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Herring reaches settlement with Manassas Park-area pawnbroker

The Attorney General’s office has reached a settlement with A to Z Pawn, a Manassas Park-area pawnbroker, to provide more than $41,500 in refunds to more than 630 consumers as a result of the company’s alleged violations of the Virginia statutes applicable to pawnbrokers and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA).

“In recent years we have seen a rash of pawnbrokers around Virginia skirting laws and overcharging consumers,” said Attorney General Herring. “This is the 8th settlement we have announced with a pawnbroker over the past seven months.   If you’re considering using a pawn shop or other small dollar loan lender, you should always closely review the terms and know your rights before signing anything that might result in even more money coming out of your pocket.”

A to Z Pawn has operated as a pawnbroker out of its store on Centreville Road in Manassas Park, Virginia.  In connection with its business, the company issues closed-end loans and takes possession of consumers’ personal property as security for its loans.

In the Complaint filed simultaneously with the proposed settlement, the Attorney General alleged that A to Z Pawn charged interest and fees beyond those permitted by the Virginia pawnbroker statutes.  By violating the pawnbroker statutes, the company also allegedly violated the VCPA.

The settlement includes the following key terms relating to the loans the pawnbroker made during the Relevant Period:

  • A to Z Pawn agrees to offer refunds totaling more than $41,500 to 638 borrowers representing the amounts those borrowers paid beyond what Virginia’s pawnbroker statutes allow.
  • A to Z Pawn agrees to pay the Attorney General $5,000.00 for reimbursement of the Commonwealth’s reasonable expenses, costs and attorney’s fees.
  • A permanent injunction preventing A to Z Pawn from violating the Virginia statutes applicable to pawnbrokers and the VCPA.

Individual consumers who received loans from A to Z Pawn during the period from March 17, 2015 to March 16, 2016 and who have questions about the settlement may contact the company directly at (703) 927-0599.

The civil settlement is in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed for approval with the Prince William County Circuit Court.

This matter was handled by Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section. In November, Attorney General Herring announced the completion of a reorganization of the OAG Consumer Protection Section to more efficiently and effectively enforce Virginia’s consumer protection laws, provide exceptional customer service in resolving complaints and disputes, and provide robust consumer education to keep Virginians from being victimized by fraud, scams, or illegal or abusive business practices. During Attorney General Herring’s administration the OAG Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $225 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.

If you have any consumer-related inquiries, the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline telephone counselors are available to assist you.  Please call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963 if calling from Virginia, or 804-786-2042if calling from the Richmond area. You can also subscribe to the Consumer Protection Quarterly Newsletter here.

   
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