World Acceptance (WRLD) Receives Letter from CFPB’s Enforcement Office
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As previously disclosed, on March 12, 2014, World Acceptance (NASDAQ: WRLD)
the Company received a Civil Investigative Demand (“CID”) from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”). The stated purpose of the CID is to determine whether the Company has been or is “engaging in unlawful acts or practices in connection with the marketing, offering, or extension of credit in violation of Sections 1031 and 1036 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, 12 U.S.C. §§ 5531, 5536, the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601, et seq., Regulation Z, 12 C.F.R. pt. 1026, or any other Federal consumer financial law” and “also to determine whether Bureau action to obtain legal or equitable relief would be in the public interest.” The Company responded, within the deadlines specified in the CID, to broad requests for production of documents, answers to interrogatories and written reports related to loans made by the Company and numerous other aspects of the Company’s business. Subsequent to the March 2014 CID, the Company has received and responded to additional requests and demands for information from the CFPB.
On August 7, 2015, the Company received a letter from the CFPB’s Enforcement Office notifying the Company that, in accordance with the CFPB’s discretionary Notice and Opportunity to Respond and Advise (“NORA”) process, the staff of CFPB’s Enforcement Office is considering recommending that the CFPB take legal action against the Company (the “NORA Letter”). The NORA Letter states that the staff of the CFPB’s Enforcement Office expects to allege that the Company violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, 12 U.S.C. §5536. The NORA Letter confirms that the Company has the opportunity to make a NORA submission, which is a written statement setting forth any reasons of law or policy why the Company believes the CFPB should not take legal action against it. The Company understands that a NORA Letter is intended to ensure that potential subjects of enforcement actions have the opportunity to present their positions to the CFPB before an enforcement action is recommended or commenced. The Company intends to make a NORA submission to the CFPB’s Enforcement Office.
We are currently unable to predict the ultimate timing or outcome of the CFPB matter. The Company continues to believe that its marketing and lending practices are lawful. There can be no assurance, however, that the NORA Letter and the CFPB’s exercise of its enforcement, regulatory, discretionary, and other powers will not result in enforcement actions, proceedings or litigation and the imposition of damages, fines, penalties, restitution, other monetary liabilities, sanctions, settlements or changes to the Company’s business practices or operations, which could have a material adverse affect on the Company.
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