April 19: Recent CFPB Activities


CFPB Takes Action Against Coding Boot Camp BloomTech and CEO Austen Allred for Deceiving Students and Hiding Loan Costs

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an order against BloomTech and its CEO, Austen Allred, for deceiving students about the cost of loans and making false claims about graduates’ hiring rates. The CFPB found that BloomTech and Allred falsely told students the school’s “income share” agreement contracts were not loans, when in fact the agreements were loans carrying an average finance charge of around $4,000. BloomTech and Allred lured prospective enrollees with inflated promises of job-placement rates as high as 86 percent, when the company’s internal metrics showed placement rates closer to 50 percent and in some cases as low as 30 percent. The order permanently bans BloomTech from all consumer-lending activities and bans Allred from any student-lending activities for ten years. The CFPB is also ordering BloomTech and Allred to cease collecting payments on income share loans for graduates who did not have a qualifying job, eliminate finance changes for certain agreements, and allow students the option to withdraw without penalty. BloomTech and Allred must also pay over $164,000 in civil penalties, which will be deposited in the CFPB’s victims relief fund.


CFPB Updates Supervision Designation Procedures

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a procedural rule to update how the agency designates a nonbank for supervision. The updates will streamline the designation proceedings for both the CFPB and nonbanks.

The CFPB examines financial institutions, including many nonbanks, for compliance with federal consumer financial protection law. The examinations can help identify issues before they become systemic or cause significant harm. As with other supervisory agencies, CFPB examinations are confidential. The CFPB periodically publishes Supervisory Highlights, which share summaries of exam findings without naming specific institutions.

In 2013, the CFPB issued procedures to govern nonbank supervisory designation proceedings. In 2022, the CFPB announced that it would begin to make active use of the supervisory designation authority. The CFPB initiated its first round of supervisory designation proceedings under the procedures in 2023.

The updated process published today reflects changes to the CFPB’s organizational structure and is informed by the CFPB’s experience with the first round of supervisory designation proceedings.

Read the procedural rule.


Ensuring servicemembers can protect themselves from unlawful financial practices

The CFPB and DOJ filed an amicus brief to help ensure that servicemembers can file lawsuits to enforce the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act was passed by Congress to enable servicemembers to devote themselves to the defense of the Nation by providing them key protections. This law’s important provisions include the right to reduced interest on certain loans and shielding servicemembers from foreclosure while they are serving the nation.

In an ongoing case, Citibank has been sued by servicemembers on behalf of themselves and a class of similarly situated people who claim that the bank violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Four servicemembers say that Citibank charged them and many other active duty servicemembers too much interest on their credit card debt during their military service. Rather than responding on the merits of the servicemembers’ claim, Citibank is fighting their ability even to bring a lawsuit. Citibank is arguing that the servicemembers’ credit-card agreements require them to arbitrate their class claims instead. Last year, a federal judge ruled that the servicemembers are in fact entitled to have their class claims heard in court. Citibank didn’t accept that decision, as it is now appealing the judge’s ruling. And a coalition of businesses — led by the Chamber of Commerce, American Bankers Association, and American Financial Services Association — have sided with Citibank against the group of servicemembers alleging that Citibank broke the law while they were serving their country.