Business Law

CFPB Takes on “Trafficking” of Information Gleaned from Payday and Installment Loan Applications

On December 17, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) filed a complaint in federal court against a Burbank company called T3Leads.  The CFPB alleged that the company violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.   According to the complaint, the Bureau alleged that the company bought and sold personal customer information from payday and installment loans without properly vetting the customers.  T3Leads is “lead aggregator.”  This type of company purchases consumer information (leads) from websites that market payday and installment loans (considered “lead generators”).  Specific allegations against T3Leads include the following:

  • The company ignored false/misleading statements about lenders who obtained consumer applications.  Basically, those consumers who applied for loans through T3’s lead generators were unable to control who received their application.  T3 Leads, the CFPB alleged, often falsely claimed to say its consumers were matched with lenders who “followed the rules” and/or had “reasonable terms.”
  • T3Leads did not vet purchasers before adding them to its network, and failed to require proper disclosures regarding compliance with state laws.
  • The Company allegedly steered customers toward unfavorable loans.

The CFPB seeks monetary relief, injunctive relief, and penalties against T3Leads.

The CFPB separately targeted the individual who owned a Phoenix company called “Lead Publisher.”  Lead Publisher bought and sold leads which contained personal information like names, phone numbers email addresses, employer information, and the like.  As punishment, the owner was ordered to disgorge about $20k, and was also banned from the industry.  In its complaint, the CFPB alleged that the company sold 3 million consumers leads to companies that allegedly threatened harassed and defrauded customers to collect “phantom debts.”  In addition, the CFPB accused the company of failing to check the compliance or legitimacy of the companies to which it sold the information.  Lead Publisher is now out of Business.    

The complaint filed against T3Leads can be found here: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201512_cfpb_complaint-v-d-and-d-marketing-inc-et-al.pdf

The consent order issued against Sancho can be found here: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201512_cfpb_eric-v-sancho-consent-order.pdf

For more information, please contact Jennifer Duncan of ResortCom International at jduncan@resortcom.com.  

The CFPB’s CARD Act report may be accessed at the following link:
http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201512_cfpb_report-the-consumer-credit-card-market.pdf

Consumer Financial Services Committee

Chair
Jennifer Duncan  
ResortCom International LLC
jduncan@resortcom.com

Vice Chair of Communications 
Alicia Tortarolo
Hudson Cook LLP
atortarolo@hudco.com

Vice Chair of Programming
Andrew Noble
Severson & Werson
awn@severson.com

Vice Chair of Membership
Scott M. Pearson
Ballard Spahr LLP
pearsons@ballardspahr.com

Vice Chair of Legislation
Brian Farrell
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
bfarrell@sheppardmullin.com

Secretary
Avital Samet
TrueAccord
avital@trueaccord.com

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