WASHINGTON – The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today announced a settlement with Umpqua Bank, Roseburg, Oregon, for engaging in unfair and deceptive practices, in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (Section 5). Umpqua Bank stipulated to the issuance of an Order to Pay Civil Money Penalty (CMP) in the amount of $1.8 million.
The FDIC determined that Umpqua Bank engaged in Section 5 violations related to collection practices involving commercial equipment financing through its wholly owned subsidiary, Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc. (FinPac). The FDIC determined that FinPac’s collection fee practices were unfair and deceptive. Specifically, FinPac charged various undisclosed collection fees to borrowers whose accounts were past due, such as collection call and letter fees and third-party collection fees.
The FDIC also determined that certain collection practices at FinPac were unfair and deceptive. FinPac engaged in excessive and sequential collection calls to customers, even when customers requested that FinPac stop these calls. FinPac also disclosed information about the customers’ debts to third parties. Lastly, FinPac advised borrowers FinPac would report delinquencies on commercial debt to the consumer reporting agencies, when its policy and practice was not to report such delinquencies to the consumer reporting agencies.
Umpqua Bank agreed to the issuance of the Order without admitting or denying these violations. In addition, the Bank voluntarily paid restitution totaling approximately $1,628,000 to the 16,902 customers who were charged the undisclosed collection fees.