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Friday, April 3, 2020

Tax prep firm doesn't respond to demands for information from consumer protection agency

Federal Court

By John Breslin | Feb 13, 2020


ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) - A tax preparation firm that also offers checks in anticipation of refunds has failed to respond to requests for information from a federal consumer protection agency, according to a filing in federal court in Atlanta.

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) has issued civil investigation demands (CIDs) to Nu Republic, Refund Republic and part owner, Khadija Williams.

But the agency did not receive any reply prior to an Oct. 7, 2019, deadline, according to a Jan. 24 petition to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The court is asked to order the respondents to show why they should not comply with the agency's demands for information.

In its petition, the bureau noted that it is "authorized to issue a CID to any entity or individual it has reason to believe may have information relevant to a violation of federal consumer-financial law," including the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA).

The bureau revealed in the filing that it is investigating the "offering, brokering, providing, or acting as program managers for refund-anticipation loans or the financing of tax-preparation fees."

It wants also information on fund deposits, its financial advisory services, and the sale of financial products to consumers.

The Bureau "is investigating whether the (respondents) misled consumers about the true cost of their loans or whether they enrolled them in credit-counseling services without their knowledge or consent."

It added, "Either of these practices could constitute unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices prohibited by the CFPA."

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Organizations in this Story

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau