Consumer Protection Law Whistleblower and Violations
Consumer protection laws exist requiring enforcement and awareness about instances of violations. In many cases, these violations come to light as a result of a citizen who has inside information about violations of consumer protection law.
When companies engage in a legal financing and lending practices, for example, their wrong doing can often be difficult for regulators to detect and hard for law enforcement authorities to know how to target. There are laws that protect whistleblowers from retaliation when they share information that is used to prosecute or recover awards.
What is the Role of Consumer Finance Whistleblowers?
The consumer finance sector has far reaching implications that touch the lives of nearly every person in the United States due to the access to products that millions of people will use to purchase assets or manage their finances.
Unfortunately, companies in this sector might perpetrate fraud against shareholders or customers. However, it is very challenging for regulators to be able to identify these schemes and individuals who serve as whistleblowers in this field perform a critical function by alerting the government to be able to protect the economic interests of customers.
What Type of Consumer Financial Problems Fall Under the Umbrella of Consumer Protection Law Whistleblower Cases?
Consumer financial services or products can include:
- Collecting debt associated with any financial service or product.
- Selling, issuing or providing stored value or payment instruments.
- Servicing loans.
- Extending credit.
- Brokering certain leases of property.
- Providing check cashing or check collection services.
- Engaging in deposit taking activities.
- Maintaining, collecting, providing or analyzing consumer report information.
- Providing certain payments to a consumer through a technological means.
Whether to report these consumer finance law violations is often a difficult question for the whistleblower. Hiring an experienced consumer finance whistleblower lawyer can help a whistleblower understand their rights and their ability to play a critical role in the recovery of compensation owed to the government.
Consumers can report violations of any of the following:
- Any rule, standard, prohibition or order prescribed by the consumer financial protection bureau.
- Any provision of law subject to the consumer financial protection bureau jurisdiction including title acts of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Whistleblower tips have been accepted by the CFPB from former and current employees of a company that might have violated consumer financial laws as well as industry insiders who have details about this type of behavior.
Kinds of Violations of Consumer Financial Protection Law
There are many different company activities that could be classified as violations of consumer protection laws.
Some of the matters regulated under the consumer financial protection bureau include:
- Deceptive advertising.
- Kickbacks paid to insurers or mortgage insurers.
- Excessive fees.
- Discriminatory lending practices.
- Debt collection activities in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- False, misleading or deceptive representation in connection with debt collection.
Whistleblowers often do have evidence of the above-mentioned activities, but the most important component of the case is whether or not the whistleblower makes their claim in good faith. Sometimes an investigation will yield a result of no apparent legal violations, but this does not cause any problems for the whistleblower so long as he or she made their claim based on the reasonable belief that the law had been broken.
Laws That Protect Consumer Finance Whistleblowers
Whistleblowers can feel as though they are taking a risk to report instances of consumer fraud and illegal action. Many whistleblowers are also employees and are concerned about taking their next steps to report activity as a whistleblower. It’s important to do some research first regarding the specific violations and what protection this provides to the whistleblower if that person is also an employee.
The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 enables incentives for whistleblower activity and includes protection rules for whistleblowers regarding retaliation. This includes the fact that whistleblowers can pursue a civil case for being harassed after reporting details to an appropriate government agency or internally that the person reasonably believes to be a violation of consumer finance laws. These covered employees are eligible to take additional civil action if an employer violates the protections.
Bringing a Whistleblower Claim
If you or someone you know believes that you have grounds to provide important information about the violation of consumer financial protection laws, scheduling a consultation with a dedicated whistleblower attorney could be your next step.