Excessive and Misleadings Fees and Charges

CFPB Uncovers Illegal Junk Fees on Bank Accounts, Mortgages, and Student and Auto Loans

Many companies are updating practices and making consumers whole based on supervisory findings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a special edition of its Supervisory Highlights that reports on unlawful junk fees uncovered in deposit accounts and in multiple loan servicing markets, including in mortgage, student, and payday lending. These unlawful fees corrode family finances, force up families’ banking and borrowing costs, and are not easily avoided – even by financially savvy consumers. As described in the Supervisory Highlights, the CFPB continues rooting unlawful fees out of consumer financial markets.

“For years, junk fees have been creeping across the economy,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Our report describes a host of illegal junk fee practices that the CFPB has uncovered across the financial services sector.”

The CFPB’s examination and supervision program helps the agency identify illegal practices that are harming families, market competition, and law-abiding businesses. The CFPB publishes Supervisory Highlights reports to promote transparency and to stop potentially unlawful practices, as well as to help educate families, advocacy groups, and other law enforcement agencies about these practices.

The CFPB’s prior supervision work led the agency to issue guidance in October 2022, on the longstanding problem of surprise overdraft fees. As of today, after the CFPB’s focus on surprise overdrafts, at least 20 of the largest banks in the United States, which hold 62% of the volume of consumer deposit accounts subject to the CFPB’s supervisory authority, do not charge surprise overdraft fees. Additionally, banks that the CFPB has examined thus far will refund roughly $30 million to about 170,000 account holders who were assessed surprise overdraft fees.

This Supervisory Highlights special edition covers unlawful junk fees in the areas of bank account deposits, auto loan servicing, mortgage loan servicing, payday lending, and student loan servicing found during examinations between July 1, 2022, and February 1, 2023.

Deposit Accounts

CFPB examiners identified instances of depository institutions charging unlawful junk fees on consumer deposit accounts. Specifically, CFPB examiners found some financial institutions charged:

  • Surprise overdraft fees: Institutions assessed unfair overdraft fees by authorizing a debit that was made with a positive balance, but later charging an overdraft fee because of intervening transactions that were processed before the debit settled. Account holders could not reasonably avoid these surprise fees, irrespective of account disclosures.
  • Multiple non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees:  Institutions charged customers multiple NSF fees for a single item against an insufficient balance in the consumer’s account, potentially as soon as the next day. The institutions are making appropriate restitution to consumers. CFPB examiners have reviewed NSF fee assessment at numerous institutions, and a majority of those institutions have decided to forego NSF fees altogether.

Auto Loan Servicing

Last year, the CFPB issued compliance guidance to the auto loan servicing industry in response to identified practices that included the illegal seizure of cars, sloppy record keeping, unreliable balance statements, and ransom for personal property contained within repossessed vehicles.

In the last six months, CFPB examiners found illegal servicing practices, particularly around the charging of unlawful fees, including hitting car owners with:

  • Out-of-bounds and fake late fees: Servicers charged late fees that exceeded the permissible amounts stated in borrowers’ contracts. Servicers also charged late fees to consumers whose cars had been repossessed and their loans accelerated, which means that no payment was due that could have been subject to a late fee.
  • Inflated estimated repossession fees: Servicers, before returning vehicles to some consumers, charged inflated estimated repossession fees of $1,000. The average cost to repossess a vehicle is $350.
  • Pay-to-pay payment fees and kickback payments: After borrowers were locked into servicer relationships, some auto loan servicers charged payment processing fees for the most common payment methods that far exceeded servicers’ costs for processing payments. Payment processors collected the inflated fees, and the servicers then profited through kickbacks from the processors.

Phoenix Financial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investigation

CFPB Takes Action Against Phoenix Financial Services for Illegal Medical Debt Collection and Credit Reporting Practices

Debt collector attempted to collect on disputed debts using unlawful collection letters and misrepresentations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against medical debt collector Phoenix Financial Services (Phoenix) for numerous debt collection and credit reporting violations. In at least thousands of cases, Phoenix continued to attempt to collect on a debt that was not substantiated after a consumer disputed the validity of the debt. Today’s order requires Phoenix to pay redress to affected consumers, and pay a $1.675 million penalty to the CFPB’s victims relief fund.

“With medical debt looming over so many American families, we are taking action against companies seeking to illegally profit off patients,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Given widespread inaccuracies in medical billing and credit reporting, the CFPB will be working to ensure that patients are not coerced into paying debts that they do not owe.”

Phoenix is a third-party debt collector with its principal place of business in Indianapolis, Indiana. Phoenix collects primarily past-due medical debts, and furnishes information about consumers to consumer reporting companies. Between January 2017 and December 2020, Phoenix received approximately 54.4 million accounts with allegedly outstanding and owed debts from its clients for collection.

In a report published last year, the CFPB found that 43 million consumers had medical bills on their credit reports and that, all together, American families owed around $88 billion in medical bills. Medical debt affects people’s ability to access affordable credit, find quality housing, or even obtain a job. One of the findings from the CFPB’s research is that many consumers report that the medical tradelines on their credit reports are not accurate. When inaccurate or false information is furnished to consumer reporting companies, it can be a form of coercing patients and their families into paying medical bills and debts they do not owe.

The CFPB’s investigation found that Phoenix sent collection letters to consumers who had disputed the validity or accuracy of their purported debts, even though Phoenix had not obtained substantiation for the debts. Debt collectors are required to have a reasonable basis for asserting that a consumer owes a purported debt if a dispute is submitted.

Phoenix’s sending of unlawful debt collection letters risked harming consumers by pressuring or inducing them to pay debts they did not owe. In addition to sending the debt collection letters, Phoenix also furnished debt information to consumer reporting companies. Phoenix’s failure to conduct reasonable investigations of disputes likely resulted in many inaccuracies remaining on consumers’ credit reports, and harmed consumers in a number of ways, such as making credit more expensive or inaccessible.

Enforcement Action

Under the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the CFPB has the authority to take action against institutions violating federal consumer financial protection laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The CFPB found Phoenix violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and its implementing Regulation V by not conducting reasonable investigations of consumer disputes or having reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of the information it furnished to consumer reporting companies. Phoenix also violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by using false and deceptive means to collect debts, and by not ceasing collection of a debt upon notification by the consumer of a disputed debt collection claim.

One Main Financial Claims and Defenses

CFPB Orders Installment Lender OneMain to Pay $20 Million for Deceptive Sales Practices Lender pushed employees to hit sales targets and illegally withheld refunds

MAY 31, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ordered installment lender OneMain Financial to pay $20 million in redress and penalties for failing to refund interest charged to 25,000 customers who cancelled purchases within a purported “full refund period,” and for deceiving borrowers about needing to purchase add-on products to receive a loan. OneMain will pay $10 million in refunds to consumers it harmed, and an additional $10 million penalty to the CFPB’s victims relief fund.

“OneMain pressured its employees to load up its loans with extra charges through false promises of easy cancellation with full refunds,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “We are ordering OneMain to refund borrowers it cheated and to clean up its business practices.”

2019 Ram 1500 Active Grill Shutter Problems: A Guide for Compensation Seekers

The 2019 RAM 1500 is renowned for its toughness and capabilities, but some owners have encountered frustrating issues with the active grill shutter system, resulting in poor engine performance.



If you’re facing problems with your 2019 Ram 1500’s active grill shutter, you’re not alone. Our lemon law blog provides valuable information on the known problems associated with the Dodge Ram 1500 Active Grill Shutter. Discover the details below to understand the issues and learn how you can seek compensation.


Understanding the 2019 Ram Active Grill Shutter Problems

The active grill shutter is a device installed behind the front grille of a vehicle to regulate airflow and enhance fuel efficiency. However, many 2019 Ram 1500 owners have reported the following problems:

  1. Decreased Engine Performance: The shutter’s closed position restricts airflow to the engine, causing it to run poorly or even stall. This can be particularly dangerous in heavy traffic or at high speeds.
  2. Decreased Cooling Performance: Active grill shutters assist in cooling the engine by controlling airflow through the radiator. When the shutter remains closed, it can lead to engine overheating and potential damage.
  3. Shutter Stuck Open: Some owners have experienced issues with the shutter getting stuck in the open position, allowing excessive airflow to the engine. This can result in engine stalling or poor performance.
  4. Fuel Efficiency Problems: A malfunctioning active grill shutter can affect fuel efficiency by restricting airflow to the engine, leading to higher fuel costs for owners of the 2019 RAM 1500.
  5. Active Grill Shutter Software Problems: The root cause of these issues is often linked to the control system of the active grill shutter. Software or actuator problems have been reported, causing the shutter to get stuck in either the closed or open position.


Seeking Compensation for 2019 Ram 1500 Active Grill Shutter Problems

If your 2019 Ram 1500 is experiencing active grill shutter problems, you may be entitled to lemon law relief. Thousands of consumers are compensated each year by automobile manufacturers for similar issues. Our Lemon Law Attorneys specialize in helping drivers like you obtain the compensation they deserve.

Don’t let the active grill shutter problems disrupt your ownership experience. Contact our team today for a free consultation to discuss your case. Our dedicated attorneys will guide you through the legal process, striving to secure a refund or cash settlement for your 2019 Ram 1500 active grill shutter problems.


Get the Compensation You Deserve – Call Now!

Take action today and contact us at (973) 598-1980 for free help with your 2019 Ram 1500 active grill shutter problems. Our experienced Lemon Law Attorneys are here to assist you and provide the necessary support to navigate the compensation-seeking process.

Remember, at our law firm, we are committed to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive fair treatment. Reach out to us now and let us fight for the resolution you deserve!


Source: 2019 Ram 1500 Active Grill Shutter Problems: What You Need to Know | MyLemon



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Resolving Ram eTorque Problems: Your Path to Compensation

Ram eTorque

Resolving Ram eTorque Problems: Your Path to Compensation

If you’re a Ram owner who opted for the innovative eTorque hybrid system in your Ram 1500, you may have experienced some of the known Ram eTorque problems. While the eTorque system aims to enhance fuel efficiency and performance, it’s important to address the specific issues that can arise.


In this article, we’ll delve into the top reported Ram eTorque problems and how our experienced attorneys can assist you in seeking compensation through lemon law protection.


  1. Ram Battery Drain: A common concern among Ram eTorque owners is the rapid depletion of the 12-volt battery, leading to system shutdown or improper functionality. In some instances, battery replacement may be necessary to resolve this issue.


  1. Electric Motor Issues: Customers have reported problems with the electric motor, ranging from loud noises to complete malfunctions. When the electric motor is defective, it can cause the eTorque system to fail, requiring the system to be replaced.


  1. Software Issues with Ram eTorque: Several reports have highlighted problems with the software controlling the Ram eTorque system. Owners have observed improper functioning or a lack of expected fuel efficiency benefits. In such cases, a software update may be necessary to rectify these issues.


  1. Cold Weather Problems: The eTorque system has been known to experience difficulties in cold temperatures, including insufficient battery charging. If you’ve faced challenges with your Ram eTorque during chilly weather, it’s crucial to address this concern.


  1. Abrupt Engine Shut-Off: RAM 1500 owners equipped with eTorque have reported sudden engine shut-offs, occurring regardless of driving speed. This issue is especially prevalent during turns, resulting in low engine speed and automatic activation of adaptive cruise control (ACC).


  1. Ram eTorque Battery Recharging Issues: Numerous Ram customers have encountered difficulties with their batteries not recharging properly. This problem can impact the overall performance and reliability of the eTorque system.


  1. eTorque Not Turning Off: Some Ram owners have expressed frustration when the eTorque system fails to turn off after shutting down the vehicle. This ongoing operation can cause inconvenience and potential battery drainage.


If you own a Ram model from 2019, 2020, 2021, or 2022 and have experienced any of these eTorque problems, you may be eligible for lemon law relief. Our experienced attorneys possess in-depth knowledge of the Ram eTorque issues and can provide invaluable guidance regarding your lemon law rights. We are committed to offering free lemon law help and will advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.


Contact our dedicated team today to discuss your Ram eTorque case and take the first step toward resolving your vehicle problems. We are here to support you throughout the process and fight for your rights. Call us now at (973) 598-1980 for a complimentary consultation and let us help you secure the compensation you are entitled to.


Source: Ram eTorque Problems: A Closer Look at the Known Issues | MyLemon


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