WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) filed a lawsuit against DMB Financial, LLC (DMB). The Bureau alleges that DMB violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA) in connection with its debt-settlement and debt-relief services.
DMB, which has its principal place of business in Beverly, Massachusetts, offers to renegotiate, settle, or otherwise alter the terms of unsecured debts owed by consumers to creditors or debt collectors. The Bureau’s complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, seeks an injunction, as well as redress to consumers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and the imposition of civil money penalties.
The Bureau alleges that DMB engaged in abusive and deceptive acts or practices in violation of the TSR. These allegedly unlawful activities include requesting and receiving fees before it performed its promised services and before consumers started payments under any debt settlement. The Bureau also alleges that, after settling individual debts, DMB collected fees based on increased debt amounts after enrollment rather than the amount of each debt at the time of enrollment.
The Bureau alleges that DMB failed to disclose to consumers before enrollment when it would make a settlement offer to creditors or debt collectors. In addition, the Bureau alleges that DMB did not disclose the amount of money or the percentage of each outstanding debt the consumer had to accumulate before DMB would make a settlement offer. The Bureau alleges that DMB’s alleged TSR violations also constitute violations of the CFPA.
The Bureau further alleges that DMB misrepresented to consumers that it would not charge fees for its services until after it settled a debt and consumers made a payment under the settlement. The Bureau also alleges that DMB misrepresented in its contracts the debt amount that it would use to determine its fees.
The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has violated the law.
A copy of the complaint filed in federal district court in the District of Massachusetts is available at https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_dmb-financial-llc_complaint_2020-12.pdf.
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