Statement of Chairman Robert Pitofsky and Commissioners Mozelle W. Thompson and Thomas B. Leary
FirstPlus Financial Group, Inc.
Docket No. C-3984
This matter is the Commission's first action brought against a consumer finance company for misrepresenting the savings that consumers would gain by consolidating their debts into a high loan-to-value (HLTV) loan. Accordingly, this case sends an important law enforcement message to companies engaged in this multi-billion dollar financial market that the Commission will look closely at HLTV transactions and take appropriate action when consumers are victimized by those who omit or misrepresent material facts relating to such loans.
Because this principle is so important, we also note that this case does not necessarily establish the full scope of relief that the Commission may seek in future cases. While the Commission's order - by providing for strong injunctive relief - supplies the full dose of all relief feasible in light of this particular respondent's weak financial situation, we believe that the Commission may consider pursuing additional relief in future cases involving deceptive HLTV loan advertising. Specifically, we expect that the Commission, in appropriate circumstances, would seek consumer redress or other monetary relief.