On December 4, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it filed suit against an online lender that offers single-payment and installment loans to consumers for alleged violations of the Military Lending Act (MLA). The MLA contains protections associated with extensions of consumer credit for active-duty servicemembers, including a maximum allowable annual percentage rate for servicemembers (known as the Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR)) and certain mandatory loan disclosures. This suit is part of a broader CFPB enforcement initiative targeting lenders for alleged violations of the MLA.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the company has made over 4,000 single-payment or installment loans since October 2016. The CFPB also alleges that the company violated the MLA by extending loans with an MAPR that exceeds the MLA’s limit of 36%. Further, the complaint alleges that the company extended loans that required consumers to submit to arbitration and that the company failed to make required loan disclosures in violation of the MLA.
The complaint seeks injunctive relief, monetary damages, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and civil penalties.