Attention payday loan operators: Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts asked the FTC to snoop around payday loan lead generators. If you run a lead generator website for payday loan programs, consider spending a few hundred bucks for an attorney to audit your operation.
Sen. Markey’s Push To Investigate Payday Loan Niche
On December 4, 2013, Markey sent a letter to FTC Chairwoman Helen Ramirez. In it, he urged the agency to explore privacy issues. Basically, he suspects rampant and egregious violations of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which admonishes “unfair and deceptive” marketing.
In his missive, Markey relayed the story of a reporter who gave her information to a payday loan site. According to the Senator’s letter, the reporter was “bombarded” with multiple loan agent introductions within minutes. What bothered the reporter was that she hadn’t asked for her information to be spidered to hundreds of payday loan operators.
“These business practices raise a number of concerns about what these lead generator websites do with consumers’ personal information, whether they store and secure it and whether these websites sell this personal information without consumers’ knowledge of consent,” he opined.
Not only is Markey concerned about possible privacy breaching aspects of payday loan generation, but he’s also not thrilled about the sensitive nature of collected information, like social security numbers and bank account routing codes.
“I believe an investigation of this (payday lender) practice would fall within the FTC’s mandate as stipulated in Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act with respect to protecting Americans from ‘unfair and deceptive acts or practices,’” concluded Markay.
Markey Was Behind The FTC Data Broker Probe, Too
This is not the first time the Massachusetts senator has taken up arms for consumers when it comes to online privacy issues. Last year, at almost exactly this time of year, Markey sent a similar letter to the FTC regarding data brokers. And yes, the commission did look into the matter and came down hard on some data brokers. So, if you operate a payday loan generation website, it’s time to be vigilant and review your procedures to ensure you’re operating on the right side of the law.
Pay Day Loan Industry Lawyer
Do you want to speak with a lawyer with payday loan business experience? Contact Aaron Kelly, today. He has tons of experience with the issues short-term loan operators face and will be able to do a quick audit of your payday loan operation and website to ensure you’re in the legal clear. And no, it won’t break your bank.