CFPB Sues Credit Repair Firms Over Upfront Fees

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has filed a lawsuit against a credit repair firm, its subsidiaries and associates for asking customers to pay upfront fees, it announced Thursday (May 2).

The CFPB filed a complaint against PGX Holdings Inc. and subsidiaries Progrexion Marketing Inc., Progrexion Teleservices Inc., eFolks LLC and Inc.; and against John C. Heath, Attorney at Law PLLC, who does business as Lexington Law.

The lawsuit was filed in Utah and alleges “the defendants violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by requesting and receiving payment of prohibited upfront fees for their credit repair services.”

The rule states that companies can only charge fees for telemarketed credit repair help after they’ve given customers documentation that shows the promised results have been achieved.

“That documentation cannot be provided to consumers until more than six months after the results were achieved,” the bureau said. “The Bureau also alleges that Progrexion and its subsidiaries violated the TSR and the Consumer Financial Protection Act by making deceptive representations in its marketing, or by substantially assisting others in doing so.”

Progrexion and Heath have headquarters in Salt Lake City, and they do business across the whole United States.

Earlier this year, the CFPB settled with a handful of payday lenders over alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

The CFPB settled with payday lenders and officials of the companies located in Canada and Malta, according to a report in Marketwatch, which said the CFPB contended the companies told consumers they had to repay loans in states where the loans were running afoul of licensing and usury rules.

The loans violated the Credit Practices Act because they were conditioned on wage assignment clauses. The companies that settled with the CFPB include NDG Financial Corp., E-Care Contact Centers, Ltd., Blizzard Interactive Corp., New World Consolidated Lending Corp., New World Lenders Corp., Payroll Loans First Lenders Corp., New World RRSP Lenders Corp., Northway Financial Corp., Ltd. and Northway Broker, Ltd. The report noted that corporate officials Kimberly DeThomas, Jeremy Sabourin and William Wrixon were also part of the settlement.

The defendants are prohibited from offering, promoting, originating, servicing and collecting any consumer loans for people living in the U.S.