On May 20, the CFPB settled an enforcement action against a California-based telemarketing firm for practices related to student loan debt relief services. The Bureau has ordered the firm to permanently halt operations and pay a $400,000 civil money penalty, in addition to ordering the recission of all the firm’s existing contracts with consumers.Continue Reading CFPB Shuts Down Debt Relief Provider Over Fraudulent Student Loan Practices

On May 6, 2024, the CFPB resolved an enforcement action against a group of Delaware student loan trusts and a loan servicer (found here and here) for their failures to adequately respond to borrowers’ requests for relief, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. When entered by the court, the stipulated final judgments will require defendants to pay almost $3 million in redress to borrowers, and pay a fine of $2.15 million.Continue Reading CFPB Settles Action Against Student Loan Servicer and Securitization Trusts

On April 25, the FTC took action against a Washington-based bill payment company and its two co-founders alleging that the company used misleading search ads to impersonate consumers’ billers and deceptive design practices to mislead those consumers into paying “junk fees” they tacked on to consumers’ bills. Continue Reading FTC Calls Out Bill Payment Company’s Use of Dark Pattern Practices

On May 1, the FTC announced a settlement in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia against a payment processing company, along with its former CEO and senior vice president, for the company’s role in handling transactions for a debt-relief company engaging in fraud. The defendants have agreed to a settlement that includes a $10 million payment to compensate affected consumers and tighter restrictions on future business operations.Continue Reading FTC Cracks Down on Payments Processor for Facilitating Fraud

On April 17, the CFPB issued a consent order against a San Francisco-based for-profit coding school and its and CEO, banning it from lending to consumers, after it found that the company inflated its job placement rates to students and deceived them about a tuition financing program. Continue Reading CFPB Fines and Bans Coding Bootcamp over Deceptive Student Lending Practices

On March 28, the Federal Reserve (Fed) issued a cease-and-desist order to a Wyoming-based bank holding company, citing deficiencies identified in a September 2023 inspection related to its “fintech business strategy, board oversight, capital, earnings, liquidity, risk management, and compliance” in connection with the banking-as-a-service activities of its bank subsidiary. Continue Reading Fed Brings Enforcement Action Against Wyoming Bank Holding Company Over “Fintech Business Strategy”

In the FDIC’s latest monthly update on enforcement decisions and orders, the agency published recent consent orders it entered against both a New York-based and an Ohio-based bank, the latest in the agency’s series of enforcement actions against bank-fintech partnerships. The orders did not impose any fines or civil penalties but require corrective actions by the banks and their boards.Continue Reading FDIC Issues Orders Against Two More Banks Over Fintech Partnerships

On March 5, the New York Attorney General filed a lawsuit against a network of over 30 lending companies and their officers alleging their involvement in a predatory “merchant cash advance” lending scheme that exploited New York businesses through fraudulent loans at “sky-high interest rates.” Continue Reading New York Attorney General Brings $1.4 Billion Lawsuit Against Merchant Cash Advance Lenders

On February 21, the Minnesota Attorney General settled an action against executives of a Montana-based tribal lender for alleged predatory lending practices. In its complaint, filed in October 2023, the AG alleged the company engaged in, among other things, unfair, deceptive and abusive trade practices, unfair collections practices (resulting in a federal RICO charge), unlawful usury practices, and violations of Minnesota’s short-term lending statute, in making small dollar installment loans to consumers bearing interest rates between 474% and 795%. The company allegedly led many Minnesotans to believe that the tribal entity was immune from state laws guarding against interest rate limits on small and short-term loans, and implemented deceptive contractual provisions. Continue Reading Minnesota AG Bans Tribal Lender from Doing Business within the State

On February 22, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland appointed Jonathan Mayer as the Justice Department’s inaugural Chief Science and Technology Advisor and Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. Mayer will sit in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy and lead the Department’s newly established Emerging Technologies Board which coordinates and governs AI and other emerging technologies across the Department. Mayer will also build a team of technical and policy experts in cybersecurity and AI. The Chief AI Officer position is a role required by President Biden’s Executive Order on AI. Mayer is an assistant professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University and served as the technology law and policy advisor to then-Senator Kamala Harris as well as the chief technologist to the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. Continue Reading Justice Department Hire’s First Chief AI Officer