Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that more than 9,000 Virginia borrowers who were harmed by a “rent-a-tribe” predatory lending scheme will receive checks averaging $982 as part of a settlement totaling $9.435 million negotiated by Attorney General Herring and class action litigants.
Eligible borrowers include those from whom CashCall, Inc. collected excessive interest on loans. Check distribution began on Tuesday September 5, and affected borrowers should receive their checks in the coming weeks.
“Predatory lenders like CashCall plague the most vulnerable Virginia consumers-those forced to resort to high-interest loans to pay for basic necessities like groceries or rent,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Settlements like this send a clear message that my team and I will not allow lenders to deceive, defraud, or abuse Virginians, and we’ll hold those accountable that do. Borrowers who qualified for the settlement should be on the lookout for their settlement checks and can contact the Settlement Administrator with any questions.”
CashCall agreed to settle claims that it illegally deceived borrowers and collected illegal interest of up to 230% on online loans made in amounts of between $700 and $10,000. The settlement, which was filed as a Stipulated Final Judgment and Order in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, resulted in $9.435 million in restitution to approximately 9,602 Virginia consumers who were charged illegal interest, an estimated $5.9 million in debt relief, and credit reporting corrections for affected borrowers. The settlement, secured by the Predatory Lending Unit of Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section, also required payment of $100,000 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees to the Commonwealth. The settlement was finalized in coordination with a pending Virginia class action settlement in the same court.
As part of the settlement, a Settlement Administrator notified all borrowers who made loans with CashCall through its “Western Sky” loan program that they may be entitled to restitution. Those borrowers whose claims were approved by the Settlement Administrator will receive a check. All borrowers who still have questions are encouraged to call the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-855-470-8532 or to visit the settlement website-www.vacashcallsettlement.com.
The Commonwealth is represented in this matter by Assistant Attorney General James Scott and Senior Assistant Attorney General Dave Irvin of Attorney General Herring’s Predatory Lending Unit. The Unit was established as a part of Attorney General Herring’s reorganization of his Consumer Protection Section, which now includes a focus on predatory lending in addition to deceptive conduct, anti-trust matters, charitable solicitation, and more. During Attorney General Herring’s administration, the Attorney General’s 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 with your consumer questions. Please call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963 if calling from Virginia, or 804-786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area. You can also subscribe to the Consumer Protection Quarterly Newsletter here.