan that meets certain structural criteria, such as a maximum amount of $500 and a duration of no more than 45 days. The current plan would also require lenders to structure loans to “taper off the consumer from indebtedness.”
  • Longer-term loans face a similarset of new restrictions and, in some cases, have their interest rates and fees capped.

What these changes can mean to you

These changes are substantial. The comment period that will follow these proposed rules will be a busy and an anxious time. My advice is to keep up with the latest news, become active in your state and national professional associations that lobby for our industry and know that eCash Software is committed to help you ease through this transition as it unfolds.

Stay tuned.

 

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Scott w titleScott Putnam is the Chief Executive Officer of eSoftware Solutions, Inc., a software leader in segments that serve the financial, government and business markets with three products: eCash, eLicense and eCompliant software. eSoftware Solutions is an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America for 2015, a three-time honoree.

The CFPB and DEBT COLLECTION in 2016

Jan. 11, 2016

By Terry Freeze, COO
eSoftware Solutions, Inc.

The CFPB keeps the door wide open to examine debt collectors in 2016. Their efforts are aimed at both third-party debt collectors and at those creditors collecting their own debt (“first-party”).  Here is what you should know:

  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is not a tool that the CFPB can use with respect to first-party debt collection.
  • What they are using to scrutinize first-party collection practices is the unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (“UDAAP”). When this policy is applied, it puts in-person collection of consumer debt in the spotlight for first-party debt collectors.

On December 16, 2015, the CFPB issued Compliance Bulletin 2015-07, In-Person Collection of Consumer Debt.  It highlighted the importance of applying the UDAAP analysis relative to becoming in violation of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The Bulletin can be found here: CFPB In-Person Collections Compliance. The Bulletin states that “in-person collections may cause or may be likely to cause substantial injury to consumers.”

Noteworthy, at the end of The Bulletin, it states, “If the CFPB determines that a company has engaged in acts or practices that violate the Dodd-Frank Act, the FDCPA, or other Federal consumer financial law, it will take appropriate supervisory or enforcement actions to address address the violations and seek all appropriate corrective measures, including remediation of harm to consumers and assessment of civil money penalties.

If you were wondering where the CFPB would take aim in 2016, collection practices is certainly one of their targets. Another thing of certainty in 2016 is that your compliance efforts will need to escalate this year to keep in pace with the oversight of this federal agency.

 

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Terry Freeze is the Chief Operating Officer of eSoftware Solutions, Inc., a software leader in segments that serve the financial, government and business markets with three products: eCash, eLicense and eCompliant software. eSoftware Solutions is an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America for 2015, a three-time honoree.

 

HeLLO: 2016 Here We Come

A new year brings a new website and this new BLOG. Yes, we actually named it HeLLO before Adele came out with her smash hit of the same name.

And speaking of successes, I hope you will read our success stories on this site. Our customers say it best and we always are grateful to serve them with the best software.

In 2016, eSoftware Solutions is looking forward to something BIG: eAcademy. Right now it will whet your appetite for a buffet of useful training that is to come. We completed a customer satisfaction survey in October and you told us that more/different/better training is what you wanted. Well, we are listening! Stay tuned for that in March.

As I look forward to 2016, I see how our digital world is speeding up. Technology is advancing and we at eSoftware Solutions are speeding along with it. We informed our customers earlier in December that we are upgrading our hosting services. Security is paramount to us and we are moving forward to continue to provide safe, stable and fast service to all.

From Terry and I, Happy NEW Year – new website, new eAcademy and a renewed dedication to you, our customer.

Scott Putnam, CEO

Software for licensing, finance, compliance

HeLLO: FROM THE CeO, Scott Putnam

I just returned from a national conference where I talked with customers and made new connections while learning a few things at the meeting. I thought back to the time when I first started out as a small business owner and remembered sometimes feeling overwhelmed by it all.

I am sure that this old feeling of exasperation at times is where my passion for great software came from, where it was born. The desire to make things easier to manage for you and your staff is critically important in order to have a productive, profitable business. eSoftware Solutions understands this 100%.

What I heard most at the conference was CFPB news: Rules, new regulations to come and how the business will change in the next 12 to 24 months. Wow, that is quick and scary.

I think a lot about you, our client, and want you to know that eSoftware Solutions is there for you as a small lender. I am a veteran of the financial industry and I highly encourage you to keep up with the latest news. Here is one valuable source:

http://www.cfpbmonitor.com/

Know that whatever the final rules from the CFSA are, your eSoftware Team partner will work to automate those rules within the software to keep you compliant and in business. We will provide any necessary loan model/s and will design the system to offer loans that are available under the rules, only the loan options available to your customer at the counter that keep you compliant.

Stay tuned to this blog and our Twitter feed @eSoftwareSol for industry news. Reach out to me personally at sputnam@eSoftwareSolutions.com or to our expert staff at 601-919-2275.

Working for you!

Scott Putnam

Software for licensing, finance, compliance

HeLLO: FROM THE COO, Terry Freeze

I think my favorite software design word is “intuitive”.

The directive we give to our designers and developers as new features are added is: “If it needs a user manual, it’s not intuitive enough.”

We want our software to be the easiest to use and train on the market. I mean, isn’t that what any user of any software wants?

I am proud that our focus in on our clients – keeping your business profitable, taking away processing headaches and being there to support your new needs is why we are here.

Running a business is tough. Our software is intuitive. It’s our way of helping you be a success.

Stay tuned to this blog and our Twitter feed @eSoftwareSol for industry news. Reach out to me personally at tfreeze@eSoftwareSolutions.com or to our expert staff at 601-919-2275.

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