CFPB Files Federal Lawsuit Against Online Loan Servicer


11/21/2017 4:00 PM

Think Finance LLC, which recently sought bankruptcy protection, allegedly collected debts consumers did not owe.

CFPBNews

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against Think Finance LLC, alleging  the company collected payments on debts consumers did not owe.

The CFPB’s complaint, filed in United States District Court District of Montana, alleges that Think Finance, an online loan servicer based in Addison, Texas, “collects on loans that are void under state laws governing interest rate caps or the licensing of lenders,” according to a news release from the CFPB. The loans are void under laws in 17 states.

These actions are violations of the Dodd-Frank Act and Consumer Protection Act, according to the CFPB.

“The bureau alleges that Think Finance made deceptive demands and illegally took money from consumers’ bank accounts for debts that were not legally owed. The CFPB seeks to recoup relief for harmed consumers and impose a penalty,” the news release said.

Think Finance has extended credit and collected payments online since 2011 and also provides software technology, analytics and marketing services to financial clients in the consumer lending industry, according to the complaint.  The company also provides similar services, including extending credit and collecting payments, on behalf of three lending businesses owned by Native American Tribes: Great Plains Lending LLC, MobiLoans LLC and Plain Green LLC, according to the complaint.

Specifically, the CFPB alleges that Think Finance charged interest rates “high enough to violate usury laws in some states where they did business and violation of these usury laws renders particular loans void.”

The company also allegedly did not obtain licenses to issue loans or collect payments in certain states, a practice that also renders particular loans void, and made electronic withdrawals from consumers’ bank accounts and demanded payments by phone or in writing.

Just three weeks ago, The National Law Review  reported that Think Finance filed for bankruptcy protection and now speculates that it “may not have the resources to defend itself in this action.”

The CFPB seeks monetary relief for consumers, civil money penalties, injunctive relief and to prohibit Think Finance from collecting on void loans, according to the complaint. The CFPB’s complaint is not a finding or ruling that the company or individual has actually violated the law.

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