"Mr. Holland is an exceptional attorney and his knowledge and dedication is unsurpassed."
About the Firm
Our focus is on Maryland and federal consumer protection law and litigation, with a special focus on debt collection abuse and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You came to the right website if you are (1) a consumer looking to consult with or hire a consumer protection lawyer in Maryland; (2) a lawyer looking for advice, co-counsel or formal mentoring; or (3) a journalist with a media inquiry
Holland Law Firm Attorneys
Peter Holland is recognized as a national authority on consumer protection law, with a special emphasis on debt buyer lawsuits. Prior to his return to full time private practice, he ran the Consumer Protection Clinic at the University of Maryland Law School for 5 years, where he published several groundbreaking articles, and trained law students and pro bono lawyers in debt defense and consumer protection litigation.
Emanwel J. Turnbull is from the United Kingdom, where he earned his law degree at St Hugh’s College, Oxford University and a post-graduate diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law in London. In 2011, Emanwel was among the first students to enroll in the University of Maryland School of Law’s graduate program, where he focused his studies on Consumer Law.
Testimonials of Holland Law Firm
Enforcement Actions And Lawsuits Against Banks, Finance Companies, Debt Buyers, Debt Collectors, Mortgage Servicers, and Credit Reporting Agencies.
ACE Cash Express is a national payday lender with physical store fronts in many states.
7/10/2014: CFPB Consent Order: ACE and debt collectors engaged in illegal debt collection tactics including misleading consumers about fees, excessive calls, calls to known wrong numbers and telling third parties about the consumers’ financial affairs. ACE paid $5 million to consumers and a $5 million fine.
10/1/2012 – CFPB Consent Order: American Express Centurion Bank made false representations to consumers about bonuses on credit card, settlement of credit card debts, charged excessive late fees and illegally discriminated against younger consumers. Amex agreed to pay $7.8 million in fines and repay money to consumers. American Express Travel Related Services and American Express Bank were disciplined in related orders.
Palisades Acquisitions XVI LLC (and similarly named companies) and Palisades Collections, LLC are subsidiaries of Asta Funding, a publicly traded company.
4/15/2015 – New York A-G action: Asta filed suits past the statute of limitations and obtained judgment in New York. Asta was required to vacate $1.7 million in judgments and pay $100,000 in fines.
Bank of America is a national bank, subject to OCC regulation. BoA services its credit card accounts through an affiliate – FIA Card Services.
3/23/2017: Private Lawsuit: BoA must pay $45 million in punitive damages and over $1 million in actual damages to a California couple. BoA illegally foreclosed on their house in violation of the automatic bankruptcy stay, took more than 6 months to rescind the illegal foreclosure, then failed to tell the couple about the rescission. BoA then expected the couple to pay numerous costs arising from its violation of the automatic stay.
5/29/2015: OCC Consent Order: BoA was fined $30 million by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The OCC found that BoA violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and filed affidavits executed by its employees which claimed to be made on personal knowledge, or on a review of books and records, when they were not based on any such knowledge or review.
4/9/2014: CFPB Consent Order: The CFPB found that BoA had engage in deceptive marketing of credit card add-on products. BoA was ordered to pay $727 million in consumer relief by the CFPB. . The OCC fined BoA $25 million for the same actions.
9/2013: Private Lawsuit: BoA paid $32 million to settle a class action alleging that it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by making autodialed and pre-recorded debt collection calls and texts to cell phones.
Bridgepoint ran two for profit colleges and made private loans to students at those colleges.
9/12/2016: CFPB Consent Order: Bridgepoint misrepresented to students that they could repay their private student loans at $25 per month, in order to induce them to borrow from Bridgepoint. Bridgepoint made over $2m of loans and collected over $4m. Bridgepoint required to repay the money collected, abandon the outstanding balances and was fined $8m.
CACH, LLC was owned by SquareTwo Financial, an investment firm. In 2017, CACH and SquareTwo filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. A new “CACH” entity survives the bankruptcy with some assets transferred from the old CACH.
An unusually large number of CACH debt-buying agreements are available: 2007, 2009, April 2010, April 2010, September 2010, October 2010, May 2011, August 2011, March 2013, April 2013, May 2013, June 2013. Most are between CACH and BoA’s affiliate, FIA Card Services.
6/23/2011: Private Lawsuit: Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court found that CACH was unable to collect a debt where the original contract had been destroyed and the amount and existence of the debt were “supported only by assertion[s]” by a Bank of America official and CACH’s own employees.
3/4/2011: Private Lawsuit: A $250,000 punitive damages jury verdict against a Collect America affiliated law firm was upheld on appeal. The firm had sued on statute barred debt after Collect America incorrectly told them that the statute of limitation had been tolled due to a payment by the consumer.
10/15/2008: Nevada A-G action: A law firm working on behalf of CACH was ordered to cease and desist from collecting debts in Nevada for failure to be licensed, either to collect debts or practice law, within the state.
2/25/2002: South Carolina State Bar: an attorney operating a “Collect America” franchise – the Zenner Law Firm, was publicly reprimanded by the South Carolina Bar for misconduct by his debt collector employees.
