Utah firm faces lawsuit for ‘bullying, luring,’ threatening consumers in lease to own deals
Using words such as “bullying,” “luring” and “threats” to describe actions taken against consumers, the federal consumer financial protection agency Wednesday announced a lawsuit against a Utah-based “lease to own” firm.
The lawsuit against Snap Finance of Salt Lake City by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) alleges that the company deceived consumers, obscured financing agreement terms and made false threats.
In a headline of a press release announcing the action, the bureau said it sued the firm for “Illegally Luring Americans into Expensive Financing and Bullying Borrowers Using False Threats.”
In the release, the CFPB alleges that the firm has offered and provided millions of “lease-purchase” and “rental-purchase” financing agreements in ways that have harmed consumers, including through misleading advertisements, insufficient disclosures, and interfering with consumers’ ability to understand the terms and conditions of its financing agreements.
The bureau further claims that Snap Finance’s illegal conduct continued in its servicing of those agreements, including misrepresenting consumers’ payment obligations and making false threats in collections.
The agency it is seeking monetary relief for consumers, an end to Snap Finance’s illegal practices, and a civil money penalty; it gave not specifics.