DMB Financial, LLC
On December 1, 2020, the Bureau filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against DMB Financial, LLC (DMB). DMB, which has its principal place of business in Beverly, Massachusetts, offers to renegotiate, settle, or otherwise alter the terms of unsecured debts owed by consumers to creditors or debt collectors. As alleged in the Bureau’s complaint, since its establishment in 2003, DMB claims to have successfully negotiated and settled over $1 billion of consumer debt for over 30,000 consumers who have enrolled in its debt-settlement or debt-relief programs. The Bureau alleges that in connection with its debt-settlement and debt-relief services, DMB engaged in abusive and deceptive acts or practices in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and deceptive acts and practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA). The Bureau also alleges that DMB’s alleged TSR violations also constitute violations of the CFPA.
On May 19, 2021, the court entered a stipulated final judgment and order that resolved the Bureau’s claims. The settlement requires DMB to pay $7,700,000 in redress to consumers. This amount will be suspended based on DMB’s demonstrated inability to pay and upon its payment of $5,400,000 within an agreed-upon timeframe and a $1 civil money penalty to the Bureau. The settlement also requires DMB to refrain from charging unlawful settlement fees, engaging in specified deceptive practices, or obtaining consumers’ credit reports without a permissible purpose.