The AFA Board, in conjunction with our consultants, act on the AFA’s long-term strategy of educating key Members of Congress and key officials within the following governmental agencies:
- U.S. Department of Treasury
- Federal Trade Commission
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (which regulates national banks)
- Federal Reserve System
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- House Financial Services Committee
- Senate Banking Committee
- Senate Committee on Small Business
- In 2012, Congress was on the verge of statutorily mandating a major increase in surety bond requirements for freight brokers which would have had a seriously negative impact on a number of transportation factors in that as many as 15,000 freight brokers were being driven out of business. The AFA succeeded in reducing the proposed increase of the surety bond amount by one-third.
- The AFA worked with the Treasury Department on a report on factoring that has been very helpful in a variety of contexts in subsequent years.
- Similarly, the AFA has worked with the Small Business Administration to develop a strong working relationship. This relationship has been helpful in terms of the AFA’s work with the CFPB on its implementation of Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank. One of the key principles of the AFA is that you can't turn back history and build a network of relationships after you have a crisis on your hands. You need to build and maintain those relationships just like you buy insurance for a loss.
- Operation Choke Point (OCP), initiated by the Department of Justice and the federal bank regulatory agencies, caused a number of large banks to close accounts of a variety of business lines and industries. A number of AFA members had their longtime banking relationships severed by fallout from OCP. As a result, the AFA lobby team began an intense campaign on the Hill and with the bank regulatory agencies protesting this treatment of factors. There was a major Congressional hearing at which the bank regulators were strongly criticized by key Members of the House Financial Services Committee. As a result, the bank regulatory agencies pulled back and issued statements to that effect.
- From its inception, the AFA has worked with federal bank regulators to educate and inform these regulators regarding the prudence of our factors. This is key to those factors with bank lines of credit. The last thing such factors need is to have bank examiners express or even classify loans to factors. We have met regularly with the FDIC, OCC and Fed in this regard. Our meetings have included the most senior levels of those agencies.
- We have built strong ongoing relationships with key Members of Congress such as Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Representative Greg Meeks (D-NY), Representative Andy Barr (R-KY), Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). Our key relationships are based on membership on the key Congressional committees: House Financial Services and Senate Banking.
- The AFA worked diligently on addressing California SB 1235 which mandates disclosure requirements for credit extensions to small business, both during its consideration before the California legislature and when the California Department of Business Oversight was drafting regulations to implement SB 1235. While some additional burden will result with respect to factors from SB 1235, the AFA was successful in mitigating the damage of this legislation to factors.
- The AFA has been following similar legislative efforts in other states. The AFA board has also discussed the possibility of proposing a federal disclosure mandate that would provide uniformity and substantially lessen the compliance burden on AFA members.
- The AFA has spent over three years developing a good working relationship with the CFPB's team that is implementing Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank, which will require a good bit of record keeping by those covered. The legislation requires all extenders of credit to small business to retain information on requests from small business with those records showing the race and gender of the owners of the small business. In September, 2020, the CFPB staff published an outline of its interim conclusions relating to how Section 1071 should be enforced. As a result of the work over the years with the CFPB staff, the outline stated that factoring should not be covered by the provisions of Section 1071. While the proposed regulations are not yet drawn, the AFA will continue to work toward this end. Its work has been successful so far, however.