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CFPB Enforcement Actions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, regulates the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services under the federal consumer financial laws, and has the authority to bring enforcement actions against financial service providers. While the CFPB accepts tips from whistleblowers, and applicable laws offer whistleblowers protection from retaliation, there is currently no provision for CFPB whistleblowers to receive financial rewards. However, conduct that is regulated by the CFPB may also give rise to a claim under a different whistleblower reward program.

Below are summaries of recent CFPB settlements or successful enforcement actions. If you believe you have information about fraud which could give rise to a claim under a whistleblower reward program, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced whistleblower attorneys.

January 9, 2017

The CFPB issued orders against two medical debt collection law firms and their president for falsely representing that letters and calls were from attorneys attempting to collect on a debt when no attorney had yet reviewed the account. The law firms also failed ensure the accuracy of the consumer information they furnished to credit reporting companies and used improperly notarized affidavits in lawsuits filed against consumers. The practices affected thousands of individuals. The CFPB is ordering Works and Lentz, Inc., Works and Lentz of Tulsa, Inc., and their president, Harry A. Lentz, Jr., to provide $577,135 in relief to harmed consumers, correct their business practices, and pay a $78,800 penalty. CFPB

January 3, 2017

The CFPB issued orders against Equifax, Inc., TransUnion, and their subsidiaries for deceiving consumers about the usefulness and actual cost of credit scores they sold to consumers. The companies also lured consumers into costly recurring payments for credit-related products with false promises. The CFPB ordered TransUnion and Equifax to truthfully represent the value of the credit scores they provide and the cost of obtaining those credit scores and other services. Between them, TransUnion and Equifax must pay a total of more than $17.6 million in restitution to consumers, and fines totaling $5.5 million to the CFPB. CFPB

December 20, 2016

The CFPB sued Military Credit Services, LLC (MCS) for making loans with improper disclosures. This is the CFPB’s second enforcement action against MCS. In 2014, the CFPB and the states of North Carolina and Virginia sued the company for similar violations, and MCS was ordered to revise its contract disclosures in 2015. In today’s action, the CFPB ordered the company to ensure that its contracts comply with the law. It also required MCS to hire an independent consultant to review its practices and to pay a $200,000 civil penalty.  CFPB

December 19, 2016

The CFPB filed federal lawsuits against four Virginia pawnbrokers for deceiving consumers about the actual annual costs of their loans. Spotsylvania Gold & Pawn, Inc., Fredericksburg Pawn, Inc., Pawn U.S.A., Inc., and A to Z Pawn, Inc. allegedly broke the law by misstating the charges associated with pawn loans. The CFPB seeks to end the pawnbrokers’ illegal practices, get restitution for the consumers they harmed, and impose penalties.  CFPB

December 16, 2016

The CFPB took action against Moneytree, Inc., a financial services company that offers payday loans and check-cashing services, for misleading consumers with deceptive online advertisements and collections letters, and making unauthorized electronic transfers from consumers’ bank accounts. The CFPB has ordered the company to cease its illegal conduct, provide $255,000 in refunds to consumers, and pay a civil penalty of $250,000.  CFPB

December 7, 2016

The CFPB issued orders against three reverse mortgage companies for deceptive advertisements, including claiming that consumers could not lose their homes. American Advisors Group, Reverse Mortgage Solutions, and Aegean Financial have been ordered to cease deceptive advertising practices, implement systems to ensure they are complying with all laws, and pay penalties.  CFPB

November 21, 2016

The CFPB filed a federal lawsuit against Access Funding, LLC for its illegal scheme in which victims of lead-paint poisoning and others were deceived into signing away future settlement payments in exchange for a significantly lower lump-sum payout. Access Funding allegedly steered victims to receive “independent advice” from a sham advisor – an attorney paid directly by the company – who indicated to consumers that the transactions required little scrutiny. The CFPB seeks to put an end to the company’s unlawful practices, obtain relief for the harmed consumers, and impose penalties.  CFPB

November 3, 2016

The CFPB filed a federal lawsuit against B&B Pawnbrokers, Inc. for deceiving consumers about the actual annual cost of its loans. B&B Pawnbrokers allegedly broke the law by misstating the charges associated with pawn loans. The CFPB’s lawsuit seeks to end B&B Pawnbrokers' illegal practices, get restitution for the consumers it harmed, and impose penalties.  CFPB

November 2, 2016

The CFPB and New York Attorney General filed a lawsuit in a federal district court against the leaders of a massive debt collection scheme based out of Buffalo, New York. Douglas MacKinnon and Mark Gray allegedly operate a network of companies that harass, threaten, and deceive millions of consumers across the nation into paying inflated debts or amounts they may not owe. The CFPB is seeking to shut down this illegal operation and to obtain compensation for victims and a civil penalty against the companies and partners.  CFPB

October 27, 2016

The CFPB issued issuing warning letters to 44 mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers who may be in violation of requirements to collect, record, and report data about their housing-related lending activity under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.  CFPB

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