The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has asked for a court order to require DMB Financial to pay consumers at least $5.4 million over illegal fees and disclosure violations.
The agency requested a federal district court enter a final judgment and order against the debt settlement company over alleged violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Consumer Financial Protection Act.
In December 2020, the CFPB filed a lawsuit against DMB Financial in federal district court in Massachusetts alleging that the company had charged unlawful upfront fees before it performed its promised services, and before consumers began making payments under any debt settlement.
The order, if entered by the court, would impose a judgment of $7.7 million against DMB Financial, LLC, which would be suspended upon its paying consumers $5.4 million.
The order would also impose a nominal penalty of $1, due to the company’s financial circumstances, which would be paid into the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund. By requiring this payment, the order may make consumers eligible for additional relief in the future, although that determination has not yet been made, the bureau said.
“DMB Financial preyed on consumers who were struggling financially, charging millions of dollars in illegal upfront fees and hiding the true cost of its services,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “Charging upfront fees for debt settlement is a violation of federal law, and the CFPB will continue to act decisively when we see companies taking advantage of consumers in this way.”
Massachusetts-based DMB operates in at least 24 states, offering services to settle or renegotiate unsecured debt on behalf of consumers.