Bureau seeks to ban firm for alleged deceptive debt relief, credit repair services

Charging deceptive debt relief and credit repair services, a Maryland-based financial firm faces a lawsuit by the federal consumer financial protection agency, which seeks to ban the firm from the financial services industry and impose a penalty of $150,001 and redress of $30 million if the penalty is unpaid, the agency said Tuesday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said it filed a proposed order in federal district court against Burlington Financial Group and its owners and executives. Executives charged included, the agency said in the release, Richard Burnham, Katherine Burnham, and Sang Yi.

The agency alleged that the firm deceived consumers into hiring the company to lower or eliminate credit card debts and improve consumers’ credit scores. CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio, in the release, charged that the company for more than three years used deceptive telemarketing tactics to defraud vulnerable persons into believing the company could eliminate their credit-card debts and improve their credit scores.

The bureau described Burlington Financial as a Maryland-based debt-relief and credit-repair company which marketed and sold debt-relief and credit-repair services to people nationwide from January 2016 until at least September 2019. The company, CFPB alleged, collected fees from the customers until at least August 2020, with at least 6,000 people collectively paying Burlington more than $30 million.

The bureau further alleges that Burlington Financial used telemarketing to solicit people with false promises that the company’s services would eliminate credit-card debts and improve credit scores.

CFPB said its filing seeks to permanently ban Burlington Financial and its owners and executives from telemarketing any consumer financial product or service and from “offering, marketing, selling, or providing any financial-advisory, debt-relief, or credit-repair service.” The agency is also seeking a civil money penalty (CMP) payment of $150,001 from the company’s owners and executives.

Finally, the agency seeks judgment for redress of at least $30 million to be suspended upon payment of the $150,001 CMP.

CFPB Takes Action Against Company and its Owners and Executives for Deceptive Debt-Relief and Credit-Repair Services