Consumer Finance Insights
November 11, 2016

New Mexico Judge Orders Payday Lender to Pay $32 Million in Restitution

On November 9, 2016, the New Mexico Attorney General (AG) announced that a New Mexico judge issued a final judgment against a payday lender and ordered the lender to pay $32 million in restitution.

The court found the lender had “fashioned their loans and business practices so as to circumvent regulation of payday loans” by decreasing the amount of payday loans issued and increasing the amount of installment loans issued.  As the loans were fashioned as installment loans, the court found the lender was able to avoid providing consumers certain benefits guaranteed under New Mexico law to those who take out payday loans, such as allowing consumers to enter into debt payment plans.  The court then determined that the amount of restitution to be paid to consumers was $32,255,054, or, the “difference in the amounts the borrowers paid under the installment loan products and the amounts they would have paid had they taken out payday loans, minus any deficiencies incurred on individual loss.”