Herring reaches settlements with two Fredericksburg-area pawnbrokers
Attorney General Mark Herring announced today that his office has reached settlements with Pawnking LLC and All Star Pawn & Gold LLC, two affiliated Fredericksburg-area pawnbrokers, to provide more than $62,000 in refunds to more than 1,000 consumers to resolve allegations that the companies charged illegal interest and fees in violation of Virginia’s pawnbroker statutes and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
“In recent years we have seen a rash of pawnbrokers around Virginia skirting laws and overcharging consumers,” said Attorney General Herring. “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.”
The settlements include the following key terms:
- Pawnking agrees to offer refunds totaling $55,920.30 to 831 borrowers representing the amounts those borrowers paid beyond what Virginia’s pawnbroker statutes allow.
- All Star agrees to offer refunds totaling $6,857.49 to 216 borrowers representing the amounts those borrowers paid beyond what Virginia’s pawnbroker statutes allow.
- Pawnking and All Star agree to pay the Attorney General, respectively, approximately $9,700 and $2,900 for reimbursement of the Commonwealth’s reasonable expenses, costs and attorneys’ fees.
- A permanent injunction preventing Pawnking and All Star from violating the Virginia statutes applicable to pawnbrokers and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
Individual consumers who received loans from Pawnking at their Plank Road store from September 13, 2014 to November 12, 2015 and who have questions about the settlement may contact the company directly at (540) 785-7474. Individual consumers who received loans from All Star at its Warrenton Road store from June 3, 2015 to November 12, 2015 and who have questions about the settlement may contact the company directly at (540) 372-6464.
The civil settlements are in the form of assurances of voluntary compliance filed for approval with the Spotsylvania and Stafford County Circuit Courts.
Attorney General Herring has brought actions against a number of Virginia pawnshops for charging illegal interest or making illegal auto title loans, and has partnered with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to enforce state and federal consumer finance statutes.
As part of National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Herring and hisrecently reorganizedConsumer Protection Section have launched a weeklong campaign to help Virginians understand their rights as consumers, and to help Virginia businesses understand their responsibilities to their customers. His consumer protection section has successfully brought enforcement actions against predatory lenders, retailers exploiting veterans and military families, fake charities, and anticompetitive mergers. During Attorney General Herring’s administration the OAG Consumer Protection Section has won approximately $147 million in consumer debt forgiveness, $24.8 million in restitution, and $32 million in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees, and transferred nearly $7 million to the Commonwealth’s General Fund.