Federal bureau, credit repair group launch legal fight

The controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is becoming embroiled in litigation with credit repair companies.

Greenspoon Marder, based in Fort Lauderdale filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of the National Association of Credit Service Organizations against the bureau, seeking a declaratory judgment to halt enforcement of what it terms an outdated regulation.

The Obama era agency has been under frequent attack in Congress and an exhibit to the lawsuit shows a number of Congressmen are supporting  NACSO’s position.

NACSO, a nonprofit national association of credit repair organizations and their supporting vendors, provide services to help improve consumers’ credit history, records or ratings.  NACSO’s credit repair company members are regulated by the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA), a federal statute passed by Congress in 1996, Greenspoon Marder noted in a press release.

The Greenspoon Marder team representing NACSO includes Robby H. Birnbaum, Beth-Ann E. Krimsky and Lawren A. Zann.

The press release by Greenspoon Marder says the CFPB doesn’t have the legal authority to regulate NACSO members under CROA as enacted by Congress, but the CFPB is seeking to enforce an older, outdated regulation that requires companies to wait 6 months after completing all services until they can be paid for their work. The plaintiffs say this appears to be an effort to regulate the industry out of business just when many consumers are in need of this type of help.

Greenspoon Marder filed a complaint for declaratory relief on behalf of NACSO, stating that applying superseded regulations is an “unconstitutional and a statutorily unauthorized, and thus unlawful, regulation infringing on the fully-protected speech of credit repair organizations.” The complaint explains that the arbitrary six-month waiting period “eviscerates” the ability of NACSO’s members to be paid for work they have already performed and unfairly places the full burden of a consumer’s credit status on the credit repair organization, despite factors entirely out of an organization’s control such as the current COVID-19 crisis.

On Friday, the day after NACSO filed its action seeking protection from the courts, the CFPB filed a lawsuit against one of NACSO’s members, which Greenspoon Marder says was riddled with false information and inflated numbers. Greenspoon Marder did not name the member firm.

A news release posted Friday on the CFPB website says the bureau and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey  jointly filed a lawsuit against Commonwealth Equity Group, LLC, which does business as Key Credit Repair and its owner.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.