Back in April of 2018, the Federal Trade Commission sued the online lending marketplace LendingClub, asserting that the company was falsely promising loan applicants they could receive a specific loan amount along with an important qualifier. No additional hidden fees.
In reality, however, the federal agency filed suit against the company over the allegation that it actually deducted hundreds to thousands of dollars in “hidden up-front fees from the loans.” What’s more, the FTC’s suit also alleged that LendingClub deducted money from customer bank accounts that the company was not authorized to take. And that the company told customers they were approved for loans when they weren’t. Now, there’s another important development to report as part of the culmination of the legal action against this lender.
FTC LendingClub refund
Because of all that, the FTC announced in recent days that it’s returning more than $10 million to customers who were charged undisclosed fees by LendingClub. The commission is distributing refunds directly to more than 15,000 LendingClub customers. And it’s also encouraging additional LendingClub customers to apply for refunds.
There’s an important addendum to this news, however. If you visit this link, it provides a state-by-state breakdown of FTC refunds. Overall, it shows more than $11 billion returned to consumers by the FTC. To more than 10.5 million recipients, to be exact, across 117 cases.
In 2020, the FTC says its actions led to more than $483 million in refunds to consumers across the country. However, the United States Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the FTC lacks authority under Section 13(b) to seek monetary relief in federal court going forward. Meaning, the FTC’s suit against LendingClub got in just under the gun.
Lawsuit and settlement
If the LendingClub situation affects you, meanwhile, here’s what else you need to know.
LendingClub agreed to pay $18 million last year to settle the three-year litigation with the FTC. The commission’s suit claimed that some borrowers were charged origination fees of $1,000 — and more.
The FTC says it’s sending refunds out via PayPal to 15,748 LendingClub customers. Those are customers who either complained to the FTC or to the company about the hidden fees. And those recipients have less than a month (until February 16, 2022) to accept those payments. Any recipients with questions about their payments should call the refund administrator, Rust Consulting, at 833-630-1417.
And note: The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund.
“In addition,” the commission announced, “between January 18 and 20, the FTC will email additional LendingClub customers who took out loans before January 6, 2017 and repaid the loan. The email will provide instructions on how to request a refund. LendingClub customers who believe they may be eligible for a refund but do not receive an email by January 20 should contact the refund administrator at 833-630-1417. The deadline for additional consumers to file claims is February 16, 2022.”