Data brokers resold personal data, subject of CFPB action

December 22, 2015

WASHINGTON (12/22/15)--Alleging a company and an individual resold sensitive personal data to lenders and debt collectors, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took separate actions last week. T3Leads, a lead aggregator based in Burbank, Calif., received a complaint from the regulator, while Eric Sancho, owner and operator of Phoenix-based Lead Publisher, was the subject of a consent order.

The CFPB alleges that T3Leads bought leads and sold them to payday or installment lenders and others with no regard for how the consumers’ information would be used or to the promises lead generators made to consumers.

The complaint against T3Leads and its owners seeks monetary and injunctive relief and penalties. According to the bureau, the complaint is not a finding or ruling that the company has actually violated the law.

The CFPB also found that from 2011 to 2014, Lead Publisher’s Sancho failed to vet his leads’ sources or buyers. He sold roughly 3 million leads to two related companies that used the information to harass and deceive consumers into paying alleged debts they did not actually owe.

Lead Publisher is now out of business. Under the order issued last week, Sancho is banned permanently from the financial products and online consumer leads industries, and has to pay out $21,151 he obtained illegally.