Operating Instructions for PowerPay® Loans
Effective Date: April 17, 2018
Effective Date: April 17, 2018
Thank you for your participation in the PowerPay® loan program (the “PowerPay Loan Program” or the “Program”). We seek to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to offer credit to their customers with a fast point-of-sale solution.
PowerPay, LLC (the “Company”) is a service provider and program administrator to federally-insured, federal and state chartered financial institutions that provide consumers loans under the PowerPay® Program (the “Participating Lenders”). The Company is NOT a lender.
As the service provider and program administrator for the Participating Lenders, we publish these Dealer Compliance Guidelines to set forth rules Dealers, like you and your company, must follow when participating in the PowerPay® Program. These Dealer Compliance Guidelines are part of the Operating Instructions for the PowerPay® Program and are incorporated into the PowerPay® Dealer Program Agreement (the “Program Agreement”). Failure to follow these guidelines may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Our Expectations Regarding Complaints Management
Dealers who have a high complaint rate or high severity complaints (such as allegations of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices or allegations of discrimination) or who do not cooperate with us in investigating and resolving customer complaints will be subject to termination from the Program.
We Take All Complaints Seriously and Will Investigate All Customer Complaints
The Program Agreement requires you to cooperate with our investigation and remediation of a customer complaint. This cooperation includes providing any and all requested documentation. You should provide any requested documentation or information within five (5) business days of receiving our request.
Your Program Agreement also requires you to report to us any complaint related to your participation in the Program that you receive from a customer or third party (such as the Better Business Bureau). You must report such complaints to us within five (5) business days of receiving the complaint.
Avoid Complaints by Ensuring Customer Authorization for Loan and Transactions
You must ensure all loan applications and transactions you submit to the Program are authorized by customers in writing. You are not required to send us this documentation unless we request it from you.
Application Authorization: Signed application authorization is required demonstrating that the customer intended to apply for a loan and received the application disclosures. This can be obtained in one of several ways:
Transaction Authorization: Written authorization must demonstrate the customer had received his/her loan agreement and intended to authorize a specific transaction for a specific amount at a specific point in time (e., on a specific date or upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as ordering materials).
While you may use your own form, we have provided a Borrower Payment Authorization Certificate form as a convenient form to capture a borrower’s written authorization for a transaction. The PowerPay® application is an actual application for credit. We do not offer pre-approvals or pre-screens for credit.
We Will Contact Customers to Verify Purchases
We conduct regular customer satisfaction surveys to gather customer feedback regarding the sales process and to confirm customers authorized applications and transactions. Our customer satisfaction contacts are designed to verify the following:
Protect Vulnerable Consumers and Customers
Our Expectations Regarding Vulnerable Consumers and Customers
We expect Dealers participating in a PowerPay® Program to offer their products and services and the PowerPay® Program in a way that does not take advantage of or put undue pressure on customers. This is especially true when working with customers who are in vulnerable population groups, such as the elderly or disabled. We are committed to protecting vulnerable consumers and customers from abusive sales practices.
Who is a “vulnerable consumer or customer”?
Tips to Avoid Allegations of Abuse
A consumer must be legally competent to agree to submit an application and process a transaction. You have a responsibility to ensure that your customer is competent to execute and submit a credit application. The following elements are required to establish legal competency:
o For example: If a customer is exhibiting signs of dementia, Alzheimer’s or other mental illness, the person may not be mentally competent to execute a credit application.
Power of Attorney, Conservatorships, and Guardianships cannot be used to Submit Applications
We understand that a person’s circumstances may change and that he or she may need the assistance of a third-party in handling his or her financial affairs. That’s why we will work with a customer who needs to establish an account contact, Power of Attorney, Conservator, or Guardian to help the customer manage the servicing and repayment of a loan.
The PowerPay® Program does not, however, accept applications or transactions submitted on behalf of a person by another person claiming to hold a Power of Attorney, Conservatorship or Guardianship relationship. These situations raise concerns about potentially vulnerable adult abuse. Please do not submit any applications or transactions from persons authorized as a Power of Attorney, Conservator, or Guardian for another. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about this policy.
Our Expectations Regarding Non-Discrimination
We expect all participants in the PowerPay® Programs (our employees, the Participating Lenders, and Dealers) to operate in a manner that does not illegally discriminate against consumers, applicants, or borrowers.
