Oct. 2, 2012 – Three American Express subsidiaries must return an aggregate $85 million to 250,000 customers plus pay $27.5 million in civil money penalties for illegal card practices under an order announced jointly Monday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and prudential regulators.
Monday’s announcement says federal and state investigators found that the subsidiaries:
- deceived consumers who signed up for the American Express “Blue Sky” credit card program;
- charged unlawful late fees;
- unlawfully discriminated against new account applicants on the basis of age;
- failed to report consumer disputes to consumer reporting agencies; and
- misled consumers about debt collection.
The companies signed a consent order calling for an end to the illegal practices, full repayment of $85 million to 250,000 consumers who were misled about the ramifications of not paying old debt, lied to about debt being forgiven, made to believe they would receive $300 for signing up for the “Blue Sky” program or paid an illegal late fee.
The CFPB, Federal Reserve Board, FDIC and Office of the Comptroller imposed an aggregate $27.5 million in fines.