Consumer Finance Insights
March 9, 2016

Vermont AG Settles with Payment Processor over Role in Alleged Unlawful Lending

On March 9, 2016, the Vermont Attorney General announced a $22,000 settlement with a payment processor over its alleged violation of Vermont consumer protection laws. The Attorney General asserted that between 2012-2013, the company processed debits from over 500 consumer bank accounts on behalf of at least 36 online lenders whose interest rates often exceeded 100-300%. It is alleged that these transactions are illegal because Vermont law prohibits annual interest above 24%. Additionally, it is claimed that the 36 lenders did not have a license to make loans in Vermont. As a result, the Attorney General asserted that the payment processor had committed unfair and deceptive acts and practices in violation of Vermont law. The company stopped processing payments in Vermont as of September 2013.

Under the settlement, the company will pay $22,000 to Vermont, with $12,000 going to the Vermont Financial Literacy Commission Fund. This represents the amount the Attorney General claims the company debited from bank accounts for which it had no personal contact information for the consumer.