Subscribe to our mailing list

X

Native American Tribal Indian Payday Loans Found to Be Operating Illegally

By on April 2, 2012

The Federal Trade Commission has taken action against a payday lending operation that allegedly piled on undisclosed and inflated fees, and collected on loans illegally by threatening borrowers with arrest and lawsuits. The FTC has asked a federal court to stop the allegedly illegal business tactics while the agency pursues its case against the defendants.

Like other payday lenders in recent years, this operation has claimed in state legal proceedings that it is affiliated with Native American tribes, and therefore immune from legal action. However, the FTC alleges that the defendants’ claims of tribal affiliation do not exempt them from complying with federal law.

This is the second time in seven months that the FTC has brought suit against a payday lender that has used a tribal affiliation defense against actions by state authorities. The FTC recently expanded its first such case, against Payday Financial, LLC, adding charges that the operation illegally sued debt-burdened consumers in a South Dakota tribal court that did not have jurisdiction over their cases.

In this case, as part of its continuing crackdown on scams that target consumers in financial distress, the FTC filed a complaint in U.S. district court charging that a web of defendants, including AMG Services, Inc., three other Internet-based lending companies, seven related companies, and six individuals, violated federal law by deceiving consumers when providing and collecting on payday loans. One of the defendants who allegedly controlled the lending companies is automobile racer Scott Tucker. According to documents filed with the court, Tucker and his co-defendant and brother, Blaine Tucker, allegedly transferred more than $40 million dollars collected from consumers by the payday lending companies to another company Scott Tucker controls, Level 5 Motor Sports, for “sponsorship” fees that benefit Scott Tucker’s automobile racing.

The Tuckers and the other defendants claimed they would charge borrowers the amount borrowed plus a one-time finance fee. Instead, the FTC alleges, the defendants made multiple withdrawals from borrowers’ bank accounts and assessed a new finance fee each time, without disclosing the true costs of the loan. The defendants also falsely threatened that consumers could be arrested, prosecuted, or imprisoned for failing to pay and that the defendants would sue them if they did not pay, according to the FTC.

READ  Did I Make a Mistake by Agreeing to Pay an Old Payday Loan?

According to documents filed by the FTC, over the last five years, the defendants’ deceptive and illegal tactics have generated more than 7,500 complaints to law enforcement authorities. In many cases, the defendants’ inflated fees left borrowers with supposed debts of more than triple the amount they had borrowed. In one typical example, the defendants allegedly told consumer Eric Barboza that a $500 loan would cost him $650 to repay. But the defendants attempted to charge him $1,925 to pay off the $500 loan, and threatened him with arrest when he balked at paying that amount.

The FTC’s complaint alleges that defendants’ misrepresentations and false threats violated the Federal Trade Commission Act. According to the FTC, the defendants also violated the Truth in Lending Act by failing to accurately disclose the annual percentage rate and other loan terms; and violated the Electronic Fund Transfer Act by illegally requiring consumers to preauthorize electronic fund transfers from their accounts. – Source


Last step, fill out the information below or call us for Priority Assistance.

What problems are you having with your report?

Your first name is required. Your first name is required to be at least 2 characters. Your first name cannot be longer than 50 characters.
Your last name is required. Your last name is required to be at least 2 characters. Your last name cannot be longer than 50 characters.
Your email is required.
Your phone is required. Your 10 digit phone number is required.
Your state is required.
Your age is required. Your age must be greater than 18. Your age must be less than 100.

By clicking on the "Contact Me" button above, you consent, acknowledge, and agree to the following: Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and to receive electronic communications. We take your privacy seriously. That you are providing express "written" consent for Debt.com or appropriate service provider(s) to call you (including through automated means; e.g. autodialing, text and pre-recorded messaging) via telephone, mobile device (including SMS and MMS - charges may apply), even if your telephone number is currently listed on any internal, corporate, state or federal Do-Not-Call list. Consent is not required as a condition to utilize Debt.com services and you are under no obligation to purchase anything.

By clicking on the “Contact me” button above, you consent, acknowledge, and agree to the following: (1)That you are providing express “written” consent for Lexington Law Firm, Debt.com or appropriate service provider(s) to call you (including through automated means; e.g. autodialing, text and pre-recorded messaging) via telephone, mobile device (including SMS and MMS – charges may apply), or dialed manually, at my residential or cellular number, even if your telephone number is currently listed on any internal, corporate, state or federal Do-Not-Call list; and (2)Lexington Law’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and Debt.com’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Consent is not required as a condition to utilize Lexington Law or Debt.com services and you are under no obligation to purchase anything.

About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

Share a Comment / Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: