The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Tuesday it had reached a $35,000 settlement with Harbour Portfolio Advisories and two of its subsidiary companies over allegations they had violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act.
Dallas-based Harbour – along with National Asset Advisors (NAA) and National Asset Mortgage (NAM) – is one of the largest sellers of foreclosed homes. The companies were accused of telling customers they had to tell the CFPB of alleged errors on their credit reports – which the bureau called “deceptive acts and practices.”
CFPB noted, “Regulation V, which implements the Fair Credit Reporting Act, required NAA or NAM to investigate written disputes and contact the consumer-reporting agency to resolve any errors. Also, either company could investigate a consumer-reporting complaint based solely on a consumer’s phone call, and if they discovered an error, could fix the error by contacting the consumer-reporting agency.”
Under the settlement, Harbour will pay a $25,000 civil money penalty, and NAA and NAM will jointly pay a $10,000 civil money penalty to the Bureau. The companies also agreed not to misrepresent or assist others in misrepresenting, expressly or impliedly, how consumers can resolve errors in their consumer reports or any other material fact concerning their consumer reports.
NAM agreed to establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding “the accuracy and integrity of information that it furnishes to consumer-reporting agencies, and a plan to review such policies and procedures periodically to update them as necessary to ensure their continued effectiveness,” the CFPB said.
Harbour Portfolio was prominently featured in a New York Times expose on deed sales. In 2017, Cincinnati sued the company over allegations for not paying fines and fees for failing to maintain homes it owned in the city.