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The FTC sued payday lending companies Lead Express, Inc., Camel Coins, Inc., Sea Mirror, Inc,, Naito Corp., Kotobuki Marketing, Inc., Ebisu Marketing, Inc., Hotei Marketing, Inc., Daikoku Marketing, Inc., La Posta Tribal Lending Enterprise, and related individuals (collectively, “Lead Express”) over allegations that they overcharged consumers and made unauthorized withdrawals from their bank accounts in violation of the FTC Act, Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.   The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has issued a temporary restraining order halting Lead Express’ operations and freezing their assets during the pendency of the lawsuit.

  • The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) sent joint letters to marketing company ITMedia Solutions, LLC (“ITMedia”) and its client Lendio, Inc. warning them that they may be misleading small businesses seeking COVID-19-related SBA loans by implying an affiliation with the SBA, in violation of the FTC Act. The letter to ITMedia Solutions, which operates the site SBA.com, calls out claims that encourage consumers to start their Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) applications through the site. The letter to Lendio warns it about ITMedia’s and other lead generators’ misleading claims on Lendio’s behalf, including one lead generator’s advertised application service with a $495 application fee despite SBA’s prohibition on charging fees for PPP loan applications. Both letters demand that the companies take immediate action to remove all misleading claims from their websites and remediate any harm to small business consumers.
  • The FTC issued an alert regarding nursing homes and assisted living facilities that require residents who are Medicaid recipients to sign over their stimulus checks to the facilities. In a recent blog post, the FTC noted that states are receiving reports of facilities falsely claiming that stimulus checks count as “resources” under federal benefits programs and must be used to pay for services and advises affected consumers to contact their state AGs for help with reclaiming their stimulus funds. In another blog post, the FTC warned nursing homes and assisted living facilities that they may not seize stimulus payments from residents just because they are Medicaid recipients.