Alston & Bird Consumer Finance Blog

Consumer Loan

CFPB Touts 2023 Greatest Hits and Casts a Line for Enforcement Hires

What Happened?

Earlier this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) released a blog post touting its 2023 successes in safeguarding “household financial stability” through the levying of fines and filing of lawsuits. The Bureau highlighted seven enforcement cases:

  • Protecting Servicemembers from Illegal High-Interest Loans and False Advertising: In February 2023, the CFPB ordered an auto title loan lender and several affiliated entities to pay a total of $15 million in penalties and consumer redress to resolve allegations that the entities violated the Military Lending Act. That same month, the CFPB permanently banned a California-based mortgage lender from the mortgage lending industry and imposed a $1 million penalty on the lender for repeatedly violating a 2015 consent order by, among other things, allegedly continuing to send advertisements to military families that led recipients to believe the company was affiliated with the U.S. government.
  • Taking Action for Illegally Charging Junk Fees, Withholding Credit Card Rewards, and Operating Fake Bank Accounts: In July 2023, the CFPB ordered a national bank to pay a more than $190 million in penalties and consumer redress to resolve allegations that the bank double dipped on insufficient funds fees imposed on customers, withheld reward bonuses promised to credit card customers, and misappropriated sensitive personal information to open accounts without customer knowledge or authorization. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) also found that the bank’s double-dipping on insufficient funds fees was illegal and ordered the bank to pay $60 million in penalties.
  • Intentional Illegal Discrimination Against Armenian Americans: In November 2023, the CFPB ordered a national bank to pay $25.9 million in fines and consumer redress for allegedly “intentionally and illegally discriminating against credit card applicants the bank identified as Armenian American.” 
  • Taking Action to Stop Loan Churning: In August 2023, the CFPB sued a high-cost installment loan lender and several of its wholly owned, state-licensed subsidiaries, for allegedly violating the Consumer Financial Protection Act by “illegally churning loans to harvest hundreds of millions in loan costs and fees.”
  • Illegal Rental Background Check and Credit Reporting Practices: In October 2023, the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) sued a rental screening subsidiary of a national consumer credit reporting agency for allegedly violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to take steps to ensure the rental background checks that landlords use to decide who gets housing were accurate and withholding from renters the names of third parties that were providing the inaccurate information. The resulting court order required the company to pay $15 million in penalties and make significant improvements to how it reports evictions. Separately, the CFPB ordered the national consumer reporting agency to pay $8 million in consumer redress and penalties for failing to timely place or remove security freezes and locks on consumer credit reports and for falsely telling certain consumers that their requests were processed.
  • Stopping unlawful junk advance fees for credit repair services: In August 2023, the CFPB entered into a settlement with a credit repair service conglomerate that imposed a $2.7 billion judgment and banned the companies from telemarketing credit repair services for 10 years.

The CFPB touted that in 2023 it secured over $3.5 billion in total fines and compensation from financial services “lawbreakers” in 2023.  The CFPB largely attributed these cases to the creation of a “team of technologists” working on emerging technologies to “enforce the law when emerging technologies harm consumers.”

Why is this Important?

The CFPB filed 29 enforcement actions in 2023 but selected the seven highlighted above, possibly signaling that junk fees, fair lending, servicemember protections, and credit reporting, among others, remain on the Bureau’s radar. We do not expect the CFPB to issue any sort of accounting covering enforcement cases which it dropped in 2023.

Interestingly, the CFPB also used this post to recruit new “cross-disciplinary” employees (both attorneys and non-attorneys) for its Office of Enforcement and reiterated that the Bureau is “significantly expanding [its] enforcement capacity in 2024 to build on [its] achievements so far.” The roles are located in the Bureau’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and its regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and San Francisco.  The last of the associated employment information virtual sessions occurred on January 30, 2024.  Strangely, the CFPB only released this blog post the day before the last of these three sessions and it is not known how that late notice may impact application numbers.

What Do You Need to Do?

