This oversight regularly pays off -- whether the bureau has to take proactive measures to audit various companies or simply has to wait until courageous consumers step forward with their complaints. Here's some interesting information about one major Texas-based payday lender (and pawn shop owner) now being forced to pay huge fines for illegal lending practices.
The Recent Saga Involving Cash America Incorporated (CSH)
What makes this particular case especially distasteful is that it involved taking advantage of many of our country's military service members – individuals who work very hard for their wages and certainly don't deserve deceitful payday loan practices.
After conducting an in-depth probe of Cash America International’s debt collection practices, the CFPB realized it had to take decisive action. One of this company's improper practices included an “alleged robo-signing of documents used in lawsuits filed by Cash America in Ohio. [The CFPB also accused this company] of violating a federal law limiting interest rates on loans to members of the military and their families.” All of this wrongful conduct was committed between 2008 and 2013.
Other unethical conduct by Cash America discovered during this government probe included the destruction of important documents and “deleted calls it had recorded with consumers … [along with telling] employees to limit information they provided to federal supervisors.”
Penalties Being Paid by Cash America
In order to make amends for all of its improper dealings, Cash America must “pay a $5 million civil penalty for its conduct [committed during the five-year period referenced above] and refund $8 million to consumers. Separate from those accounts, it has already reimbursed $6 million to consumers.” Conclusions
Whether you’re a member of the military or a regular civilian, be very wary of obtaining any payday loans. Far too often, you’ll be asked to pay unfair interest rates. If you’re in the military, check with your Peachtree City consumer protection attorney (or your nearest JAG officer) to learn about the maximum interest rates that can be charged for loans made to active service members. You can only fully protect your rights if you fully understand them.
If you believe that you’re a victim of any abusive debt collection practices, contact the Law Offices of Georgia consumer protection attorney Shane Smith so that you can learn more about your rights under federal and state consumer protection statutes. Call (770) 487-8999 today to schedule your free initial consultation.