On February 14, 2017, the Florida Attorney General’s Office (Florida AG) announced that it had entered into three consent judgments and one settlement with four affiliated loan service companies and their operators, resolving complaints filed against the companies by the Florida AG in state court in 2015. According to the Florida AG, the companies unlawfully charged consumers $500 to $1,000 in fees for referrals to credit providers, who then extended credit to consumers with terms that were substantially the same terms as those available to the general public. The companies were also accused of charging up-front fees, and falsely promising consumers that they had been pre-approved for loans. The Florida AG also alleged that the companies misrepresented their services in marketing materials and withdrew funds from consumers’ accounts without authorization. Under the settlement agreements and consent judgments, the companies and their operators collectively agreed to pay more than $8 million in civil money penalties and restitution payments, and the companies also agreed to stop providing loan services in the State of Florida. The consent judgments are available here, here, and here. The settlement agreement is available here.
Blog Enforcement Watch February 17, 2017