Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) is calling for a federal investigation into Marlin Financial following a Tampa Bay Times examination of alleged deceptive practices. Crist, a member of the House Financial Services Committee that oversees the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), urged the agency to take action to protect customers from abuse and if wrongdoing is found, hold the company accountable.

Please find below and attached a copy of the letter sent to CFPB Acting Director Mulvaney:

September 25, 2018

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Dear Acting Director Mulvaney,

I was disturbed by recent reporting from the Tampa Bay Times regarding the business practices of Marlin Financial, an auto loan company operating in Florida.  Two articles in particular, titled: “Customers say Marlin Financial’s auto loans are deceptive. Now the state is investigating,” and “Borrowers need protection from Marlin Financial,” detail extensive and apparently illegal abuse against Florida consumers.  According to the reporting, Marlin Financial has engaged in unscrupulous business practices including requiring the purchase of unnecessary debt cancellation insurance, charging consumers usurious interest rates, seizing consumers’ personal items within repossessed vehicles, and failing to respond to customer complaints.

While the Florida Attorney General and Office of Financial Regulation investigate alleged violations of state law, financial abuse of consumers is illegal under federal law as well.  The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act empowers the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to act to protect the American people from unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices.  As a Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, I request that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigate Marlin Financial.  Should any of the outrageous behaviors reported by the Tampa Bay Times violate federal consumer financial protection laws, I urge you to hold the company accountable and make its victims whole.


Charlie Crist

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