CFPB Misses the Mark — Overkill Against Someone Trying to Help and Underkill Against the Banks

I think that the CFPB, FTC and SEC continue to miss the point. The base of “deceptive and unsubstantiated representations” comes from the banks and their lawyers.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On July 20, 2020, the United States District Court for the Central District of California entered a stipulated final judgment resolving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (Bureau) allegations against Certified Forensic Loan Auditors, LLC (CFLA) and Andrew Lehman (Lehman). CFLA is a foreclosure relief services company headquartered near Houston, Texas, and Lehman is CFLA’s president and CEO.  The Bureau alleged that CFLA and Lehman engaged in deceptive and abusive acts or practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA) and charged unlawful advance fees in connection with marketing and selling financial advisory and mortgage assistance relief services to consumers in violation of Regulation O and the CFPA.  The court’s order permanently bans CFLA and Lehman from the industry and imposes a suspended judgment for redress of $3 million and civil money penalties of $40,000.

The Bureau’s complaint, which was filed on September 6, 2019 and amended on November 13, 2019, alleged that CFLA and Lehman made deceptive and unsubstantiated representations about the company’s mortgage assistance relief services and its ability to help consumers avoid foreclosures or negotiate loan modifications.  Specifically, the amended complaint alleged that the company made deceptive and unsubstantiated claims about the efficacy and content of its services, as well as false claims about the experience and qualifications of the people performing those services.  The Bureau also alleged that the company’s conduct constituted abusive acts or practices in violation of the CFPA. Finally, the Bureau alleged that CFLA and Lehman charged consumers illegal upfront fees in violation of Regulation O, which governs the offering or provision of mortgage assistance relief services.

The court’s order permanently bans CFLA and Lehman from providing mortgage assistance relief services or financial advisory services.  The order also imposes a suspended judgment against CFLA and Lehman for redress of $3 million and imposes a civil money penalty of $40,000.  The suspended judgment for redress and the amount of the civil money penalty account for CFLA’s and Lehman’s limited ability to pay based on sworn financial statements.  Whenever the Bureau collects a civil money penalty through an enforcement action, that penalty is deposited into the Bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund. Assuming continued available funds, the Bureau will work to provide full relief from this fund to eligible harmed consumers.

CFLA and Lehman were the only remaining defendants in the Bureau’s lawsuit.  The court previously entered a final judgment resolving the Bureau’s allegations against Michael Carrigan, CFLA’s former auditor.

The stipulated final judgment and order against Carrigan is available at:

The amended complaint is available at:

The stipulated final judgment and order against CFLA and Lehman is available at:


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations, by making rules more effective, by consistently enforcing federal consumer financial law, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.  For more information, visit

2 Responses

  1. Shut CFPB down! They do NOTHING for the consumer, Nothing!

  2. Okay — so who does the government think will give valid loan mods with valid title? We must remember – most of these loans now with the government.

    I have to say, many people are in desperate need. They do not think about “title” or who is really the creditor. They don’t care. They think about money. That is, how much can they save to afford and save their home? The original contract was never valid. And, of course, if no loan mod is granted – all is owed up front and foreclosure now on the table if large lump sum cannot be paid. And, there is no legal action for denial of a loan modification. They are allowed to deny.

    Loan mods are a scam because no one knows WHO is granting a loan mod, or WHO is the creditor, or WHO becomes the creditor. It is like signing a contract with Mickey Mouse – to a contract with a dead mouse party. But can’t blame homeowners, and can’t blame those who want to help.

    What in blazes did the Obama administration do to cover this all up?
    On their watch. Not promoting politics here. But — put the blame at the time of the crime. Need a full investigation into those years after financial crisis exposure. Will not happen unless someone asks for it.

Contribute to the discussion!

%d bloggers like this: