On October 15, 2020, the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) announced that it has reached a proposed settlement with the nation’s largest debt collector. The CFPB previously reached a consent order with this company in 2015 for alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In September of this year, the CFPB filed a complaint against this company alleging that the company violated the 2015 order and the CFPA and FDCPA by using law firms and internal legal departments to attempt to collect debt from consumers without providing the required disclosures, failing to provide consumers with required loan documentation upon request, suing consumers without possessing the necessary documentation, and suing to collect debts from consumers after the statute of limitations had expired. Additionally, the company is alleged to have engaged in deceptive acts or practices by failing to disclose possible international-transaction fees to consumers.
If entered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, under the proposed consent order the company agrees to pay $15 million in civil money penalties and $79,308.81 in consumer redress. The company would also be prohibited from engaging in the alleged conduct described above and would be subject to the terms of the 2015 consent order for an additional five years.