Cash America is a payday lender. It is a subsidiary of Enova International. Cash America does business though various subsidiaries and trade names including CashNetUSA and Cashland Financial services.
1/23/2019 – CFPB Consent Order: the CFPB found that Enova debited consumers’ bank accounts without authorization from 2010-2018. Enova also failed to honor payment extensions on some existing accounts. Enova will pay $3.2 million in penalties, but nothing to consumers.
11/20/2013 – CFPB Consent Order: the CFPB examined Cash and Enova and found that they ran illegal collection operations in Ohio, in particular improperly notarizing documents and filing suits without meaningful attorney involvement. They also made loans to members of military in violation of the Military Lending Act’s rate cap. Enova also failed to cooperate with the CFPB’s examination. Cash and Evona were required to pay $8 million to consumers, in addition to sums they had already refunded.
CashCall is a privately owned non-bank finance company that specializes in lending money to people with bad credit.
9/31/2016: CFPB Lawsuit – A Federal District Court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the CFPB and denied summary judgment to CashCall. The CFPB sued CashCall and its affiliates for violating state usury laws by making loans through Western Sky Financial, a lender located on a Federal Indian Reservation. The suit continues.
6/23/2016: State Lawsuit – The Maryland Court of Appeals upheld the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation’s order prohibiting CashCall from illegally engaging in “credit services business” in Maryland. CashCall had used a “rent-a-bank” arrangement with two federally regulated banks in an attempt to avoid Maryland’s interest rate cap.
8/24/2009: California A-G Action – a Final Judgment was entered against CashCall in California State Court prohibiting CashCall from making false statement about interest rates. CashCall paid the A-G’s office $1,000,000 in penalties and costs.
Cavalry appears to be a complex web of related entities. Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC appears to be the servicer of accounts for other Cavalry entitles, typically Cavalry Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) followed by a number. A 2003 servicing agreement between Portfolio Services and SPV I is available. Cavalry Investments in the parent company of the group. As of 6/2/2015 there were 490 CFPB consumer complaints against Cavalry.
10/5/2015: Colorado A-G action: Cavalry fined $17,385 for violation for state FDCPA.
3/31/2015: Arizona Department of Financial Institutions action: Cavalry was fined $175,000 for failure to respond to consumer requests for validation of debts Cavalry sought to collect.
9/9/2011: Purchase Agreement: Cavalry purchased a portfolio of credit card debt from FIA Card Services (an affilicate of BoA). The purchase agreement contained various disclaimers, however key disclaimers in this document appear to be redacted.
6/2010: West Virginia A-G action; Cavalry was sued for collecting debts in the state without a license.
10/29/2008: Purchase Agreement: Cavalry purchased a portfolio of credit card debt from FIA Card Services (an affiliate of BoA). The purchase and sale agreement disclaimed representations as to the accuracy of any information provided, including balances, and as to compliance of the loans sold with federal or state law.
06/07/2002: Purchase Agreement: Cavalry purchased a portfolio of debt from Midfirst Bank. The purchase agreement disclaimed representations as to the accuracy of most information and documentation.
11/17/2016: Criminal Investigation Settled: JPMorgan agreed to pay $264m to the Department of Justice and federal regulators to resolve an investigation in bribery of forgein officials. JPMorgan was alleged to have hired the children of Chinese officials in ancilliary roles in order to get perferential treatment, as reporting by the New York Times.
1/4/2016 – OCC Consent Order: JPMorgan agreed to pay $48 million for violating the terms of a previous 2011 OCC Consent Order related to Chase’s “deficiencies and unsafe or unsound practices in residential mortgage servicing and in Chase’s initiation and handling of foreclosure proceedings.” In the 2016 Consent Order, the OCC found that Chase had again engaged in unsafe and unsound practices, and had violated the Bankruptcy Rules.
The specific unsafe and unsound practices enumerated in the January, 2016 Consent Order included the fact that “between December 1, 2011, and November 19, 2013, the Bank filed in United States Bankruptcy Courts:
(a) approximately 460 inaccurate Payment Change Notices (“PCNs”) that did not provide the borrower with the correct payment change amount or the correct date that the new payment change would go into effect;
(b) approximately 2,500 PCNs that were untimely under the Bankruptcy Rules;
(c) approximately 4,380 PCNs using the signature and Bankruptcy Court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing credentials (“ECF Credentials”) of an individual who no longer worked for the Bank at the time the PCNs were filed; and
(d) approximately 2,285 PCNs using the signature and ECF Credentials of a Bank employee who no longer worked in the Bank’s bankruptcy department at the time the PCNs were filed.”
11/2/2015 – California Attorney General action: Chase stipulated to judgment in a suit alleging that it violated SCRA, state FDCPA and other California laws, agreeing to $50 million in restitution and an additional $50 million in penalties and other payments to California.
7/8/2015 – National action: 47 Attorneys-General, the CFPB and OCC joined in a settlement with Chase. Chase to pay $50 million in refunds, $60 million in federal penalties and $107 million to the states, cease collecting on 528,000 accounts and reforms its debt-selling practices, in particular cease robo-signing, prohibit debt re-sale and cease selling inadequately documented accounts
March, 2015 – U.S. Trustee Program Settlement: Chase allegedly filed inaccurate notices and statements regarding mortgages in Bankruptcy cases. Chase paid more than $50 million.