The PowerPay® Program Policy on Anti-Discrimination
The PowerPay® Programs will be conducted in a manner that complies with the federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), Regulation B, and other applicable federal and state anti-discrimination laws. The PowerPay® Programs, the Participating Banks, and Dealers participating in the Programs SHALL NOT illegally discriminate against a potential customer or customer during any part of a credit transaction based on prohibited categories or characteristics.
You Must Not Illegally Discriminate Against Consumers, Applicants, or Borrowers
Federal and state laws, such as the ECOA and Regulation B, make it illegal for you to discriminate in any aspect of a credit transaction based on certain personal characteristics of a prospective applicant. Specifically, federal law prohibits you from treating customers differently or discriminating based on the following:
Credit Protection Act
State law may also protect other categories, such as sexual orientation. You are responsible for knowing and complying with all anti-discrimination laws in your state and locality applicable to your business. We will take steps to ensure you are complying with anti-discrimination laws in working with your customers and the PowerPay® Programs. For example, we may conduct statistical sampling of your customer base to determine whether there is potential intentional or unintentional discrimination occurring. Dealers who illegally discriminate against consumers, applicants, or borrowers are subject to termination from the Programs.
We will only serve customers in English. Customers who speak other languages, however, can use their own translators to understand Dealer sales presentations or the products offered by the PowerPay® Programs. But, Dealers should only speak to customers about the PowerPay® Programs in English. If a customer uses a translator, Dealers should verify and record the identity of the translator like they would any customer.
Protect Your Customer; Know Your Customer
Our Expectations Regarding Fraudulent Applications and Transactions
We expect Dealers in the PowerPay® Programs to take appropriate steps to ensure that the applications and transactions they submit to the Programs are legitimate and do not involve fraud, including, but not limited to, identity theft. To help protect the Programs, the Participating Banks, our Dealers, and consumers from fraud, we have implemented an anti-fraud program that is designed to identify and block fraudulent applications and transactions. Dealers are at the frontline of our anti-fraud defenses.
We expect a Dealer participating in the Programs to:
How to Verify a Person’s Identity
Protect Customer Information from Unauthorized Use, Theft, or Other Loss
Individuals – shoppers, applicants, and customers – may provide Dealers with personal information in connection with their construction project and/or their PowerPay® Program loan. Dealers must take steps to protect the personal information they receive. If a Dealer believes customer information has been compromised, contact us immediately!
Guide to Knowing the PowerPay® Program Plans You Offer to Customers
Our Expectations Regarding Dealer Familiarity with PowerPay® Program Plans
PowerPay® Program Product Types
PowerPay® offers installment (closed) ended loans from Lenders in specific territories.
“Installment Credit” is the type of credit typically associated with an auto loan. An installment loan has a fixed number of repayments to be made over a fixed term (i.e., 10 years).
PowerPay® Program installment loans – These plans are designed for customers who desire a fixed monthly payment to budget their purchase.
Marketing the PowerPay® Programs
Our Expectations Regarding Dealer Marketing Related to the PowerPay® Programs
The PowerPay® Programs include several different types of credit products to help your customers by giving them the flexibility to choose the credit terms that meet their needs.
The PowerPay® Marketing Guidelines are designed to Help Dealers Comply with the Law
To assist Dealers in complying with the laws applicable to advertising credit products, we strongly recommend Dealers to use marketing materials that are provided by PowerPay in the Dealer Portal. The Marketing materials which are referenced in the Operating Instructions available to all Dealers, provide a brief description of the categories of the credit plans the Programs offer and pre-approved marketing language that may be used when advertising the availability of each type of plan.
Energy Efficiency/Alternative Energy Dealer Guidelines
Our Expectations for Energy Efficiency/Alternative Energy Dealers
Energy efficiency and alternative energy (such as solar or geothermal) projects are often sold to consumers looking to save money on their utility bills. Although all Dealers may be subject to claims of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices, Dealers who specialize in energy efficiency and alternative energy face additional risk from customers claiming deception during the sales process if they are not satisfied with the projects. Therefore, it is important for energy efficiency and alternative energy Dealers to be more careful in their sales presentation and accurately and completely describe the project plans, the potential savings, and the financing plans.
Dealers should not guarantee savings, tax rebates, tax credits, or government incentives!
Important Documentation for You and Your Customers
Our Dealer website provides samples of the various forms and documents referred to in the training materials and these compliance guidelines. Please contact your PowerPay® sales representative or call us at (800) 397-4485 or visit our website or contact your representative to obtain pdfs of the forms and documents you need.