The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken action against GreenSky, LLC for “enabling contractors and other merchants to take out loans on behalf of thousands of consumers who did not request or authorize them,” according to a statement from the Bureau.
The CFPB has issued a consent order against GreenSky requiring the company to refund or cancel up to $9 million in loans, pay a $2.5 million civil penalty, and implement new procedures to prevent future fraudulent loans.
CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio issued a statement claiming that GreenSky’s careless practices enabled its merchants to take advantage of vulnerable consumers who needed financial help without consumers’ consent:
“For consumers to wind up in debt to GreenSky for loans they never knew about is simply wrong. The CFPB will not stand for practices that allow conduct like this in the marketplace.”
GreenSky President Tim Kaliban issued the following statement regarding the CFPB action:
“We are exceedingly proud of our record of consumer advocacy and have already implemented many of the protocols and business practices called for by the agreement, which protocols and practices have been very well received by our merchants and will only serve to enhance our best-in-class merchant and consumer experience. The resolution of this matter also allows us to devote our full and undivided attention to growing and strengthening our business, which is built on a foundation of integrity and trust. We cooperated fully with the CFPB in connection with its inquiry and respect and value the important role it plays in regard to consumer protection.”
GreenSky, a non-bank institution headquartered in Atlanta, used merchants, primarily those providing home improvements, to promote and offer financing to customers before making on-the-spot lending decisions based on criteria provided by its partner banks. The CFPB states that some consumers complained that they never applied for a loan or even heard of GreenSky before receiving billing statements, collection letters, and calls from the company.