December, 2013 – Mississippi Attorney General action: Chase was sued for “egregious” debt collection conduct, including robo-signing documents and inadequate record-keeping.
November, 2013 – National Settlement: Chase agreed to pay $13 billion to settle allegations related to its sale of mortgage backed securities prior to the Financial Crisis.
September, 2013 – OCC Consent Order: the OCC found that Chase produced affidavits that were improperly notarized, falsely claimed to be based on personal knowledge, or which contained financial errors in favor of Chase. The OCC imposed additional compliance measures on Chase.
September, 2013 – CFPB Consent Order: Chase was ordered to refund $309 million to 2.1 million consumers to whom it had charged illegal fees.
December, 2010 – Private Indemnity and Hold Harmless Agreement: Chase agreed to indemnify several debt buyers after it illegally added fees to 10,000 charged-off accounts before selling them.
December, 2009 – Chase sold a portfolio of judgments to DebtOne, LLC, disclaiming representations and warranties. Chase employee Linda Almonte, in a whistleblower suit against Chase alleged that Chase had committed fraud, because the pool of judgments sold included cases involving fraud and inaccurate records. Chase moved to dismiss on the grounds that its disclaimer of warranties meant the sale was not fraudulent.
A national bank with various subsidiaries.
1/23/2017: CFPB Consent Order: Citi subsidiary CitiMortgage gave consumers seeking relief from foreclosure the run-around, demanding that they provide dozens of forms and documents that were not needed by Citi and were irrelevant. CitiMortgage will pay $17m to consumers and $3m in fines. It must also stop any foreclosures that are pending where they obstructed foreclosure relief.
1/23/2017: CFPB Consent Order: Citi subsidiary CitiFinancial Servicing misled mortgage customers about the consequences of deferring payments, failed to cancel credit insurance when required and prematurely canceled credit insurance, made incorrect credit reports and hid foreclosure relief options from customers. CitiFinancial must pay $4.4m to consumers and $4.4m in fines.
2/23/2016: CFPB Consent Orders, 1, 2: Citibank sold accounts to debt buyers with inaccurate information and failed to forward payments made after sale to debt buyers. Citibank must pay $4.89 million to consumers and a $3 million fine. In a separate matter, lawyers for Citibank and some of its subsidiaries altered affidavits sworn by Citibank employees and filed them in New Jersey debt collection actions. Citibank vacated the judgments obtained in those cases and ceased collection. Citibank paid no additional fine.
7/21/2015 – CFPB and OCC Consent Orders: Citibank charged 8.8 million customers for debt cancellation and identity theft protection add on products on credit cards which customers did not want, or which were not in fact provided. Citibank is to pay at least $700 million.
8/4/2014 – Hawaii A-G Action: Hawaii settled a suit against Citi for improper marketting and sale of credit card add-on products. Citi paid $11.3 million.
12/2/2013 – Mississippi A-G Action: Mississippi sued Citi for deceptive marketing of add-on products and for charging consumers for products they did not agree to buy. Citi sought to remove the case to U.S. district court, but, on appeal, the case was sent back to Mississippi state courts. The Citi later settled the case.
3/29/2011 – OCC Consent Order: OCC found that Citibank had filed false affidavits in lawsuits and foreclosed without proper documentation.
2/28/2002 – A-G Action: 27 states including Maryland settled an action against Citibank regarding deceptive telemarketing of credit card add on products.
Clarity Services is a Credit Reporting Bureau.
12/3/2015: CFPB Consent Order: Clarity obtained at least 190,000 consumer reports without a permissible purpose in order to market its services to creditors. Clarity also failed to properly investigate consumer dispute about items on credit reports, including claims of fraud and identity theft. Clarity paid a $8 million fine.
Discover Bank is a large national bank. It is associated with Discover Products, Inc. and The Student Loan Corporation.
7/22/2015: CFPB Consent Order: Discover Bank failed to send certain private student loan borrowers IRS form 1098, showing tax deductible interest on student loans, unless the students specifically requested the form. Instead, students were directed to a website that showed they had no deductible interest if they had not requested from 1098. Discover also told student that payment was due even when loans were in deferment and made debt collection calls at prohibited times. Discover paid $16 million in consumer redress and a $2.5 million fine.
9/24/2012: Joint FDIC-CFPB Consent Order: Discover Bank used deceptive practices in marketting credit card “add-on” products such as credit monitoring and identity theft protection. Discover Bank’s telephone call scripts encouraged marketers to mislead customers about the nature of the products. Discover bank paid $200 million to consumers and $14 million in fines to the FDIC and CFPB.
DriveTime Automotive Group, Inc. is an Arizona-based used-card dealer and auto-loan financier. It often operates as a “buy-here, pay-here” dealer. It is associated with online retalier Carvana, finance companies DT Acceptance Corp. and GO Financial, and insurance and warranty company SilverRock Group.
