Collection Practices Guidance


On October 11, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a Consent Order under which Navy Federal Credit Union (Navy Federal) consented to issue $23 million in reimbursements to consumers and to pay an additional $5.5 million in civil money penalties. This action arose from various Navy Federal debt collection practices. While the facts are specific to Navy Federal and are only broadly outlined, the Consent Order offers lessons to all credit unions about various actions that the CFPB found unfair, deceptive or abusive. Although its examination authority is limited to institutions over $10 billion, the CFPB has authority to initiate investigations of smaller institutions and to recommend enforcement actions to the primary regulator. In addition, plaintiff's attorneys may use the CFPB's action to support state unlawful and deceptive practice claims for similar collection practices.
In this Alert, we examine the collection practices that the CFPB found unfair, deceptive or abusive and provide guidance on specific collection practices that may be relevant for credit unions.

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