b'in April, the Second Circuit adopted an expansiveFederal Student Loansinterpretation of ATDS in Duran v. La Boom Disco, Inc.,The CARES Act also automatically placed No. 19-600. The court held that a device is an ATDSfederally-backed student loans into forbearance. as long as it can store and dial numbers, even if thoseThrough the Presidents Executive Order, that numbers are neither random nor sequential. Likewise,forbearance is effective until at least September in July, the Sixth Circuit in Allan v. Pa. Higher Educ.30, 2021. Servicers of such loans also must apply Assistance Agency, No. 19-2043, held that an ATDSany payments made by borrowers between March includes equipment that can automatically dial phone13, 2020 and September 30, 2021 to the principal numbers contained on a list, rather than just phonebalance of the loan. numbers that the equipment randomly or sequentially generates. In July, the Supreme Court granted certiorariCredit Reportingin Facebook Inc. v. Duguid, No. 19-511, to definitivelyThe CARES Act amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act answer the question whether the definition of an(FCRA) to require furnishers of credit information who ATDS encompasses any device that can store andprovide any type of consumer accommodation to report automatically dial telephone numbers, even if thethe consumers account as current, or as the status device does not us[e] a random or sequential numberreported prior to the accommodation if not previously generator. Oral arguments were heard in December.current, for the duration of the accommodation. These reporting requirements apply until 120 days after the Supreme Court Rules on Constitutionality of DebtPresident terminates the COVID-19 national emergency Collection Exemption declaration. In addition, the Bureau indicated that In July, the Supreme Court held in Barr v. Americanit would provide some flexibility in its approach to Association of Political Consultants, Inc., No. 19-631, thatenforcing deadlines for furnishers to investigate credit an exemption to the TCPA that allows for automated callsreporting disputes, announcing that it will consider a to be made to collect federally backed debts violatesconsumer reporting agencys or furnishers individual the First Amendment. The Court held that the exemptioncircumstances and does not intend to cite in an was a content-based restriction on speech that failedexamination or bring an enforcement action against strict scrutiny. Instead of striking down the entirety of thea consumer reporting agency or furnisher making statute, however, the Court, as in SeilaLaw LLC v. CFPB,good faith efforts to investigate disputes as quickly as No. 19-7, held that the appropriate constitutional remedypossible, even if dispute investigations take longer than was to sever that provision of the TCPA from the rest ofthe statutory timeframe.the statute, leaving the federal ban on certain automated calls in place.Looking Ahead to 2021: Our PredictionsCOVID-19 Highlights2021 will be shaped by two forces: the COVID-19 Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Moratoriums pandemic and the incoming Biden administration. In March, President Trump signed into law the CARESThe first order of business for the incoming Biden Act, which imposed a moratorium on foreclosuresadministration will be extending existing pandemic and evictions for all loans insured by the federalrelief requirements, including mandatory mortgage government. That moratorium was subsequentlyloan forbearances and foreclosure moratoriums, and extended through March 31, 2021. The Federal Housingsuspension of collection activity on student loans. Finance Agency (FHFA) imposed a similar moratoriumThese immediate actions will buy the administration on foreclosures and evictions for borrowers withtime to implement additional pandemic relief measures, mortgage backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,and will avoid the turmoil caused by the unwinding of which is currently scheduled to lapse on February 28,these consumer protection measures in the midst of an 2021. Further extensions of these moratoria are likely.ongoing pandemic.Mandatory Mortgage Forbearances Once the urgency of the pandemic fades, we expect The CARES Act also requires that all mortgagethe Biden administration to advance a number of loan servicers provide mandatory 180-day paymentconsumer-friendly policies through executive order, forbearances on federally-backed mortgage loansstatute, agency rule, or informal guidance. The payday for borrowers experiencing financial hardship duelending industry likely will be one early target of to the pandemic. The current deadline to request aregulatory activity, following Director Kraningersforbearance as to some types of federally backed loansroll-back of the mandatory underwriting provisions is February 28, 2021, although we expect there to beof the Obama-era Payday Lending Rule. Indirect further extensions of this deadline.auto lending is another likely target, after Congress 12'