11/19/2014: CFPB Consent Order: DriveTime made debt collection calls to consumers, wrong numbers, work numbers and consumers’ “references” despite being asked to stop. It also made reports to the Credit Reporting Agencies despite having reason to believe the reports were inaccurate. DriveTime was fined $8 million.
Equifax is one of the three major national credit reporting agencies.
1/3/2017: CFPB Consent Order: Equifax sold credit scores to consumers and falsely represented that those scores were the same scores normally used by lenders in making credit decisions. Equifax also deceptively marketed “free” trials of its credit scoring product which were in fact subscriptions to a monthly payment program. Equifax also illegally advertised its credit scoring products on pages accessed through AnnualCreditReport.com – the site allowing consumers to obtain the free credit report to which they are entitled by law. Equifax will pay $3.8m to consumers and a fine of $2.5m.
3/15/2013: FTC Complaint & Decision: Equifax gave consumer information about mortgage delinquencies to businesses that had no permissible purpose to access the information. The information was sued to market financial services to consumers in financial distress.
Experian is one of the three major national credit reporting agencies.
3/2/2017: CFPB Consent Order: Experian sold credit scores to consumers and falsely represented that those scores were the same scores normally used by lenders in making credit decisions. Experian also illegally advertised its credit scoring products on pages accessed through AnnualCreditReport.com – the site allowing consumers to obtain the free credit report to which they are entitled by law. Experian will pay a $3m fine to the CFPB.
EZCorp is a Texas-based payday lender with multiple subsidiaries under various names including EZPAWN and EZMONEY.
12/16/2015: CFPB Consent Order: EZCorp engaged in numerous illegal collection practices, including misleading consumers about their rights, making in person visits to consumers’ homes and employers, making false threats to sue and engaging in ACH splitting. ACH splitting – trying to withdraw funds in multiple smaller amounts after an initial electronic transaction failed – resulted in consumers paying addition fees for failed ACH transactions. EZCorp paid $7.5 million to consumers and a $3 million fine.
Faloni & Associates is a New Jersey law firm.
2/23/2016: CFPB Consent Order: Firm employees altered the dates and amounts of declarations executed by Citibank and used them in debt collection cases in New Jersey. The firm was fined $15,000 and required to vacate all the judgments obtained. See related order re Solomon & Solomon.
A multi-state debt collection law firm, in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. It is associated with Georgia Receivables, Inc., a debt buyer.
December 2015 – CFPB Consent Order: To resolve the July 2014 CFPB complaint, Hanna, agrees to pay $3.1 million in penalties and not to file or threaten to file collection lawsuits without first actually possessing and reviewing the documents to prove their case.
10/20/2015 – Colorado A-G action: Georgia Receivables was denied renewal of its collection license in Colorado for failing to disclose the CFPB’s action against Frederick J. Hanna, it’s Executive Director.
July 2014 – CFPB Lawsuit: Hanna alleged to be running an “assembly line” for lawsuits with no meaningful attorney review. Hanna’s motion to dismiss was denied in July 2015. Hanna’s motion to certify an interlocutory appeal from the denial of the motion to dismiss was denied in November 2015.
First Investors Financial Services Group (FIFS) is a Texas based auto-lender.
8/20/2014: CFPB Consent Order: FIFS systematically misreported consumer payment histories to the Credit Reporting Agencies. Despite discovering the problem, FIFS failed to fix it, or to stop reporting inaccurate information, for 9 months. FIFS paid a $2.75 million fine.
First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) is an Omaha based National Bank.
8/25/2016: CFPB Consent Order: FNBO sold “debt cancellation” add-on products to consumers using deceptive methods such as telling them that they were merely updating their account, or agreeing to receive information regarding products, rather than making a purchase. FNBO will pay $27.75 million to consumers and a $4.5 million penalty to the CFPB.
4/13/2016 – OCC Consent Order: HSBC sold customers a credit card add-on product, collected fees for it, took a share of the fees, but many customers never received the credit monitoring service they paid for. HSBC will pay a $35m penalty.
LVNV is a national debt buyer.
5/20/2016: Private Lawsuit: A jury in Baltimore, Maryland, awarded $38.6 million to a class of people sued by LVNV.
MasterCard International is a major international payment services provider: it acts as an intermediary between banks, customers and merchants.
2/1/2017: CFPB Consent Order: Mastercard took over processing for prepaid “RushCards” – a product of UniRush LLC – but the two companies failed to properly prepare for the switch to MasterCard, locking thousands out low-income customers out of their accounts and blocking their access to directly-deposited wages and federal benefits. Together, MasterCard and UniRush will pay $10 million to consumers and $3 million in fines.
Midland Funding, LLC and Midland Credit Management, LLC are subsidiaries of Encore Capital, a publicly traded company. As 6/2/2015, Midland had 4431 CFPB consumer complaints against it In 2013, Midland bought smaller debt buyer Asset Acceptance.
12/4/2018: Encore__Multi-State_AG_Settlement_12.04.2018 : 43 Attorneys General entered into a settlement agreement with Encore. The agreement largely follows the CFPB consent order of 2015. Encore will pay $6 million to the settling states.
