WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reached a settlement with Bluestem Brands Inc., Bluestem Enterprises Inc., and Bluestem Sales Inc., (the Bluestem companies) to resolve allegations of delaying transfers of customer payments to debt buyers.
According to the bureau, the Bluestem companies violated the Consumer Protection Act of 2010 by substantially delaying sending consumer's payments on debts that the companies already sold to third-party debt buyers.
The settlement includes Bluestem companies improving their processing time in forwarding customer payments on accounts sold to third party debt buyers as well as improving their process for preventing consumer payment by phone or through the companies' websites on sold accounts, according to the bureau. Bluestem companies also will notify customers who make payments by mailed check on sold accounts that their accounts have been sold. In addition, Bluestem companies must pay a $200,000 civil penalty, the bureau said.
Based in Minnesota, Bluestem companies operate businesses in the U.S. under Fingerhut and Gettington.com.