The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) won’t recommend taking enforcement action against loan servicer OppFi, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing Monday.
OppFi said the regulator notified the company that it had completed its investigation focused on whether the company’s practices violated the Military Lending Act (MLA).
OppFi disclosed the investigation, which stemmed from a consumer complaint, in March, ahead of a planned merger with FG New America Acquisition Corp., a blank-check company led by former TD Ameritrade chairman and CEO Joe Moglia.
The company, at the time, said it had already provided redress to customers who were affected and responded to the CFPB to "refute the number of affected consumers," American Banker reported.
"As a company, we have established strict lending practices and compliance standards," an OppFi spokesperson told the publication Monday in an emailed statement, adding that "we appreciate the ability to work with the CFPB to provide clarity, transparency and context to this matter."
The CFPB issued an interpretive rule in June, reasserting its authority to examine lenders for potential violations of the MLA, which caps at 36% the interest rate lenders can charge military borrowers on consumer loans. (OppFi does, however, offer installment loans with annual percentage rates above 36% to non-military borrowers.)
The regulator stopped conducting exams in 2018 under Trump-era Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, on the rationale that the law granted the CFPB enforcement authority but not supervisory authority. At issue was the lack of specific language in the MLA regarding supervisory authority. The CFPB in June said that omission doesn’t preclude examinations so much as leave room for them.
Without exams, the CFPB had been relegated to using formal investigations — such as the OppFi probe — to monitor MLA compliance. The bureau, in its June ruling, said that process leads to "wasteful inefficiencies."