New 'CALoanRefund.org' website targets Check 'n Go borrowers eligible for $4.3
Eligible claimants obtained online loans that were the subject of S.F. City
Attorney's Consumer Protection Unit lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 22, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A newly launched website aimed at
identifying and educating borrowers of online loans from Check 'n Go launched
today to facilitate claims from California consumers who may be eligible for
potentially significant repayments in interest, fees and finance charges. The
new website at http://www.caloanrefund.org offers access to downloadable claim
forms and provides extensive information about the statewide refund program,
which will conclude on March 28. The website also enables claimants and
consumer activists to leverage the power of social media by sharing
information with their online networks, as well as other ways to coordinate
with more than 160 community partners involved in the effort so far.
The refund outreach program, which includes consumer advocates and elected
leaders throughout California, is among the terms of an agreement San
Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera negotiated with the Cincinnati-based
Check 'n Go last June to settle litigation Herrera's Consumer Protection Unit
filed in 2007. San Francisco's civil action alleged that Check 'n Go engaged
in an illicit "rent-a-bank" scheme aimed at skirting California's maximum
allowable annual interest rate of no more than 36 percent for that type of
loan. According to records obtained before and during the course of the
litigation, Check 'n Go made online installment loans to California consumers
with interest rates as high as 400 percent—far in excess of what state law
allows—as late as June 2008.
Though Check 'n Go acknowledged no wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement,
the company agreed to commit $4.3 million toward restitution to borrowers who
obtained online loans between Nov. 2006 and June 2008. Refunds are expected
to range from $20 to more than $4,600 for each eligible claimant.
"Because only online borrowers are eligible to receive these refunds from
Check 'n Go, we need an aggressive online marketing push to spread the word,"
said Herrera. "We're doing our part with the website we're launching today,
but to make a real difference, we need everyone's help to spread the word
through social media. The strongest statement we can make against predatory
lending in California is to maximize restitution for every borrower who
deserves it. That's why this outreach push for eligible Check 'n Go borrowers
is so important, and it's why we're working so hard to make it a success."
A prior three-month outreach drive last year targeting Money Mart and Loan
Mart borrowers partnered with elected officials, consumer advocacy groups,
community, faith and labor organizations statewide netted more than $5.5
million that is currently in the process of being paid to more than 8,100
eligible claimants. The average restitution payment obtained in the Money
Mart/Loan Mart efforts was nearly $700.
Both the Check 'n Go and Money Mart/Loan Mart efforts arose out of litigation
that Herrera's Consumer Protection Unit filed on April 26, 2007. That civil
action named the payday lenders and an associated out-of-state bank for
unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices stemming from short-term
installment loans (typically marketed to low-income borrowers) at unlawful
interest rates. In addition to Check 'n Go and Money Mart/Loan Mart, the
original lawsuit named Wilmington, Del.-based First Bank of Delaware as a
defendant for aiding and abetting the predatory lending schemes. Herrera's
complaint alleged that Check 'n Go offered installment loans of up to $1,500,
with annual percentage rates exceeding 300 percent, through a questionable
arrangement with First Bank of Delaware, in a deliberate effort to circumvent
California's interest rate limits.
Check 'n Go claimants may be qualified for restitution if they obtained a
four-month installment loan online between Nov. 2006 and June 2008 through the
websites: checkngo.com, ilp.fbdel.com, and commandloans.com. To be eligible
for repayment, borrowers must mail a claim form and a copy of the required
form of identification to the settlement administrator, postmarked by March
Herrera is urging potential claimants who think they may be qualified for
restitution to visit, email or call for more information:
(Toll Free) 1-855-581-2350
The litigation involving the Check 'n Go loan settlement is: People of the
State of California ex rel. Dennis Herrera v. Check N' Go of California, Inc.,
et al. (San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-07-462779).
SOURCE City Attorney Dennis Herrera
Contact: Matt Dorsey, +1-415-554-4662
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.