Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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CFPB Begins Taking Payday Loan Complaints and Makes First Action

Consumers who feel taken advantage of by one of the most infamously predatory businesses – payday lenders – now have a place to send their complaints. In early November, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it would begin taking complaints on payday loan businesses via its complaint form found at or by phone to 1-855-411-2372.

Some of the potentially illegal practices you can complain about include: unexpected fees or interest, unauthorized charges to you bank account, uncredited payments, not receiving money after you’ve applied or receiving money for a loan you haven’t applied for.

Already, the CFPB has brought its first action against a payday lender. Cash America International, Inc. is required to reimburse up to $14 million to consumers for its violation of consumer financial protection laws. The company has already refunded $6 million and is expected to make another $8 million refunds over the next several months.

Cash America violated Federal law by having employees robosign court documents related to lawsuits For years, employees of Cash America subsidiaries had been illegally stamping a company manager and attorney’s name on court documents that were used to sue customers with past due balances – before the documents were reviewed by either party.

You may recall, robosigning was at the center of a foreclosure scandal in 2010, where a number of homeowners were sent foreclosure notices that hadn’t been given the proper review and had been fraudulently signed. Employees at several large banks were stamping hundreds of foreclosure-related documents each day after spending just a few mere seconds reviewing the documents. The crisis is still ongoing and many banks and mortgage services have already paid millions of dollars in fines over the issue.

Cash America wasn’t only guilty of robosigning court documents. Another subsidiary of the company violated the Military Lending Act by charging more than 36% interest to service members and their dependents.

One of the biggest surprising in the case is how Cash America responded to the CFPB’s notice of the coming examination. Amid the CFPB’s investigation, Cash America employees destroyed documents relevant to the to the compliance examination, deleted recorded phone calls, shredded documents even after being told not to, told employees not to give out certain information, and withheld a report on robo-signing practices.

In addition to the $14 million refund, Cash America also has to pay a $5 million fine to the CFPB. Pending collection lawsuits, post-judgment collection, and judgments have been cancelled and the credit bureaus have been notified of the errors.

Customers of Cash America or its subsidiaries who paid money because of a debt collection lawsuit between January 1, 2008 and October 1, 2012 are eligible for a refund. Some customers have already been issued refunds, but if you haven’t received one and believe you are entitled, you can apply by visiting a website setup for requesting refunds: You can also call 1-877-524-8480. The deadline to request a refund is May 19, 2014.

The Cash America subsidiaries involved are: Ohio Neighborhood Finance, Inc. (does business as Cashland), Cash American Pawn, Inc. of Ohio, Cashland Financial Services, Inc., Cash America Net of Ohio, LLC, Ohio Neighborhood Credit Solutions, Inc., and CNU of Ohio, LLC.

Sources: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,
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Thursday, 02 February 2023

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