A civil money penalty of $5 million was assessed against a South Carolina firm and subsidiaries for making improper in-person and telephone collection attempts on consumer installment loans and retail sales installment contracts, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) said Wednesday.
According to the agency, it reached a settlement with Security Group Inc., a South Carolina corporation, and its subsidiaries, Security Finance Corporation of Spartanburg and Professional Financial Services Corp. In a release, the BCFP said it found that the Security Group entities violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act by making improper in-person and telephonic collection attempts on consumer installment loans and retail sales installment contracts. The agency said that it found the improper attempts included physically preventing consumers from leaving their homes and visiting and calling consumers’ places of work while knowing that those contacts could endanger the consumers’ employment.
“The Bureau also found that the Security Group entities violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by regularly furnishing inaccurate and incomplete information about consumers to credit reporting agencies,” the agency said.
Under the terms of the consent order, Security Group and its subsidiaries are barred from certain collection practices, and must correct certain inaccurate information about consumers they furnished to credit reporting agencies – as well as pay the $5 million penalty.