State Enforcement of the Consumer Financial Protection Act: State Lawsuits Offer a Sign of What’s to Come

By: Melanie Brody and Anjali Garg

At the end of 2014, the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) became the first state regulator to settle a case using its authority to enforce the federal Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”).[1] In Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services of the State of New York v. Condor Capital Corporation and Stephen Baron,[2] the DFS claimed that indirect auto lender Condor Capital Corporation (“Condor”) and its sole shareholder, Stephen Baron, violated both New York State law and the CFPA’s prohibition on unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (“UDAAP”) by, among other matters, overcharging consumers and deceptively retaining credit balances due to them. The settlement requires Condor and Baron to admit to New York and federal violations, pay an estimated $8-9 million in restitution and pay a $3 million penalty, and surrender all of Condor’s state lending licenses.

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