Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ohio Law Firm Sued for Deceptive Debt Collection Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) is suing an Ohio law firm. The suit claims that Weltman, Weinber & Reis made collection calls and sent collection letters to millions of consumers stating that attorneys were involved in collecting the debt. The law firm created the allusion that attorneys had reviewed the files in detail, when that was not the case.
The letters stated that attorneys had reviewed the authenticity of the debt incurred by the consumers, including debt from credit cards, installment loan contracts, mortgages, and student loans.
CFPB said in a release, “typically, no attorney had reviewed any aspect of a consumer’s individual debt or accounts.”
The suit claims the law firm is in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law firm denies breaking any laws in its debt collection efforts.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Payday Lender Fined for Deceptive Ads and Collection Letters

Moneytree, a payday lender, has been fined for deceptive advertising and collection letters.   Moneytree is alleged to have misled consumers with its online ads regarding charges to cash income tax-refund checks.  Some of the ads stated 1.99, which led customers to believe it would cost $1.99, when in reality, it would cost 1.99% of the total refund.
Moneytree sent debt collection letters to consumers who were delinquent on their loans stating Moneytree would repossess their cars and trucks.  However, the consumers did not use their cars and trucks as collateral.  Once Moneytree realized its mistake, it sent letters telling consumers to disregard the letters, but 151 people had already made payments on their loans because of the letters.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Moneytree $250,000 for the violations.  An additional $255,000 was charged to Moneytree for refunds to the consumers affected by these errors.