What We Know

FTC Continues to Focus on Fair Lending Issues in Auto Finance

February 29, 2016 | by Caren D. Enloe

Earlier this week, the FTC provided the CFPB with its annual update of FTC enforcement activities related to compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The update was provided to assist the CFPB in preparing its annual report to Congress.  The update makes clear that fair lending in the auto finance sector remains a high priority for the FTC.

Since 2011, the FTC has brought more than 25 cases regarding auto finance transactions. On December 29, 2015, the FTC announced that it was seeking public comment on a proposed survey to consumers regarding their experiences buying and financing automobiles at dealerships. The annual report explains that the survey is intended to provide useful insights about current consumer protection issues that exist and could be addressed through enforcement initiatives.

The annual update reinforces this focus, also pointing toward a conference co-hosted by the FTC and NAACP in 2015, which included a discussion of key consumer issues including auto finance.  The update notes that “some conference participants provided information about auto loan fraud, and about the denial of mortgages to African-Americans at a higher rate than other groups.”

Caren Enloe leads Smith Debnam’ s consumer financial services litigation and compliance group. In her practice, she defends consumer financial service providers and members of the collection industry in state and federal court, as well as in regulatory matters involving a variety of consumer protection laws.  Caren also advises fintech companies, law firms, and collection agencies regarding an array of consumer finance issues. An active writer and speaker, Caren currently serves as chair of the Debt Collection Practices and Bankruptcy subcommittee for the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee. She is also a member of the Defense Bar for the National Creditors Bar Association, the North Carolina State Chair for ACA International’s Member Attorney Program and a member of the Bank Counsel Committee of the North Carolina Bankers Association. Most recently, she was elected to the Governing Committee for the Conference on Consumer Finance Law. In 2018, Caren was named one of the “20 Most Powerful Women in Collections” by Collection Advisor, a national trade publication. Caren oversees a blog titled: Consumer Financial Services Litigation and Compliance dedicated to consumer financial services and has been published in a number of publications including the Journal of Taxation and Regulation of Financial Institutions, California State Bar Business Law News, Banking and Financial Services Policy Report and Carolina Banker.  ...LEARN MORE

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