PYMNTS Daily Data Dive: Navy Federal Credit Union Threatened Members

The Navy Federal Credit Union has been fined $28.5 million following civil charges that it threatened credit union members over debt collection, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The announcement was made on October 11, and a report by the CFPB found that the credit union restricted access when customers had delinquent loans. A large proportion of Navy Federal Credit Union members are active duty and retired military members, and it is the largest credit union in the U.S.

The credit union said to Reuters: “Where our collections practices have come up short in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s estimation, we have made all the necessary changes. We have cooperated with the CFPB throughout the process.” Most of the fines collected from the credit union will go to the members hurt by the credit union’s practices, many of who received letters sent between January 2013 and July 2015 and that falsely threatened legal action if customers did not pay. In some cases, the letters also threatened to garnish members’ wages.

Here are the data:

$77.8 billion | The amount of assets owned by Navy Federal Credit Union as of the end of June 2016

$28.5 million | The amount that the CFPB ordered Navy Federal Credit Union to pay in fines

$23 million | The amount of the fines that will go to consumers who suffered from the credit union’s practices

$5.5 million | The amount the Navy Federal Credit Union will pay in penalties

193,000 | The number of customers who received letters from Navy Federal Credit Union that threatened legal action if they did not pay, but only 5,000 lawsuits were filed to collect debt from members


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.

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