The CFPB's First Three Actions Against the Credit Card Companies
October 5, 2012
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on October 1 its third significant enforcement action, against American Express. The new regulatory agency said the credit card company violated consumer protection laws "at every stage of the consumer experience, from marketing to enrollment to payment to debt collection." The CFPB found that American Express companies had told customers they would receive $300 for signing up with a certain program; charged illegally high late payment fees; used different credit ratings for customers based on age, a violation of federal lending laws; failed to fully report customer disputes to credit bureaus; and told customers that paying off old debt would improve their credit scores when, in fact, American Express was not reporting the payments at all. The enforcement ordered mandated that American Express end the illegal practices, repay $85 million to some 250,000 customers, and pay $27.5 million in civil penalties to various federal agencies.
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