A federal judge has denied a motion from Think Finance to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, alleging that the company illegally collected on loans that violated state usury laws.
Think Finance operated a platform that helped market and solicit small-dollar loans on behalf of a number of lenders that are owned by Native American tribes. The services provided by Think Finance included marketing, advertising, hosting websites, routing customer calls, training customer service agents to handle customer calls, monitoring employees, providing and maintaining a loan servicing platform, providing and maintaining loan origination software, identifying third party collection agencies, and facilitating the sale of delinquent accounts.
The company is accused of helping originate $35 million of loans and collect on $56 million of principal and interest payments by providing a platform for lenders to gouge consumers by charging higher-than-allowed interest rates or by making loans when it did not have a proper license to do so.
In arguing that the case should be dismissed, Think Finance attempted to persuade the judge using a number of different strategies, including arguing that the leadership structure of the BCFP is unconstitutional, that the BCFP can bring unfair, deceptive, abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) claims based on state law, that tribal leaders are indispensable parties, that the court lacks jurisdiction over the defendant, that the BCFP failed to state a claim in its complaint, and that the complaint is barred by a statute of limitations. The judge in the case, Judge Brian Morris, shot down each of the arguments in denying the motion to dismiss the case.
A copy of the ruling in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Think Finance can be accessed by clicking here.