9/9/2015: CFPB Consent Order: the CFPB ordered Encore to pay $42 million to consumers, pay a $10 million penalty and cease collecting on over $125 million in consumer debts. The CFPB found that Encore had engaged in deceptive debt collection tactics.
4/3/2015: New York City Dept. of Consumer Affairs: Midland Credit Management and affiliates settled allegations that they violated city laws for $670,000.
2/2/2015: Colorado A-G action: Midland Credit Management was fined $23,000 for violation of the state FDCPA.
1/9/2015: New York A-G action: Encore Capital was fined $675,000 by the New York Attorney General for filing collection suits on statute barred debts in New York State.
3/2012: West Virginia A-G action: Midland was sued by the West Virginia Attorney general for filing affidavits falsely claiming personal knowledge.
12/15/2011: Minnesota A-G action: Midland Funding consented to a judgment in a suit by the Minnesota Attorney General for filing affidavits falsely claiming personal knowledge in collection actions in that state. The judgment required Midland to reform its practices, in particular regarding affidavits and verification of debts.
7/8/2011: Texas A-G action: Encore Capital was sued by the Texas Attorney General for filing affidavits falsely claiming personal knowledge in Texas collection lawsuits. The suit was settled on undisclosed terms in December 2011.
10/21/2011: Private Lawsuit: Midland entities settled allegations (later rejected on appeal as being insufficient) of robosigning affidavits, which falsely claimed personal knowledge. A new settlement in this case was finally affirmed in July 2016.
Moneytree is a large online payday lender.
12/16/2016: CFPB Consent Order: Moneytree engaged in deceptive advertising, illegally threatened to repossess vehicles which were not used to secure loans and withdrew money from consumers accounts without authorization. Moneytree was required to pay $225,000 to victims and a $250,000 fine.
NCSLT is a group of 15 Delaware trusts, involved in the collection of private student loans, through various servicers.
9/17/2017: CFPB Consent Order: NCSLT was found to have used false affidavits to collect debt. Its notaries also illegally notarized affidavits without seeing them signed. NCSLT sued on debts past the statute of limitations and without the intention of proving its claims if they were opposed. NCSLT was ordered to stop its illegal practices, audit 800,000 loans, pay at least $3.5m to consumers and pay fines and penalties totaling $18.1m
Nationstar Mortgage is a large, national mortgage servicing company with various subsidiaries and trading names including Solutionstar and Xome. In 2017, Nationstar re-branded itself as “Mr Cooper”.
4/11/2018 – Consent Order: The New York Department of Financial Services found that Nationstar had failed to adequately plan for the risks created by its rapid expansion, failed to send required pre-foreclosure notices, submit required reports to the Department, from 2011 to 2014. The department also found failures in Nationstar’s mortgage origination process. Nationstar agreed to pay a $5,000,000 penalty, and to donate $5,000,000 to non-profit organizations for the rehabilitation of low-cost housing.
11/9/2015 – Class Action: Nationstar settled allegations that it cheated consumers by charging them for expensive “force-placed” property insurance if the consumers did not have insurance, so that Nationstar could receive kickbacks from its chosen insurer. Nationstar agreed to pay back 12.5% of the force-placed insurance premiums.
10/14/2015 – Class Action: Nationstar is in the process of settling a class action alleging that it robo-called both customers and non-customers in violation of the TCPA. The settlement fund is likely to be $12 million. The settlement has not been finally approved and notice has not been made to the class, as of 1/11/2016.
10/3/2014 – Court Order: Nationstar was found to have willfully violated the discharge injunction by a bankruptcy court in Ohio.
6/6/2014 – Court Order: Nationstar was sanctioned $10,000 for violating the automatic stay in a bankruptcy case in New York.
9/12/2013 – Press: Nationstar admitted that it foreclosed on a house even though the owners were not behind on their mortgage modification. The sale was rescinded following press enquiries.
8/30/2012 – Oregon Consent Order: The Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services examined Nationstar and found “deficiencies in criminal background checks, unlicensed loan originator activity . . . and various Truth in Lending Act disclosure violations”
11/30/2011 – Massachusetts Consent Order: The Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks ordered Nationstar to pay a $25,000 fine for violations of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
3/29/2010 – New Jersey Consent Order: Nationstar Mortgage, trading as Champion Mortgage, paid a $2,000 and agreed to cap its origination fees for second mortgages.
1/15/2008 – Arizona Consent Order: The Arizona Superintendent of Financial Institutions found that Nationstar violated various licensing and disclosure laws.
Navy Federal is a large federal credit union operating nationally.
10/11/2016: CFPB Consent Order: Navy FCU threatened consumers with legal action it did not actually plan to take, in 97% of cases. Navy FCU illegally threatened to tell service members’ commanding officers about their debts. Navy FCU will pay $23m to victims and a $5.5m fine.
Naviant is a large federal student loan servicer retained by the Department of Education to manage and collect student loans.
