CFPB Distributes $384 Million to Consumers Deceived by Think Finance

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced the distribution of over $384 million to approximately 191,000 consumers harmed by Think Finance, a Texas-based online lender. This payout comes through the CFPB’s victims relief fund, offering financial redress to those deceived into repaying loans they did not owe.

Think Finance operated by misrepresenting debts to consumers, leading them to believe they owed money on loans that were actually void under state laws. These laws govern interest rate caps and licensing requirements for lenders. The company took unauthorized electronic withdrawals from consumers’ bank accounts and sent letters demanding payment for non-existent debts.

In November 2017, the CFPB filed a lawsuit against Think Finance, alleging deceptive practices. The company’s actions included collecting on illegal loans and misleading consumers about their financial obligations. The lawsuit highlighted how Think Finance’s practices violated several consumer protection laws.

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra emphasized the importance of the victims relief fund, saying, “Too often, victims of financial crimes are left without recourse even when the companies that harm them are stopped by law enforcement. The victims relief fund allows the CFPB to help consumers even when bad actors have squandered their ill-gotten profits.”

Supporting Consumers: The CFPB’s Fight Against Financial Injustice

The victims relief fund, also known as the Civil Penalty Fund, is designed to assist consumers who have been wronged by financial scams, frauds, and other illegal activities. Since its inception, the fund has distributed more than $1 billion to affected consumers. This fund operates separately from the monetary compensation that lawbreakers are ordered to pay directly to their victims.

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The $384 million distribution to consumers harmed by Think Finance is part of the CFPB’s efforts to make these individuals whole again. This significant payout aims to alleviate the financial damage caused by the company’s illegal practices.

For the consumers who were tricked into repaying non-existent debts, this financial redress offers a measure of justice. It provides a tangible remedy for the economic harm they suffered and serves as a reminder of the importance of regulatory oversight in protecting consumers from predatory practices.

The implications of this distribution extend beyond individual relief. It reinforces the role of the CFPB in safeguarding consumer rights and ensuring accountability for financial institutions. By utilizing the victims relief fund, the CFPB demonstrates its commitment to addressing the broader impacts of financial misconduct.

As financial crimes continue to affect consumers, the existence of a robust mechanism like the victims relief fund becomes crucial. It ensures that even when perpetrators cannot compensate their victims, there is still a path to restitution. For the nearly 200,000 consumers affected by Think Finance, this distribution marks a critical step towards recovering from the deception they endured.

In summary, the CFPB’s recent action against Think Finance and the subsequent distribution of $384 million highlight the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers and provide remedies for financial harm. This case serves as a significant example of how regulatory bodies can intervene to correct injustices and support those most affected by corporate wrongdoing.

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