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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Another district court dismisses PPP agent fee class action

Courts SBA CARES Act Covid-19 Class Action

Courts

On November 16, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued an order dismissing a putative class action against several large banks over whether agents providing consulting, legal, accounting, and tax preparation services are entitled to “agent fees” from lenders for helping businesses secure loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The agents argued that the banks received lender fees from the government and funded PPP loans for borrowers but failed to and refused to pay any agent fees. The court found, however, that the agents failed to allege facts sufficient to establish standing or to “inform any Defendant of its particular role in the alleged general harm,” and instead relied “merely on generalized, conclusory allegations.” While the court gave the agents 21 days to amend their complaint, it noted that “[b]ecause the CARES Act does not provide a private cause of action to recover agent fees absent an agreement between agent and lender, it appears unlikely that Plaintiffs can overcome the [identified] deficiencies.” The court’s decision follows decisions issued by other federal courts, which have also dismissed similar agent fee class actions (see InfoBytes here and here).

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