SMART Payment Plan, LLC
On November 2, 2020, the Bureau issued a consent order against SMART Payment Plan, LLC (SMART), a limited liability company with its principal place of business in Austin, Texas. SMART operates a loan payment program for auto loans called the SMART Plan that deducts payments from consumers’ bank accounts every two weeks and then forwards these payments every month to the consumers’ lenders. The Bureau found that SMART’s disclosures of the terms for the SMART Plan contained misleading statements in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010’s prohibition against deceptive acts or practices. The consent order imposes a judgment against SMART requiring it to pay $7,500,000 in consumer redress. This amount is suspended based on SMART’s demonstrated inability to pay upon its payment of $1,500,000 by the end of the year and a $1 civil money penalty to the Bureau. The consent order prohibits SMART from making any misrepresentations about its payment programs. It also requires SMART to account for the total costs for its payment programs, as well as the net savings or costs after deducting any fees, whenever SMART makes claims about savings or financial benefits.