Category Archives: usury

Austin, TX Payday Lender “EZCORP” Has 130,000 Loans Extinguished!

On December 16, 2015, the CFPB announced a consent decree with EZCORP, an Austin, Texas-based payday lender.  The consent decree included $7.5 million in redress to consumers, $3 million in fines, and the effective extinguishment of 130,000 payday loans.  In July of this year, EZCORP announced that they were exiting the consumer lending marketplace.

The consent decree alleged a number of UDAAP violations against EZCORP, including:

  1. Made in person “at home” debt collection attempts which “caused or had the potential to cause” unlawful third party disclosure, and often did so at inconvenient times.
  2. Made in person “at work” debt collection attempts which caused – or had the potential to cause – harm to the consumer’s reputation and/or work status.
  3. Called consumers at work when the consumer had notified EZCORP to stop contacting them at work or it was against the employer’s policy to contact them at work.  They also called references and landlords seeking to locate the consumer, disclosing – or risked disclosing – the call was an attempt to collect a debt.
  4. Threatened legal action against the consumer for non-payment, though they had neither the intent nor history of legal collection.
  5. Advertised to consumers that they extended loans without pulling credit reports, yet they often pulled credit reports without consumer consent.
  6. Frequently required as a condition of getting the loan that the consumer make payments via electronic withdrawals.  Under EFTA Reg E, requiring the consumer to make payments via electronic transfer cannot be a condition for offering a loan.
  7. If the consumer’s electronic payment request was returned as NSF, EZCORP would break the payment up into three parts (50% of the payment due, 30% of the payment due, and 20% or the payment due) and then send all three electronic payment requests simultaneously.  Consumers would sometimes have all three returned and incur NSF fees at the bank and from EZCORP.
  8. Informed consumers that they could stop the auto-payments at any time but then failed to honor those requests and often indicated the only way to get current was to use electronic payment.
  9. Informed consumers they could not pay off the debt early.
  10. Informed consumers about the dates and times that an auto-payment would be processed and regularly did not follow those disclosures to clients.
  11. When consumers requested that EZCORP stop making collection calls either verbally or in writing, the collection calls continued.

Penalties for these infractions included:

  1. $7.5 million fine
  2. $3 million pool to provide redress to consumers for NSF fees for electronic payments practices
  3. Barred from at-home and at-office collection efforts
  4. 130,000 accounts – what appears to be the entire EZCORP consumer lending portfolio – is no longer collectable.  No collection activity.  No payments accepted.  EZCORP must “amend, delete, or suppress any negative information relating to such debts.”

GC Services Problem? Complain To The FOUNDER!

You can find the contact details of the founder of GC Services here. Call him if you can’t get them to stop harassing you.

Rumson, Bolling & Associates: CLOSED DOWN By The FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has closed down collection agency Rumson, Bolling & Associates.

 

Debt Collectors: Take Their Phones Away From Them!

The phone is the “weapon of choice” of debt collectors. Many debt collectors break the law by failing to send written communications.

Many bill collectors use abusive language, make threats, and tell lies over the phone-these are all tactics to get you to pay money you may not even owe at all!

Even worse, many dishonest collection agencies will get you to agree to a one time payment, and then they will drain your bank account DRY.

What can you do?

Simple. Take the phone away from them.

How? Here’s one very clever idea that has worked for many people!

Mann Bracken Attorneys Regroup

Some of the attorneys formerly with Mann Bracken have formed their own law firm.

One of them, Scott Kramer was not only a principal in Mann Bracken but is also active in collections law in the Washington, DC, area.

Marauder Corporation: Expelled from Oregon and Washington

Marauder Corporation founder Ryon A. Gambill must be having cash flow problems.

In 2007, both Oregon and Washington expelled him for failing to maintain collection agency bonds. It is not known if he has been reinstated.

Litigation involving Gambill and Marauder’s alleged abuse of Experian continues.