Given that the CFPB is telegraphing those issues that are top of mind for the Bureau as well as its emphasis on ramping up enforcement in 2024, now is a good time for companies to review their compliance management programs and make any necessary enhancements to policies, procedures, processes, and systems to ensure compliance with all applicable consumer financial laws and regulations. In particular, institutions should revisit their compliance monitoring programs to determine whether any updates are needed to minimize enforcement risk.

OCC Issues Guidance on “Buy Now, Pay Later” Lending

A&B Abstract:

On December 6, 2023, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a bulletin aimed at providing guidance to national banks and federal savings associations (“Financial Institutions”) involved in “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) lending. The advisory emphasizes the need for these Financial Institutions to carefully manage risks associated with BNPL, focusing on aspects such as underwriting, repayment terms, pricing, and safeguards to protect customers. Additionally, the OCC stresses the importance of clear and prominent marketing materials and disclosures.

The Bulletin

While BNPL products may vary, the bulletin focuses on BNPL loans which involve four or fewer installments without finance charges, and that are commonly offered at the point of sale. Such BNPL products are distinguished from more traditional installment loans with payment terms greater than four installments or that charge interest or carry other finance charges. These loans have become increasingly popular, especially among younger individuals and those with limited credit history.

The OCC identifies various risks related to BNPL loans for both lenders and consumers, including credit, compliance, operational, strategic, and reputational risks. Specific concerns include potential borrower overextension, limited applicant credit history, unclear disclosure language, challenges with merchandise returns and merchant disputes, operational and compliance risks related to third-party relationships, and increased operational risk due to the highly automated nature of BNPL lending.

Further details on risks include the potential for elevated first payment default risk, additional fees for borrowers due to overextension, and the possibility that credit reporting agencies may lack visibility into BNPL activity.

The OCC’s guidance advises Financial Institutions engaged in BNPL lending to establish robust risk management systems, including prudent lending policies for risk identification, measurement, monitoring, and control. Regarding credit risk, the bulletin emphasizes the importance of sound charge-off practices, allowances for credit losses, and timely reporting of comprehensive information to credit bureaus under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The guidance also provides recommendations for operational risk management. It encourages Financial Institutions to assess and mitigate fraud risks, subject BNPL lending process models to sound model risk management and integrate BNPL lending into broader compliance management systems. Additionally, it highlights the need for Financial Institutions engaging third parties in BNPL lending to incorporate such relationships into their third-party risk management protocols.


Given the OCC’s focus on the risks associated with BNPL products, now is a good time for Financial Institutions engaged in BNPL Lending to ensure that their compliance management programs are robust enough to ensure compliance with the OCC’s guidance.

Oh Snap! CFPB Sues Fintech Company under CFPA and TILA

A&B Abstract:

On July 19, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued a Utah-based fintech company and several of its affiliates (the Company) for allegedly deceiving consumers and obscuring the terms of its financing agreements in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and other federal regulations.

The Allegations

The Company provides lease-to-own financing, through which consumers finance purchases from merchants though the Company’s “Purchase Agreements,” and, in turn, make payments back to the Company.  The Company allegedly provides the merchants with advertisement materials and involves them heavily in the application and contracting process.

According to the CFPB, the Company’s advertising and servicing efforts were deceptive.  As part of its marketing efforts, the Company allegedly provided its merchant partners with display advertisements that featured the phrase “100 Day Cash Payoff” without further explanation of the terms of financing.  Consumers who received financing from the Company reasonably believed they had entered into a 100-day financing agreement, where their automatically scheduled payments would fulfill their payment obligations after 100 days.  But, in fact, consumers had to affirmatively exercise the 100-day early payment discount option, and if they missed the deadline pay significantly more than the “cash” price under the terms of their Purchase Agreements.  Additionally, as part of its servicing efforts, the Company allegedly threatened consumers with collection actions that it does not bring.

From the CFPB’s perspective, these efforts constituted deceptive acts or practices under the CFPA.  The marketing efforts were deceptive because the Company’s use of this featured phrase was a (1) representation or practice; (2) material to consumers’ decision to take out financing; and (3) was likely to mislead reasonable consumers as to the nature of the financing agreement, while the servicing efforts were deceptive because the Company threatened actions it does not take.

