The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Tuesday (Sept. 12) that recent supervisory actions resulted in $14 million in relief to more than 104,000 consumers from January through June 2017.
In a press release detailing the CFPB’s Supervisory Highlights report, the government watchdog said that supervisory actions included banks that misled consumers about the fees associated with checking accounts and overdraft coverage, as well as credit card companies that deceived consumers about pay-by-phone charges. The CFPB also took action against auto lenders that had wrongly repossessed vehicles and debt collection agencies that didn’t communicate properly with the indebted consumers.
“The Bureau’s recent supervision work has returned $14 million to more than 100,000 consumers, and found companies deceiving consumers and violating the law,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a press release. “Through supervision, the CFPB is putting an end to practices that harm consumers and taking proactive steps to prevent future violations."
According to news from the CFPB, during 2017 the Bureau found that one or more institutions deceived consumers by inaccurately describing when checking account service fees would be waived. In one instance, the CFPB said that an institution told consumers it would waive the fees if certain qualifications were met, including making 10 or more payments from the checking account during a statement cycle when only debit card purchases and debit card payments qualified toward the fee waiver. According to the Bureau, one or more institutions also misrepresented opt-in deposit overdraft services as extending to consumer payments by check, recurring payments and electronic funds transfers through the Automated Clearing House payment network, when those transactions were not actually covered.
On the credit card account management front, the CFPB found that customer service representatives from at least one credit card company disclosed only costly pay-by-phone fees, while omitting mention of much cheaper payment options. It also found one or more auto lenders who were repossessing vehicles after the repossession was supposed to be cancelled. Some lenders wrongfully listed the account as delinquent, while in other cases customer service representatives did not cancel the repossession order even after borrowers had made sufficient payments for remittance.