On July 25, 2017, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office (Virginia AG) announced that it had reached a settlement with a small-dollar open-end credit lender. According to the Virginia AG, the lender offered open-end cash advances, both at a storefront and online, through short term loans with interest rates as high as 240%, often in small amounts and to less advantaged consumers.
The Virginia AG alleged that the lender violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA) by misrepresenting that it would not conduct credit checks on consumers, imposing finance fees during a statutorily-required grace period where no such fees could be charged, and by obtaining judgments in a particular venue without legal basis for that venue. Under the settlement, the lender will provide over $450,000 in debt forgiveness, $14,000 in refunded fees, and $17,000 in interest forgiveness. The lender has also agreed to a permanent injunction to refrain from misrepresenting that it will not perform credit checks, seeking judgments in an improper venue, or violating the VCPA in any other way.