The CFPB also alleges that the Company’s application and contracting process was abusive.  The Company allegedly designed and implemented a Merchant Portal application and contracting process that frequently resulted in merchants signing and submitting Purchase Agreements on behalf of consumers without the consumer’s prior review of the agreement.  Further, the Company relied on merchants to explain the terms of the agreements but provided them with no written guidance for doing so.  And as part of the process, the Company required consumers to pay a processing fee before receiving a summary of the terms of their agreement and before seeing or signing their final agreement.

Altogether, the CFPB views these acts and practices as abusive under the CFPA because they “materially interfered” with consumers’ ability to understand the terms and conditions of the Purchase Agreements.

Lastly, the CFPB alleges that the Company’s Purchase Agreements did not meet TILA and its implementing Regulation Z’s disclosure requirements.  On this point, the CFPB is careful in alleging that the Purchase Agreements are not typical rent-to-own agreements to which TILA does not apply.  Rather, the CFPB alleges they are actually “credit sales” because the agreements permitted consumers to terminate only at the conclusion of an automatically renewing 60-day term, and only if consumers were current on their payment obligations through the end of that term.


This suit serves as a good reminder to every lending program to: (i) have counsel carefully vet all advertisements to ensure that they are not inadvertently deceptive or misleading to consumers; (ii) ensure that the mechanics of its application process facilitate rather than interfere with consumers’ ability to understand the terms and conditions; and (iii) consult with counsel regarding whether their agreements are subject to TILA and Regulation Z’s disclosure requirements.

CFPB Issues Special Edition of Supervisory Highlights Focusing on Junk Fees

A&B ABstract:

In the 29nd edition of its Supervisory Highlights, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) focused on the impact of so-called “junk” fees in the mortgage servicing, auto servicing, and student loan servicing industries, among others.

CFPB Issues New Edition of Supervisory Highlights:

On March 8, the CFPB published a special edition of its Supervisory Highlights, addressing supervisory observations with respect to the imposition of junk fees in the mortgage servicing and auto servicing markets – as well as for deposits, payday and small-dollar lending, and student loan servicing.  The observations cover examinations of participants in these industries that the CFPB conducted between July 1, 2022 and February 1, 2023.

Auto Servicing

With respect to auto servicing, the CFPB noted three principal categories of findings the Bureau claims constitute acts or practices prohibited by the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”).

First, examiners asserted that auto servicers engaged in unfair acts or practices by assessing late fees: (a) that exceeded the maximum amount stated in consumers’ contracts; or (b) after consumers’ vehicles had been repossessed and the full balances were due.  With respect to the latter, the acceleration of the contract balance upon repossession extinguished not only the customers’ contractual obligation to make further periodic payments, but also the servicers’ contractual right to charge late fees on such periodic payments. The report notes that in response to the findings, the servicers ceased their assessment practices, and provided refunds to affected consumers.

Second, examiners alleged that auto servicers engaged in unfair acts or practices by charging estimated repossession fees that were significantly higher than the average repossession cost.  Although servicers returned excess amounts to consumers after being invoiced for the actual costs, the CFPB found that the assessment of the materially higher estimated fees caused or was likely to cause concrete monetary harm – and, thus, “substantial injury” as identified in unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (“UDAAP”) supervisory guidance – to consumers.  Further, consumers could have suffered injury in the form of loss of their vehicles to the extent that they did not want – or could not afford – to pay the higher estimated repossession fees if they sought to reinstate or redeem the vehicle.  Examiners found that such injuries: (a) were not reasonably avoidable by consumers, who could not control the servicers’ fee practices; and (b) were not outweighed by a countervailing benefit to consumers or competition.  The report notes that in response to the findings, the servicers ceased the practice of charging estimated repossession fees that were significantly higher than average actual costs, and also provided refunds to consumers affected by the practice.

Third, examiners claimed that auto servicers engaged in unfair and abusive acts or practices by assessing payment processing fees that exceeded the servicers’ actual costs for processing payments.  CFPB examiners noted that servicers offered consumers two free methods of payment: (a) pre-authorized recurring ACH debits; and (b) mailed checks.  Only consumers with bank accounts can utilize those methods; all those without a bank account, or who chose to use a different payment method, incurred a processing fee.  The CFPB reported that as a result of “pay-to-pay” fees, servicers received millions of dollars in incentive payments totaling approximately half of the total amount of payment processing fees collected by the third party payment processors.

