Banking and Finance Law Daily CFPB settles suit against online provider Think Finance for UDAAP violations
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Thursday, February 6, 2020

CFPB settles suit against online provider Think Finance for UDAAP violations

By Katalina M. Bianco, J.D.

The proposed stipulated final consent order would impose a fine of $1 million each on Think Finance and six subsidiaries.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has settled a lawsuit against Think Finance, LLC and six wholly-owned subsidiaries (collectively Think Finance) for violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s prohibition against unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP). The violations are in connection with Think Finance’s collection of loans that were void in whole or in part under 17 state laws governing interest rate caps, the licensing of lenders, or both. The proposed stipulated final consent order, among other things, would prohibit the Think Finance entities from offering or collecting on loans to consumers in any of the 17 states if the loan violates state lending laws, and from assisting others in engaging in that conduct. The proposed order would also impose a $1 civil money penalty for each of the seven Think Finance entities.

The Bureau filed a lawsuit against Think Finance, formerly known as Think Finance, Inc., on Nov. 15, 2017 (see Banking and Finance Law Daily, Nov. 16, 2017). The Bureau’s first amended complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana in 2018, alleged that Think Finance operated as a common enterprise that affiliated with tribal lenders in the offering and collection of online installment loans and online lines of credit to consumers nationwide. The Bureau also alleged that Think Finance made deceptive demands and illegally took money from consumers’ bank accounts for debts that consumers did not actually owe because the loans were either partially or completely void under the law of 17 states, and that the company provided substantial assistance to two debt collection companies that were also engaged in the illegal collection of loans.

The Bureau noted that the proposed consent order is part of a global resolution of Think Finance’s bankruptcy proceeding that includes settlements with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and private litigants in a nationwide consumer class action. Consumer redress will be disbursed from a fund created as part of the global resolution.

Companies: Think Finance, LLC

MainStory: TopStory CFPB DebtCollection EnforcementActions InterestUsury Loans PennsylvaniaNews UDAAP

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