WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered high-cost online lender Enova International Inc. to pay a $15 million penalty “for widespread illegal conduct including withdrawing funds from customers’ bank accounts without their permission, making deceptive statements about loans, and canceling loan extensions.” Government watchdog Accountable.US’ ‘Defend American Consumers’ project has documented how Enova — dubbed a “repeat offender” by the CFPB — faced a $3.2 million fine in 2019 for “debiting consumer bank accounts without their authorization.” 

Enova sits on the board of Community Financial Services Association of America, the top trade group for the payday loan industry and plaintiff in the Supreme Court lawsuit challenging the CFPB’s authority and independence – a naked attempt to shutter the nation’s leading consumer advocate by subjecting its funding to political and corporate money obstruction in Congress. Accountable.US has found CFSA board member companies, and their affiliated subsidiaries and parent companies, have paid over $204 million in fines and restitution to federal and state regulators, while paying at least $3.4 million in settlements from class action lawsuits against them.

There’s no mystery why a predatory lender who’s been caught repeatedly deceiving consumers is trying to shut down the agency that holds them accountable for this exact kind of shady behavior. Getting busted for similar bad behavior before was apparently not enough to keep Enova from trying to rip off consumers again when they thought no one was looking.

Predatory lenders, big banks and lawmakers in their pocket are desperate to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because it works to protect consumers, lowers costs, and can’t be bought and paid for by special interests,” added Zelnick. “Financial industry CEOs and lobbyists want the agency out of the picture because without accountability, there’s nothing to stop them from bending or breaking the rules to pad their profits while nickel and diming American families. The Biden administration’s efforts to crack down on illegal industry practices and junk fees helps put money back in the pockets of everyday Americans, which is why predatory lenders and Big Bank CEOs are doing all they can to stop them.”

Liz Zelnick, Director of the Economic Security & Corporate Power Program at Accountable.US.
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