For the executives of Opportun Inc., it probably feels like Christmas in March. The company announced this week that it received a notification from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that it will not be pursuing an enforcement action against the company after opening an investigation into its legal collection practices.
Opportun, an online lender that caters to the Latino market, disclosed back in 2021 that it had received a Civil Investigative Demand from the CFPB about its lending and collection practices. Specifically, the Bureau wanted to know more about the company’s legal collection practices between 2019 and 2021 and the hardship treatments it offered its customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A year earlier, a published report had detailed that Opportun had filed “tens of thousands” of collection lawsuits against individuals with unpaid debts. The company dismissed all the pending lawsuits and committed to filing significantly fewer lawsuits going forward.
Collection lawsuits were a “mechanism of last resort” for the company, it said at the time, while sharing that it filed suits on 6% of the loans it originated and pursued judgments on 2% of its accounts.
In making the announcement about the end of the investigation, Opportun used the opportunity to remind everyone what it said at the outset of the investigation.
“As it has maintained throughout its engagement with the CFPB on this matter, the Company continues to believe that its business practices have been in full compliance with applicable laws,” Opportun said in a release. The release did not detail the specifics of the CFPB’s investigation (would you have expected it to?).