The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has denied a petition from an auto title lender to modify or set aside a civil investigative demand looking into the company’s debt collection practices, among other areas of the business, as well as denied a petition for confidential treatment of the inquiry.
A copy of the ruling, which is the first time that CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio had ruled on a petition to modify or set aside a CID, is available by clicking here.
The title lender, TMX Finance, operates Titlemax, an auto title lending operation. Titlemax was involved in an enforcement action with the CFPB back in 2016 when it was fined $9 million to settle claims about its debt collection practices in 18 states. The company was accused of making “intrusive” visits to the homes and workplaces of individuals who did not repay their loans, among other claims.
In the CID, the CFPB said it was seeking to “determine whether consumer-lending companies or title-loan companies, in connection with the extension of credit, servicing of loans, processing of payments, or collection of debt, have made false or misleading representations or omissions to consumers, improperly contacted consumers or third parties, failed to provide disclosures to consumers, or extended credit to covered servicemembers or their dependents on prohibited terms or without the required disclosures.” The lender argued that the CID did not make it clear if it was the target of an inquiry for potential specific violations or if it was the “unlucky recipient of a civil investigative demand as part of an industry-wide sweep.” The actions being investigated by the CFPB, TMX argued, make up “the entirety of the company’s business.”
Even if that were the case, Uejio wrote in denying the petition, there is nothing wrong with the CFPB doing that. Uejio also set aside “various factual and legal objections” to the CID raised by TMX because they were made outside the window for such claims to be made.