[author: Samantha Becci]
On May 17, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it has entered into a stipulated judgment and order to resolve a civil action that it previously filed against a debt settlement company in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on December 1, 2020, as previously reported here.
The CFPB initially filed suit against the debt settlement company alleging violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), 16 C.F.R. pt. 310, and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA), 12 U.S.C. §§ 5531, 5536(a). The stipulated order would enjoin the company from requesting certain advance fees in violation of the TSR, from using or obtaining credit reports except as provided for by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and from misrepresenting its company or the circumstances under which the company may request fees.
The judgment and order would also require the company to pay $7.7 million in monetary relief and a nominal $1 civil penalty that has been limited based on the company’s attested inability to pay. Per the agreement, the $7.7 million judgment would be suspended once the company has paid the $5.4 million in monetary relief.