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CFPB Reminder to Lenders: You Can’t Collect on Illegal Loans

 

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) reached a settlement with lender and loan collector Think Finance, LLC and six related subsidiaries (collectively, “Think Finance”) to resolve allegations that Think Finance engaged in illegal loan collection practices in violation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
  • In the amended complaint, the CFPB alleged that Think Finance, in affiliation with tribal lenders, operated an enterprise that offered and collected online installment loans and online lines of credit nationwide, even though the loans offered were partially or completely void in 17 states. The CFPB further alleged that Think Finance made deceptive demands to consumers, illegally removed funds from consumers’ accounts, and provided substantial assistance to two debt collection companies that also engaged in illegal debt collection practices.
  • Under the terms of the proposed stipulated final consent order, which is a component of a global resolution of a Think Finance bankruptcy proceeding that also includes settlements with Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro and a consumer class action lawsuit, Think Finance will be barred from offering or collecting on loans in any state where the loan violates state lending laws, among other things. The global resolution will also establish a fund for consumer redress, and it is anticipated that distributions from the fund will reach over $39 million.