1/18/2017: CFPB Lawsuit: Naviant misapplied payments, steered consumers to pay more than they had to, obscured information necessary for consumers to reduce their payments, wrongly prevented paying consumers from having their co-signors released. Naviant also falsely reported that disabled servicemembers and veterans were in default, when their loans had been forgiven, damaging their credit ratings.
Often called the largest debt collector in the world, as of 2011 (see Linda Todd v. NCO Financial Systems, Inc., 1:11-cv-07352), NCO was majority owned by JP Morgan Chase.
July 2013 – FTC consent Order: NCO repeatedly made collection calls to the wrong people; left voicemails on third-party phones alleging money was owed. NCO ordered to pay $3.2 million and enter into a permanent injunction.
August 2012 – Private lawsuit: NCO sued by a restaurant chain after harassing calls to one of its employees at work.
February 2012 – Minnesota Commerce Department Settlement: NCO hired convicted felons as debt collectors; fined $250,000.
February 2012 – Multi-state settlement: 19 state A-Gs settled with NCO; NCO to pay $1.5 million
December 2008 – Texas A-G Settlement: NCO made harassing and threatening phone calls; paid $400,000.
May 2004 – FTC Consent Order: NCO “re-aged” debts so that they stayed longer on credit reports; NCO paid $1.5 million.
New Century Financial Services, Inc. is a closely-held, New Jersey based debt buyer.
4/25/2016: CFPB Consent Order: New Century hired attorneys to collect debts by filing suit, but failed to provide attorneys with account level documentation of the debts and knew its attorneys filed suit without meaningful review. New Century must pay $1,500,000 in civil penalties to the CFPB.
Ocwen Loan Servicing is a national mortgage servicer specializing in the servicing of defaulted mortgages and is based in Florida. It is owned by Ocwen Financial. Ocwen has a number of associated companies, Home Loan Servicing Solutions (another servicer), Altisource Portfolio Services (a default management business), Altisource Residential Corp (an investor in distressed residential properties) and Altisource Asset Management Corp (providing management services to Altisource Residential).
2/23/2018 – Maryland State Regulator Settlement: Maryland’s Commissioner of Financial Regulation reached a settlement with Ocwen, requiring $273,500 compensation to consumers for certain misconduct, a civil penalty of $500,000, and most importantly, requiring Ocwen to stop using its defective REALServicing software.
4/20/2017 – State Regulatory Orders: 22 state regulators issued cease and desist orders to Ocwen, prohibiting Ocwen from acquiring new mortgage servicing rights, due to its failure to properly handle escrow accounts. The actions were coordinated between the states. North Carolina made the announcement. Maryland was a participating state.
4/20/2017 – CFPB Lawsuit: The CFPB sued Ocwen and its subsidiaries for relying on an error-ridden computer system that frequently contain inaccurate information about consumer’s mortgage’s. Ocwen’s own executives repeatedly complained about the system. Nevertheless, Ocwen continued to use it, leading it to misapply payments, miscalculate escrow, mishandle insurance, make false credit reports, give false information to subsequent servicers and engage in unlawful foreclosures.
2/22/2016 -SEC Consent Order: Ocwen was ordered to pay $2 million penalty for misstated financials and failing to prevent the conflicts of interests that led its Chairman, Erby to step down in late 2014.
3/24/2015 – Press: Ocwen sold more than $25 billion in loans to Nationstar.
3/3/2015 – Press: More than $1 billion in mortgage servicing rights were sold by Ocwen affiliate Altisource to third-parties.
1/23/2015 – Press: An investor in loans serviced by Ocwen accused Owen of violating various aspects of its servicing agreement, arising from the New York Department of Financial Services settlement in December 2014.
1/23/2015 – California Consent Order: The California Department of Business Oversight fined Ocwen $2.5 million and prohibited Ocwen from buying new servicing rights to mortgages in California until it complied with the Department’s request for information. Ocwen had repeatedly failed to co-operate with the Department, which had begun proceedings to suspend Ocwen’s license.
12/19/2014 – New York Consent Order: The New York Department of Financial Services found that Ocwen had violate various provisions of a 2011 settlement with the Department, including:
- failing to confirm that it had the right to foreclose before starting foreclosure proceedings;
- failing to ensure its statements to the courts in foreclosure cases were true;
- dual tracking
The Department also criticized Ocwen’s “Inadequate and Ineffective” computer systems, and numerous conflicts of interests arising from Ocwen’s use of Altisource for certain services. Altisource was owned by the Executive Chairman of Ocwen.
The Executive Chairman, William Erby agreed to resign, as discussed in the press. Ocwen was ordered to pay $150 million in fines and restitution.
3/4/2014 – Nationwide Consent Judgment: Ocwen consented to judgment in an action brought by the CFPB and 49 States. Ocwen was ordered to spend $2 billion on relief for homeowners facing foreclosure and pay $125 million in redress to homeowners who were wrongfully foreclosed on. The investigations of the CFPB and the States found that Ocwen engaged in rob signing court documents, misled consumers about their options to avoid foreclosure and made servicing errors that forced some people into foreclosure unnecessarily.
12/5/2012 – New York Consent Order: the New York Department of Financial Services found that Ocwen had been violating the 2011 agreement about its mortgage servicing practices and appointed an independent monitor to conduct a compliance review.
