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CFPB Settles Alleged Violations of FCRA’s Risk-Based Pricing Rule

On December 11, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and the Arkansas Attorney General reached a $600,000 settlement with Alder Holdings, LLC concerning alleged violations of the FCRA’s Risk-Based Pricing Rule.  Alder sells home-security and alarm systems, primarily door-to-door, on a nationwide basis.   

The Complaint alleged that Alder violated the FCRA’s Risk-Based Pricing Rule, 15 U.S.C. § 1681m(h), which requires companies to provide notice when they provide consumers less favorable terms based on their credit reports.  As part of Alder’s usual business practices, the amount of the activation fee varies based on the results of the consumer’s credit score.  The Complaint alleged consumers with lower credit scores were charged far higher activation fees as opposed to those with higher credit scores.  Despite this allegedly clear instance of Risk-Based Pricing, Alder failed to provide any notice that a consumer’s credit score was being used to determine the amount of the activation fee.

Without admitting any wrongdoing on its part, Alder agreed comply with the Risk-Based Pricing rule and to further submit a Risk-Based Pricing Rule compliance plan to the CFPB.  In addition to the compliance measures, Alder agreed to a $600,000 monetary penalty which can be reduced by $100,000 based on the resolution of a companion case brought by the Arkansas Attorney General. 

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