Mortgage Servicing

In examining mortgage servicers, CFPB examiners noted five principal categories of findings that related to the assessment of junk fees, which were alleged to constitute UDAAPs and/or violate Regulation Z.

First, CFPB examiners found that servicers assessed borrowers late fees in excess of the amounts permitted by loan agreements, often by neglecting to input the maximum fee permitted by agreement into their operating systems.   The examiners found that by instead charging the maximum late fees permitted under state laws, servicers engaged in unfair acts or practices.  Further, servicers violated Regulation Z by issuing periodic statements that reflected the charging of fees in excess of those permitted by borrowers’ loan agreements. In response to these findings, servicers took corrective action including: (a) waiving or refunding late fees that were in excess of those permitted under borrowers’ loan agreements; and (b) corrected borrower’s periodic statements to reflect correct late fee amounts.

Second, CFPB examiners found that servicers engaged in unfair acts and practices by repeatedly charged consumers for unnecessary property inspections (such as repeat property preservation visits to known bad addresses). In response to the finding, servicers revised their policies to preclude multiple charges to a known bad address, and waived or refunded the fees that had been assessed to borrowers.

Third, CFPB examiners noted two sets of findings related to private mortgage insurance (“PMI”).  When a loan is originated with lender-paid PMI, PMI premiums should not be billed directly to consumers.  In certain cases, the CFPB found that servicers engaged in deceptive acts or practices by mispresenting to consumers – including on periodic statements and escrow disclosures – that they owed PMI premiums, when in fact the borrowers’ loans had lender-paid PMI.  These misrepresentations led to borrowers’ overpayments reflecting the PMI premiums; in response to the findings, servicers refunded any such overpayments. Similarly, CFPB examiners found that servicers violated the Homeowners Protection Act by failing to terminate PMI on the date that the principal balance of a current loan was scheduled to read a 78 percent LTV ratio, and continuing to accept borrowers’ payments for PMI after that date.  In response to these findings, servicers both issued refunds of excess PMI payments and implemented compliance controls to enhance their PMI handling.

Fourth, CFPB examiners found that servicers engaged in unfair acts or practices by failing to waive charges (including late fees and penalties) accrued outside of forbearance periods for federally backed mortgages subject to the protections of the CARES Act.  The CARES Act generally prohibits the accrual of fees, penalties, or additional interest beyond scheduled monthly payment amounts during a forbearance period; however, the law does not address fees and charges accrued during periods when loans are not in forbearance.  Under certain circumstances, HUD required servicers of FHA-insured mortgages to waive fees and penalties accrued outside of forbearance periods for borrowers exiting forbearances and  entering permanent loss mitigation options.  CFPB examiners found that servicers sometimes failed to complete the required fee waivers, constituting an unfair act or practice under the CFA.

Finally, CFPB examiners found that servicers engaged in deceptive acts and practices by sending consumers in their last month of forbearance periodic statements that incorrectly listed a $0 late fee for the next month’s payment, when a full late fee would be charged if such payment were late.  In response to the finding, servicers updated their periodic statements and either waived or refunded late fees incurred in the referenced payments.


The CFPB determined that two overdraft-related practices constitute unfair acts or practices: (i) authorizing transactions when a deposit’s balance was positive but settled negative (APSN fees); and (ii) assessing multiple non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees when merchants present a payment against a customer’s account multiple times despite the lack of sufficient funds in the account.  The CFPB has criticized both fees before in Consumer Financial Protection Circular 2022-06, Unanticipated Overdraft Fee Assessment Practices.

According to the report, tens of millions of dollars in related customer injury are attributable to APSN fee practices, and redress is already underway to more than 170,000 customers.  Many financial institutions have abandoned the practice, but the CFPB noted that even some such institutions had not ceased the practice and were accordingly issued matters requiring attention to correct the problems.  As for NSF fees, the CFPB found millions of dollars of consumer harm to tens of thousands of customers.  It also determined that “virtually all” institutions interacting with the CFPB on the issue have abandoned the practice.

