Last week, the CFPB announced a settlement with payday lender ACE Cash Express of an enforcement action for alleged unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices (UDAAP). The Consent Order reflects the CFPB’s continued focus on debt collection practices and payday lenders. The Consent Order also provides another data point on how the CFPB will exercise its authority to prohibit “abusive practices,” which the CFPB has declined to define in notice-and-comment rulemaking.
In the Consent Order, the CFPB alleged that ACE collectors and third-party debt collectors acting on ACE’s behalf engaged in unfair practices, including making an excessive number of calls, disclosing the existence of consumers’ debt to third parties, such as the consumer’s employer or relatives, calling consumers after being told they were represented by counsel, and calling consumers’ workplaces after being told to stop. The CFPB also alleged deceptive acts and practices, including falsely threatening to litigate or criminally prosecute, to report the debt to credit reporting agencies, or to add fees.
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