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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB sues software company for encouraging TSR violations

Federal Issues CFPB Enforcement Telemarketing Sales Rule CFPA

Federal Issues

On September 20, the CFPB filed a complaint against a California-based software company and its owner (collectively, “defendants”) for allegedly violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act by substantially assisting or supporting credit-repair businesses that charge unlawful advance fees to consumers. According to the Bureau, the defendants—who market and sell credit-repair business software and other tools to individuals looking to start their own businesses—encouraged these businesses to “charge unlawful advance fees” even though, under the TSR, companies that telemarket their services are prohibited from requesting or receiving fees from consumers until the company has provided consumers with a credit report showing the promised results have been achieved. The TSR also requires that the credit report be issued more than six months after such results have been achieved. The Bureau seeks consumer restitution, disgorgement, injunctive relief, and civil money penalties.