On November 22, 2016, the Massachusetts Division of Banks (“DOB) announced that it has returned approximately $2.3 Million to 1,673 Massachusetts residents, as part of a settlement with an online payday lender. The payday lender allegedly issued payday loans with interest rates between 89 and 135 percent, and annual percentage rates (APR) between 89 and 355 percent, which violated the Massachusetts Criminal Usury Law. The lender also allegedly operated without a proper license and registration in Massachusetts, failed to evaluate borrowers’ ability to repay loans, charged illegal fees, and misrepresented to borrowers that their loan interest rates were legal. The lender entered into a consent order with the DOB and the Massachusetts Attorney General in October 2015, in which it agreed to stop making loans in Massachusetts and reimburse affected consumers. The DOB announced that as of November 22, 2016, approximately 93 percent of affected consumers had received complete refunds of their interest payments. Enforcement Watch covered the settlement with the DOB here, and similar settlements the lender entered into with other state agencies here and here.
Blog Enforcement Watch November 29, 2016