Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Files Suit against Navient in Preparation for Legal Showdown with Trump Administration

By: Jacky Brammer*| Staff Writer

Recent lawsuits filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Attorneys General of the states of Washington and Illinois allege that Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of student loans, used illegal and deceptive practices to trap students into higher repayment plans for longer periods of time than necessary. Navient denies any wrongdoing.

The most serious allegation is that, from January 2010 to March 2015, Navient based employee compensation in part on manipulating student borrowers into postponing payments through forbearance which cost students an extra $4 billion in unnecessary fees. In another example, Navient is accused of shouldering disabled veterans with poor credit reports due to improperly marking their loan discharges as defaults.

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By: Cara Van Dorn*| Staff Writer

The Trump administration and a republican Congress have begun efforts to unravel the Department of Labor’s six-year-long effort to ensure that Americans saving for retirement receive only investment advice that is in their best interest.  The Fiduciary Rule, unpopular with conservatives and some members of the investment advice industry since its inception, was promulgated in response to a study by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors that found that American workers lose more than $17 billion each year to conflicted investment advice.   Continue reading »

The Potential End to Chevron Deference – An Avenue for Changing the USPTO’s Broadest Claim Interpretation Standard

By: Katherine Escalante*| Staff Writer

*Data current as of: 5/31/2016

Many questions are looming with the recent passing of the bill in the United States House of Representatives (“House”) aimed at ending agencies’ judicial deference in promulgating rules.  The Regulatory Accountability Act was passed by the House on January 11, 2017.  If passed by the Senate, the bill would legislatively repeal the Chevron deference doctrine that gives deference to federal agencies interpretations when evaluating federal rules and regulations.  A principle that has been the foundation of judicial review of statutory interpretation by administrative proceedings since 1984.  The name comes from a Supreme Court case, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., in which the Court held that deference would be given to agency interpretations, unless the interpretation was found unreasonable.  Continue reading »

CIA Releases New Rules for Collecting Information on Americans

By: Maria Pigna*| Staff Writer

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) published in full, for the first time, revised rules for collecting, analyzing, and storing information on American citizens.  CIA General Counsel, Caroline Krass, told a briefing at the Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia that the guidelines are designed “in a manner that protects the privacy and civil rights of the American people.”  The CIA refers to the rules as the revised Attorney General Guidelines and will become effective March 18, 2017, sixty days after they are signed by the Director of the CIA and the Attorney General.  Continue reading »

The Business of the Oscars

By: Jacky Brammer*| Staff Writer

By BDS2006 (talk) – I created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Academy Awards for the film and entertainment industry are Sunday, February 26, and after La La Land netted a record-tying 14 nominations in mid-January, its win for Best Picture seems inevitable. But La La Land has just as many fans as it does detractors. The detractors have many axes to grind but a common criticism is that a La La Land victory will perpetuate a larger, engrained problem: The Declining Business of the Oscars. Continue reading »

The Blockchain: Real-Time Payment Processing

By: Thomas Gaffney*| Staff Writer

Measured drawing of the First Bank from the Historic American Buildings Survey.

The secret is out; Blockchain, an emerging data recording technology introduced by the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has burst onto the forefront of the FinTech scene and is here to stay.  The topic took center stage during the FinTech panel from JBIPL’s 2017 Symposium.  The panel members discussed the broad-based usages of Blockchain as well as some of the legal implications challenging the finance and banking industries without getting too much into the details. Continue reading »

Overview: Consumer Protection Panel, JBIPL Symposium 2017

By: Anna-Bryce Flowe*| Staff Writer

As part of the Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property’s Symposium this year on Banking Law, student Mark Huffman moderated a panel discussion on Consumer Banking. The panel consisted of two speakers, one a practicing attorney and the other an actor in the public sector. The panel discussed the success of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), its failings, and the CFPB’s future in the weeks following President Trump’s taking office. The panel also took questions on litigation surrounding predatory lending and consumer protection lawsuits. Finally, the panel addressed Dodd Frank, the importance of state involvement in ensuring the vitality of the United States financial market, and how the efforts of the State are changing under a new administration. Continue reading »

FinTech: The Big Buzz in Law, Regulation, and Business

By: Doriyon Glass*| Staff Writer

The FinTech panel from JBIPL’s 2017 Symposium consisted of four impressive panelists, two of which, the moderator noted, are national experts on the law relating to FinTech.  The discussion answered the question of what is FinTech and some of the controversies and concerns relating to FinTech. Put simply, FinTech is the automation of finance.  The panelists elaborated on this through three dimensions of FinTech: (1) The cognitive business, self-learning algorithms, (2) the Blockchain infrastructure, and (3)  how all of these different technology developments come together. Continue reading »

FinTech Spotlight Interview: Erin Fonté

By: Maria Pigna*| Staff Writer

“Technology is value neutral, and it’s all about how it’s used.” FinTech panelist and Texas attorney, Erin Fonté, expressed her insight on the growing age of technology and its impact in the legal arena.  The Stanford Law 2002 graduate always knew she wanted to focus on technology, along with her interest for policy and regulations.  Fonté has based her practice on helping clients with general banking questions and online/mobile fintech startups, not to mention helping retail clients like Whataburger with their innovative app to introduce mobile payment and loyalty/rewards features.  Fonté’s work has her constantly learning about technological developments like block chain technology to keep up with the quickly-changing and evolving banking and financial technology space. Continue reading »

Banking In-House Counsel Panel talk about how Dodd-Frank has changed their jobs for the better and the worse

By: Jacky Brammer*| Staff Writer

On Friday, February 10, Wake Forest School of Law hosted the Journal of Intellectual Property and Business Law’s Symposium on Banking Law: Current and Future Issues. One of the several panel discussions was entitled, “Life of an In-House Counsel.”

The Panel’s discussion largely centered on the effects of the Dodd-Frank Act and other regulations on their day-in, day-out jobs and lives. All involved generally viewed the Dodd-Frank act as cumbersome and superfluous. One panelist noted that the legislation includes provisions that merely codified existing practices but required hundreds of pages of additional paperwork and red tape that clients likely would not read because it already existed in other forms and formats. While the panelist noted that a positive impact of Dodd-Frank was that it led to more transparency and more information, he was not confident that all the additional information was necessary or helpful. Continue reading »