Payments to harmed consumers
When we enforce the law, it or a court may order the defendant to take action to remedy the harm it caused consumers. This can include requiring the person or company to compensate its victims for this harm by providing consumer redress. Obtaining consumer redress is a top priority in any enforcement action.
As of December 10, 2020, our public enforcement actions have resulted in over $12.9 billion in total consumer relief (over $5.8 billion in consumer redress and over $7.1 billion in other relief) and over $1.5 billion in civil money penalties, before adjusting for suspended amounts.
- As of December 10, 2020, announcing 42 public enforcement actions and settling 3 previously filed lawsuits and actions ordering nearly $670 million in total consumer relief and over $90 million in civil money penalties, before adjusting for suspended amounts. As the year continues, we anticipate additional public enforcement actions with additional money back to consumers.
- Over $460 million in consumer redress and over $550 million in civil money penalties in 2018, before adjusting for suspended amounts, and
- Over $780 million in total consumer relief (over $615 million in consumer redress and over $165 million in other relief) and over $180 million in civil money penalties in 2019, before adjusting for suspended amounts.
In some cases, we may find that the companies or individuals at issue are unable to pay the full amount required to compensate consumers for their harm. In reaching this determination, we base our findings on fully sworn financial statements, supporting documentation, and additional investigation, if needed.
Whenever we collect a civil money penalty through an enforcement action, that penalty is deposited into our Civil Penalty Fund. The Civil Penalty Fund can be used to compensate victims of unlawful activities who are not otherwise expected to get full compensation, but only when a civil money penalty was actually imposed for those activities. In actions where the company or individual that is alleged to have caused consumer harm cannot pay the full amount of consumer redress, we will seek to obtain the greatest amount of redress possible based on that company’s or individual’s ability to pay as well as appropriate injunctive relief to stop ongoing consumer harm and prevent future harm.
We may also couple that redress with a nominal $1 civil money penalty, so that the consumers in the case may be able to obtain compensation from the Civil Penalty Fund. We will work promptly to provide full redress to eligible harmed consumers from this fund, assuming continued availability of money.
Payments by case
Payments to harmed consumers can be made when we or a court orders a company that has violated a consumer financial protection law to pay an amount of money to compensate the consumers’ harm. This money is distributed to victims either by us, directly by the violator, or through a third-party administrator.
See all our public enforcement actions and obtain detailed information on ordered consumer relief and civil money penalties.