CFPB settles with ISA provider on unfair practices
On September 7, the CFPB announced a settlement with a Virginia-based non-profit income share agreement (ISA) provider, and its affiliated companies, to resolve allegations that the company engaged in deceptive acts with respect to its ISAs product to finance postsecondary education, in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, among other things. The CFPB alleged that the company engaged in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices by misrepresenting that its ISAs are not loans and do not create debt, failing to provide certain required disclosures, and imposing unlawful prepayment penalties on private education loans.
Under the terms of the consent order, the company is required to: (i) cease stating that its ISAs are not loans or do not create debt for consumers; (ii) provide the disclosures required by the Truth in Lending Act and its implementing Regulation Z for closed-end credit; (iii) “continue their practice of not objecting to any discharge of a student’s ISA in bankruptcy”; and (iv) reform its ISA contracts to remove prepayment penalties on private education loans and, for some ISAs, recalculate the payment caps to eliminate the prepayment penalty. The order does not impose a civil money penalty.