Friday Means Fine-Day at BCFP

At the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, TGIF has a whole different meaning. And that means that reports of a settlement between the bureau and Santander Consumer USA Holdings that were reported yesterday are likely true and that the BCFP plans on announcing it today.

As someone who has religiously re-watched old episodes of “The West Wing,” I know that Friday is also known as “Take out the trash day.” It’s called that because fewer people watch the news on Friday night compared with other nights of the week and fewer people read the newspapers on Saturday compared with other days of the week. Friday is a good time to put out news that you don’t want people to really know about.

Here are the dates of the enforcement actions that the BCFP have announced since Mick Mulvaney took over as acting director:

  • April 20 – Wells Fargo
  • June 13 – Security Group
  • June 29 – Citibank
  • July 13 – National Credit Adjusters
  • July 19 – Triton Management Group
  • July 20 – TCF National Bank
  • August 10 – Hydra Group

Notice a pattern? Is it just a coincidence that five of the seven announcements have been made on a Friday? So yesterday, when media outlets started reporting a settlement between the BCFP and Santander had been reached, you could probably assume it to be true and expect the BCFP to announce it today.

Santander was accused of allowing borrowers to make interest-only payments on their car loans without fully explaining that doing so increases the costs associated with repaying the loan. The lender was also accused of not fully explaining how GAP (guaranteed asset protection) works.

Santander has agreed to pay a fine, according to the reports, but the size of the fine has not yet been disclosed.



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