Student Loan Servicing

Turning to student loan servicing, the CFPB found that servicers engaged in unfair acts or practices prohibited by the CFPA where: (a) customer service representative errors delayed consumers from making valid payments on their accounts, and (b) those delays led to consumers owing additional late fees and interest associated with the delinquency.  Contrary to servicers’ state policies against the acceptance of credit cards, customer service representatives accepted and processed credit card payments from consumers over the phone.  The servicers initially processed the credit card payments, but then reversed those payments when the error in payment method was identified.

Payday and Small Dollar Lending

The CFPB determined that lenders, in connection with payday, installment, title, and line-of-credit loans, engaged in a number of unfair acts or practices.  The first conclusion they made was that lenders simultaneously or near-simultaneously re-presented split payments from customers’ accounts without obtaining proper authorization, resulting in multiple overdraft fees, indirect follow-on fees, unauthorized loss of funds, and inability to prioritize payment decisions. The second such conclusion concerned charges to borrowers to retrieve personal property from repossessed vehicles, servicer charges, and withholding subject personal property and vehicles until fees were paid.  The third such determination related to stopping vehicle repossessions before title loan payments were due as previously agreed, and then withholding the vehicles until consumers paid repossession-related fees and refinanced their debts.


The CFPB’s focus on “junk” fees is not new – it follows on an announcement last January that the agency would be focused on the fairness of fees that various industries impose on consumers.  (We have previously discussed how the CFPB’s actions could impact mortgage servicing fee structures.)  Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission has previously considered the issue of “junk fees” in connection with auto finance transactions.

By focusing specifically on the issue in a special edition of the Supervisory Highlights, the CFPB is drawing special attention to the issue of these fees in the servicing context.  Mortgage, auto, and student loan servicers might use this as an opportunity to review their current practices and see how they stack up against the CFPB’s findings.

CFPB Issues Proposed Rule to Establish Public Registry of Supervised Nonbank Form Contract Provisions that Waive or Limit Consumers’ Legal Protections

A&B ABstract:

On January 11, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB” or “Bureau”) announced a proposed rule to establish a public registry and require  nonbanks supervised by the agency to register their use of certain terms and conditions contained in “take it or leave it” form contracts for consumer financial products or services that “attempt to waive consumers’ legal protections,” “limit how consumers enforce their rights,” or “restrict consumers’ ability to file complaints or post reviews” (the “Proposed Rule”).  The purpose of Proposed Rule’s registration system is to allow the CFPB to prioritize oversight of nonbanks that use the covered terms and conditions based on the agency’s perception these provisions pose risks for consumers.

The CFPB seeks public comment on the practical utility of collecting and publishing this information as well as ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents. The comment period closes on April 3, 2023.

The Proposed Rule

The Proposed Rule would require annual registration by most nonbanks subject to the CFPB’s jurisdiction, with limited exceptions. “Specifically, a “supervised nonbank” would be defined to mean a nonbank covered person that is subject to supervision and examination by the Bureau, except to the extent that such person engages in conduct or functions that are excluded from the Bureau’s supervisory authority pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 5517 or 5519.  A “supervised nonbank” would include any nonbank covered person that (1) offers or provides a residential mortgage-related product or service, any private educational consumer loan, or any consumer payday loan, (2) is a larger participant engaged in consumer reporting, consumer debt collection, student loan servicing, international money transfers, and auto financing, or (3) is subject to a CFPB order issued pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 5514(a)(1)(C).

Those excluded from the scope of the Proposed Rule would include, among others, persons subject to CFPB supervision and examination solely in the capacity of a service provider; natural persons; persons with less than $1 million in annual receipts resulting from offering or providing all consumer financial products and services as relevant to the activities noted in (1) through (3) above.  Also exempt from the rule would be a person that has not, together with its affiliates, engaged in more than de minimis use of covered terms and conditions (i.e., fewer than 1,000 times in the previous calendar year) and a person that used covered terms or conditions in covered form contracts in the previous calendar year solely by entering into contracts for residential mortgages on a form made publicly available on the Internet required for insurance or guarantee by a Federal agency or purchase by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae.

