On July 5, 2017 the FTC issued a press release announcing a settlement of more than $104 million with a lead generation company, Blue Global LLC, for allegedly misleading loan applicants with promises of matching consumers with lenders that could offer the best loan terms. The FTC asserts that Blue Global were selling the loan applications, which contained sensitive personal information such as Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, to virtually anyone who would pay for them without regard for how the information would be used or whether it would remain secure. When consumers complained that their information was being misused, Blue Global did not investigate or take any preventative action.
The FTC order prohibits defendants from misrepresenting financial products or services to consumers. It also enjoins defendants from selling or transferring a consumer’s personal information unless the consumer has provided consent and provides that defendants may not benefit from any consumer information collected before the entry of the order. Further, defendants must destroy all personal consumer information in any form within 30 days after the order.
In addition to the above settlement terms, the defendants agreed to (i) compliance monitoring, (ii) creating certain records for ten years after the date of entry of the order, and (iii) compliance reporting
The settlement includes a judgment for more than $104 million, which represents the revenue Blue Global obtained by selling consumers’ loan applications as leads. The judgment is suspended based on defendants’ inability to pay.