CFPB and New York Attorney General Take Action Against Companies That Deceived 9/11 Victims


WASHINGTON DC – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the New York Attorney General today took action against RD Legal Funding, two related entities, and the companies’ founder and owner, Roni Dersovitz, to resolve their allegations that the defendants engaged in deceptive and abusive acts. or practices under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) in connection with providing cash advances to individuals on their settlement payments from victim compensation funds.

Injured consumers are entitled to payments from a compensation fund established for first responders injured in 9/11, known as the James Zadroga 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. If seized by court, proposed settlement will provide more than $600,000 in consumer debt relief, bar defendants from doing business with any potential recipients of government-created 9/11 victim compensation funds and impose a civil penalty of $1.

RD Legal Funding, RD Legal Finance and RD Legal Funding Partners are non-banking entities headquartered in Cresskill, New Jersey. Along with Roni Dersovitz, they are in the business of, among other things, offering to advance funds to consumers who are entitled to compensation under a settlement fund or judgment.

On February 7, 2017, the CFPB and the New York Attorney General filed a Complaint against the Defendants, and an Amended Complaint on July 14, 2022, alleging that the Defendants misrepresented potential borrowers and engaged in abusive practices in connection with cash advances. on settlement payments from victim compensation funds. RD Legal provided consumers who were entitled to future payments from victim compensation funds with lump sum advances in return for consumers promising to repay larger amounts later. In doing so, RD Legal misrepresented and otherwise interfered with consumers’ ability to understand the transactions. Although RD Legal incorrectly referred to them as “assignments”, these transactions were not valid assignments, but in fact offers of credit or extensions of credit. Specifically, the joint complaint alleges that the defendants:

  • Has distorted the terms of the transaction: Defendants falsely told consumers that RD Legal’s contracts created valid and enforceable assignments of their payment product when, in fact, the assignments were not valid and enforceable. In doing so, they misled consumers, interfering with their understanding of transaction terms, costs and conditions, and preventing them from meaningfully assessing the cost of RD Legal’s transactions or comparing them to other alternatives.
  • Lied about the services of RD Legal: Defendants falsely told consumers that RD Legal could “cut red tape” to get their advance payments from claims administrators faster than would otherwise be possible. In fact, RD Legal had no authority or ability to influence the administration of payments by the Claims Administrators.
  • Consumers deceived about when they would be paid: The defendants misrepresented to consumers when they would receive funds from RD Legal. In many cases, RD Legal has told consumers they will receive promised funds from RD Legal soon after a contract is entered into, but has not delivered the promised funds.
  • Amounts collected but not due: RD Legal collected on contracts that were void or for which no payment was due, because the assignment in the RD Legal contract was not in fact valid and enforceable, or because the proceeds of RD Legal were in made a loan with an interest rate that violated the state usury law.

Enforcement measures

Under the CFPA, the CFPB has the authority to take action against institutions that violate consumer finance laws, including engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices. The joint complaint alleges that the defendants violated the CFPA’s prohibition on deceptive and abusive conduct.

If seized by the court, the proposed order will require the defendants to:

  • Providing consumer debt relief: Defendants must provide more than $600,000 in debt relief to injured consumers.
  • Stop doing business with recipients of 9/11 victim compensation funds: The defendants are permanently barred from doing business with beneficiaries of the Zadroga Fund or any other potential beneficiaries of government-created 9/11 victim compensation funds.
  • Pay a penalty of $1: Defendants must pay a fine to the CFPB, which will be paid into the CFPB’s victim assistance fund. The imposition of the $1 civil fine allows consumers in the case to potentially obtain compensation from the Victims Fund. The CFPB will work quickly to provide full redress to eligible aggrieved consumers from this fund, assuming money remains available in the fund.

Read today’s proposed order.

Consumers can submit complaints about financial products or services by visiting the CFPB website or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).

Employees of companies that they believe have violated federal consumer finance laws are encouraged to send information about what they know to [email protected]

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a 21st century agency that helps consumer credit markets work by making rules more efficient, applying them consistently and fairly, and giving consumers more control over their lives. economic. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.

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