Under the Proposed Rule, a “covered term or condition” would be subject to the rule’s reporting requirements. A “covered term or condition” would be defined as “any clause, term, or condition that expressly purports to establish a covered limitation on consumer legal protections applicable to the offering or provision of any consumer financial product or service.” In turn, “covered limitation on consumer legal protections” would be defined to mean any covered term or condition in a covered form contract:

  • Precluding the consumer from bringing a legal action after a certain period of time;
  • Specifying a forum or venue where a consumer must bring a legal action in court;
  • Limiting the ability of the consumer to file a legal action seeking relief for other consumers or to seek to participate in a legal action filed by others;
  • Limiting liability to the consumer in a legal action including by capping the amount of recovery or type of remedy;
  • Waiving a cause of legal action by the consumer, including by stating a person is not responsible to the consumer for a harm or violation of law;
  • Limiting the ability of the consumer to make any written, oral, or pictorial review, assessment, complaint, or other similar analysis or statement concerning the offering or provision of consumer financial products or services by the supervised registrant;
  • Waiving, whether by extinguishing or causing the consumer to relinquish or agree not to assert, any other identified consumer legal protection, including any specified right, defense, or protection afforded to the consumer under Constitutional law, a statute or regulation, or common law; or
  • Requiring that a consumer bring any type of legal action in arbitration.

In the Proposed Rule, the CFPB acknowledges that there may be overlap in the types of covered terms and conditions, so some contract provisions may fall into more than one category.  The Proposed Rule currently proposes to limit the collection of terms and conditions that expressly attempt to establish the covered limitation.  Any contract containing a covered term would be considered a “form contract” provided it was (1) included in the original contract draft presented to the consumer, (2) was not negotiated between the parties, (3) is intended for repeated use in transactions between the company and consumers and contains a covered term or condition.

Supervised nonbanks covered by the Proposed Rule would be required to collect and submit this information through the CFPB’s registration system.  Under the Proposed Rule, the registry of terms and conditions would be publicly available, rather than limited to government regulators or CFPB staff.  The CFPB supports the public availably of this data on the grounds that it will lead to more informed consumers and provide other regulators the opportunity to identify covered terms and conditions that are explicitly prohibited by the laws they enforce or supervise.  The proposed format for the registry is similar to another recent CFPB proposed rule which proposes to establish a public registry of regulatory actions involving certain nonbanks subject to CFPB supervision. We previously discussed this proposed rule in another blog post.

CFPB’s Request for Comment on the Proposed Rule

The CFPB is seeking comment on a range of issues related to the Proposed Rule, including:

  • The prevalence of the covered terms and conditions;
  • Potential impacts of collecting and publishing this information;
  • Reasons why the information should not be publicly disclosed;
  • The burden of collecting and filing these provisions;
  • The use of form contracts purchased from third parties; and
  • Other entities that may be affected by the proposed rule.

The period for public comment ends on April 3, 2023.

Is the establishment of a Public Registry likely?

 The CFPB currently has thirty-seven (37) rules that have been proposed but not implemented, of which only five of were proposed since the start of the Biden Administration.  Most notably, neither the CFPB’s proposed rule for small business lending data collection from September 1, 2021 or its proposed rule for credit card late fees and late payments from June 22, 2022 have been finalized.  Since the substance of this rule is limited to the collection and publication of contract terms, rather than the prohibition of any behavior, enactment might be more likely.  The recent Fifth Circuit decision in Community Financial Services found the CFPB’s funding structure unconstitutional and vacated the agency’s Payday Lending Rule on those grounds.  Accordingly, any rule promulgated by the CFPB would likely be susceptible to legal challenges.


The Bureau’s focus on seeking public disclosure of covered terms and conditions reflects a continued focus on the content of form contracts used in connection with consumer finance products and services of nonbanks.  The public nature of the registry could lead to increased scrutiny of contract provisions from the Bureau, other regulators, and the public, increasing reputational risk to covered entities as well as the likelihood of heightened enforcement activity by Federal and State regulators. Accordingly, entities that would be subject to the Proposed Rule’s requirements should carefully review the Proposed Rule and consider commenting thereon.