12/15/2011 – New York Agreement: Ocwen and the New York Department of Financial Services entered into an agreement on mortgage servicing practice.
Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC is a subsidiary of Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc., a publicly traded company.
9/8/2015: CFPB Consent Order: PRA was fined $8 million, and required to pay $19 million and cease collection of $8 million in debt for various violations of federal consumer protection law.
8/14/2015: Colorado A-G action: PRA was fined $19,000 for violating the state’s version of the FDCPA.
5/15/2015: Private Lawsuit: A trial Jury in Missouri awarded compensatory and punitive damages of over $82 million against PRA after it sued her for someone else’s debt, despite having been told over a period of months that they had the wrong person. The trial court overruled PRA’s motion attacking the size of the award.
5/8/2014: New York A-G action: PRA was fined $300,000 by the New York Attorney General for filing collection suits on time barred debts in New York State. PRA was required to vacate over 2,000 judgments obtained between 2008 and 2014.
12/31/2010: The Wall Street Journal reported that PRA had been using affidavits signed in the name of the deceased “Martha Kunkle” for years. Although Kunkle died in 1995, and PRA decided to stop using affidavits signed in her name in 2008, such affidavits were still in use when the Journal investigated. PRA blamed employees of Providian Bank for writing the fraudulent affidavits.
8/18/2009: Missouri A-G action: PRA was sued by the Missouri Attorney General for attempting to collect debts not owed.
Pressler & Pressler LLP is a New Jersey-based collection law firm.
4/25/2016: CFPB Consent Order: Pressler & Pressler operated a collection-mill type operation, threatening to file and filing suit without substantial attorney involvement and without reviewing documentation supporting alleged debt. The firm must pay $1,000,000 civil penalty to CFPB.
6/30/2014: Bock v. Pressler & Pressler (US District Court, NJ): Consumer’s suit against Pressler & Pressler was allowed to proceed. Pressler’s attorney took 4 seconds to review the complaint against Bock before filing, and was therefore not meaningfully involved, in violation of FDCPA.
Prospect is a California-based mortgage lender.
1/31/2017: CFPB Consent Order: Prospect Mortgage paid brokers and realty companies to steer consumers towards Prospect over other lender. With Prospect’s encouragement, these companies paid realtors for steering customers, using tactics such as requiring pre-approval with Prospect. Prospect must pay $3.5 million in fines and the brokers and Prospect’s mortgage servicer, Planet Home Finance, will pay $495,000 to consumers.
Santander is a multinational bank based in Spain.
SNAAC is an auto-lender specializing in lending to military families.
10/28/2015: CFPB Consent Order: SNAAC threatened to and actually did tell military consumers’ commanding officers about their debts and misrepresented the consequences of being delinquent and SNAAC’s intention to sue to recover debts. SNAAC paid $2.27 million to consumers and a $1 million fine.
Solomon & Solomon is a New York law firm.
2/23/2016: CFPB Consent Order: Firm employees altered the dates and amounts of declarations executed by Citibank and used them in debt collection cases in New Jersey. The firm was fined $65,000 and required to vacate all the judgments obtained. See related order re Faloni & Associates.
Sterling Jewelers is a national jewellery chain headquartered in Ohio, and subsidiary of UK firm Signet Jewelers.
2/7/2019 – CFPB Consent Judgment – Sterling misrepresented financial terms, submitted credit card applications without permission and enrolled consumers in payment protection insurance without consent. Sterling will pay $10m to the CFPB and $1m to New York State authorities, but consumers will not get their money back.
Synchrony Bank is a large national bank, formerly GE Capital.
6/19/2014 – CFPB Consent Order: Synchrony deceptively marketed debt cancellation add-on products to consumers and illegally discriminated on the basis of national origin by not extending the same offers to Spanish-speaking consumers that it did to similar English-speaking consumers. Synchrony was required to pay $34 million in redress to consumers
Syndicated Office Systems, LLC is a third party debt collector specializing in medical debt. It sometimes does business as Central Financial Control and is associated with Conifer Health Solutions, LLC.
6/18/2015: CFPB Consent Order: Syndicated Office Systems failed to timely respond to credit reporting disputes and failed to send the required Debt Validation Notice to consumers it tried to collect from. The company paid $5.1 million in redress and a $500,000 fine.
TCF is a Minnesota-based National Bank, with branches primarily in the Mid-West.
1/19/2017: CFPB Lawsuit: TCF relied heavily on overdraft revenue and sought to avoid the effects of the Opt-In requirement for overdrafts, introduced in 2009. TCF incentivized employees to “sell” overdraft opt-ins, hid fee information and achieved an opt-in three times the average for other banks.
TMX is an auto title lender based in Georgia, with operations in many states.
9/26/2016: CFPB Consent Order: TMX manipulated consumers into expensive pawn-shop loans in certain states, failing to disclose the total cost of the loan. TMX also illegally visited consumers homes in person and told third-parties about their debts in an attempt to collect. TMX was fined $9m.
TransUnion is one of the three major national credit reporting agencies.
