CFPB Sues Online Lender Over Alleged CFPA and ECOA Violations

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On September 8, 2021 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it filed a complaint against an online lender for alleged violations of a 2016 consent order, the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), 12 U.S.C. §§ 5564, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1691–1691f, and Regulation B (Reg B), 12 C.F.R. § 1002.9(a)–(b).

In 2016, and as previously covered by Enforcement Watch, the CFPB entered a consent order to resolve alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, Truth in Lending Act, and their implementing regulations.  The 2016 consent order required the lender to pay a $1.8 million civil penalty and $1.83 million in redress, and to cease its allegedly unlawful practices.

In its new lawsuit, the CFPB alleges that the lender has continued the same allegedly unlawful practices, including deceptive marketing and failure to provide timely and accurate notices to borrowers.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that the lender misrepresented the benefits of borrowing from it, including by falsely claiming that certain “returning borrowers . . . gain access to larger loans at lower interest rates.”  The complaint further alleges that the lender failed to provide timely and adequate notice of adverse action taken as to thousands of loan applications, as is required by the ECOA and Reg B.

The CFPB seeks injunctive relief, costs, civil penalties, and additional monetary relief for consumers and unjust enrichment.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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