1/3/2017: CFPB Consent Order: TransUnion sold credit scores to consumers and falsely represented that those scores were the same scores normally used by lenders in making credit decisions. TransUnion also deceptively marketed “free” or “$1” trials of its credit scoring product which were in fact subscriptions to a much more expensive monthly payment program. TransUnion must pay $13.9m to consumers and a fine of $3m.
UniRush, LLC provides prepaid cards to low-income individuals under the name “RushCard”. In 2017, UniRush was acquired by Green Dot Corporation.
2/1/2017: CFPB Consent Order: MasterCard took over processing for prepaid “RushCards” – a product of UniRush LLC – but the two companies failed to properly prepare for the switch to MasterCard, locking thousands out low-income customers out of their accounts and blocking their access to directly-deposited wages and federal benefits. Together, MasterCard and UniRush will pay $10 million to consumers and $3 million in fines.
USAA Federal Savings Bank is USAA’s banking subsidiary.
1/2/2019 – CFPB Consent Order – USAA violated the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) by failing to stop transfers and conduct proper error investigations. It also re-opened closed accounts without notice, from 2011 to 2016.
U.S. Bank is a large national bank based in Minneapolis, MN.
2/15/2018 OCC Consent Order: OCC found that US Bank violated the 2015 consent order regarding anti money-laundering provisions. US Bank agreed to pay $75 million.
4/25/2017: OCC Consent Order: OCC found that from 2009-2014, US Bank violated bankruptcy law by filing inaccurate proofs of claim, payment change notices, notice of final cure and post-petition mortgage fees, expenses and charges, as well as exposing confidential consumer information in its court filings. US Bank agreed to pay $29 million to consumers affected and $15 million to the OCC.
10/13/2015: OCC Consent Order: OCC found that US Bank failed to have adequate anti-money laundering procedures, and failed to file suspicious activity reports. US Bank agreed to fix its procedures.
9/25/2014: CFPB Consent Order: US Bank sold identity theft protection as a credit-card add-on product. However, many consumers never received the benefit of the product. U.S. Bank was ordered to pay $47.9 million in consumer redress and a $5 million fine.
6/26/2014: Justice Department Settlement: US Bank repeatedly certified to the Federal Housing Authority that mortgages it originated or underwrote complied with federal underwriting requirements, when they did not. This included failed to verify basic information like the employment or credit history of borrowers. US Bank agreed to pay $200 million.
3/31/2011: OCC Consent Order: OCC found that US Bank filed false affidavits in state courts, federal courts and local land records, in connection with its mortgage servicing business. US Bank agreed to stop its illegal behavior. The order was discharged in 2016. In 2017, US Bank was found to have violated the order.
Wells Fargo is a National Bank based in North Dakota
4/20/2018: CFPB Consent Order, OCC consent order – Wells Fargo improperly charged interest rate lock fees to prospective mortgage borrowers and charged for force placed insurance on hundreds of thousands of auto loans where the consumer already had their own insurance. Wells Fargo will pay $1bn in penalties.
9/8/2016: CFPB Consent Order – Wells Fargo employees, in an effort to earn incentives offered by Wells Fargo, opened 1.5 million bank accounts and 0.5 million credit card accounts between 2011 and 2015 without the people named as account holders’ authorization. Wells Fargo will repay everyone who lost money, pay $100 million to the CFPB, $30 million to the OCC and $50 million to Los Angeles, CA.
8/20/2016: CFPB Consent Order – Wells Fargo’s Educational Financial Services business wrongly charged late fees to student loan borrowers who were not late, failed to explain how it applied payments, so that consumers would not predict the consequences of partial payment, or make partial payments in a way that would minimize fees. Wells Fargo will repay $410,000 to consumers and pay a $3.6m fine.
Westlake is a sub-prime auto-loan servicer. Its subsidiary Wilshire Consumer Credit also makes auto loans.
9/30/2015: CFPB Consent Order: Westlake used a service called “Skip Tracey” to fake caller ID information to falsely present the impression that its internal collectors were calling from third parties. Westlake’s collectors lied to consumers about where they were calling from and made false threats of repossession, criminal charges and disclosure to third parties. Westlake also engaged in improper loan advertising. Westlake paid $25.7 million to consumers and a fine of $4.25 million.
Woodbridge Coins & Jewelry Exchange, Inc. trades as Woodbridge Gold & Pawn – a pawn shop in Woodbridge, VA.
2/2/2017: AG & CFPB Action: Woodbridge consented to judgment in an action by the Attorney General of Virginia and the CFPB. The complaint alleged that Woodbridge had understated the APRs on loans it made since mid-2014. Woodbridge will repaid $79,000 to consumer and pay a $5,000 fine.
Works & Lentz, Inc, and associated companies, are medical debt collectors.
1/9/2017: CFPB Consent Order: Works & Lentz misrepresented the level of attorney involvement in debt collection, by sending letters and calling consumers before any attorney had reviewed the account. Works & Lentz also illegal notarized affidavits from its clients without any evidence that the signatures were genuine. Works & Lentz will pay $557,135 to consumers and a fine of $78,800.