The Attorney General for the State of Vermont successfully secured refunds for approximately 4000 Vermont bank account holders from billing Tree.
“Vermont continues its strong prosecution against those engaged in predatory lending activities,” said Attorney General William H. Sorrell. “This is the fourth and largest settlement against a payment processor of high-interest, unlicensed internet loans and a further warning to the illegal lending industry.”
From 2012-2014, Billing Tree processed debits from nearly 4000 consumer bank accounts in Vermont on behalf of at least 43 online payday loan lenders. The annual interest rates (APR) often exceeded 100-300%. Vermont law prohibits annual interest above 24%. None of the 43 lenders had a license to make loans in Vermont.
As of May 2014, Billing Tree ceased processing payments in Vermont involving any online consumer loans.
Under the terms of the settlement, Billing Tree will issue credits totaling $153,282 to the Vermont bank accounts, and will pay $25,000 in civil penalties and costs to the State. The credits represent partial compensation for payment of interest over Vermont’s legal limit.
Consumers who have borrowed from any lender not listed as licensed with the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program, or mail a complaint to “Consumer Assistance Program,” 146 University Place, Burlington, VT 05405.
So, you have payday loan debt collectors calling you, texting you, emailing you…
How do you respond to a payday loan debt collector? 1st, it depends on whether this payday loan debt collector is your original lender.
The CFPB – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – has debt collector template letters you can use free. (Available at their website with a link below.)
Common challenges with payday loan debt collectors include your need to figure out if this debt collector who is on your butt BOUGHT the loan from your original payday loan lender.
Use the free sample payday loan debt collector response letters below ASAP! Keep copies of EVERYTHING! Consider these tasks your new job. You can save yourself thousands of dollars if YOU fight this TODAY.
How to handle a payday loan debt collector. What you must do?
WARNING: These letters are not legal advice.
If you’re being sued or think you’ll be sued by a payday loan debt collector, consider contacting a lawyer or read my $2.99 Amazon Book.
If you’ve manged to get your ass in payday loan hell, it’s a drag. I know! I’ve worked in payday loan debt collection call centers for years. I’ve heard every excuse and I know how to respond to them. learn from me. Invest a mickey mouse $2.99 and read my book. 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
You can beat the payday loan debt collectors BUT you have to know what to say and how to say it!
“The FTC requests a final judgment of over $43 million in equitable damages and injunctive relief against all defendants.”
YOU are entitled to money thanks to an FTC program launched against the payday loan companies listed below. Check your bank records for any debits processed by any of these companies. READ the name of the ACH processors involved as well. And, if you even THINK you may have been ripped off by a payday loan company, get my book, “How to Kiss Your Payday Loan lender Goodbye” available on Amazon for $2.99! It’s all about payday loan help available to you.
“The FTC argues that this provision is necessary because these defendants “directed many of the scheme’s most unscrupulous practices, including posing as a lender to purchase declined payday loan applications” and “falsely
held themselves out as consumer credit experts” and lenders in order to purchase consumer account information.”
“Section III of the FTC’s proposed order is reasonably related to Jared Mosher, Christopher Sunyich, and Steven Sunyich’s misconduct. This relief is especially appropriate in light of their high-level involvement in the scheme, which preyed on vulnerable customers i.e. payday loan applicants in need of financial assistance while purporting to offer nonexistent financial counseling and services. ”
The Federal Trade Commission sued Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc., its related entities, and the people who control them alleging a wide-ranging fraud scheme in which Ideal, through a host of shell entities, purchased consumer bank and credit card information from payday-loan vendors and charged unwitting consumers a fee for financial services never provided.
The FTC filed this action against Ascot Crossing, LLC; Avanix, LLC; Bracknell Shore, Ltd.; Chandon Group, Inc.; Fiscal Fitness, LLC; and Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc. (corporate defendants); and the people who control them: Kent Brown, Jared Mosher, Christopher Sunyich, Melissa Sunyich Gardner, Michael Sunyich, Shawn Sunyich, and Steven Sunyich (individual defendants), alleging that they orchestrated a fraud scheme using unfair billing practices (count 1), deceptive billing practices (count 2), and deceptive statements that consumers authorized payment (count 3), all in violation of the FTC Act.
The CFPB negated the need for you to consolidate all your payday loans IF you’ve been hounded by Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, P.C., Frederick J. Hanna, individually, Joseph C. Cooling, individually, and Robert A. Winter.
This collection company has been traeting consumers and payday loan borrowers brutally according to the CFPB.
The good news for you, dear reader? You’re off the hook. The CFPB got them to pay a $3.1M fine and forgive thousands of loans all over America.
Here are just a few accusations:
The Complaint alleges that in their efforts to collect debts owed to others, Defendants: (1) used complaints that falsely represented or implied meaningful attorney involvement; and (2) knowingly or recklessly used affidavits executed by affiants who misrepresented their personal knowledge of material facts. The Complaint alleges that Defendants’ conduct violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (“CFPA”).
Free, sample debt validation letter: when a debt collector reaches out to you and claims you owe them money, it’s common to respond to them with, “What? Who are you? I never heard of you! No way do I owe you any money! Prove it!
Once you calm down, the best approach is for you to request more information about the debt collector and the money they claim you owe them. [I’ve written several Posts on this subject.] You need a “Debt Validation Letter” to send to this debt collector.
Basically, You’re saying: “Tell me more about this debt.”
Use the sample BustaLoan.com letter here to ask for more information about this debt.
How to use this free Debt Validation sample letter:
Read the background below
Fill in your information on the sample Debt Validation Letter and edit it as needed to fit your situation. Delete any parts that don’t apply to you.
Print and send the Debt Validation Letter letter as soon as you can. Keep a copy for your records. You should consider sending the letter by certified mail or another method by which you can establish when the letter is received by the intended recipient.
Background: Send this Debt Validation Letter as soon as you can — if at all possible, within 30 days of when a debt collector contacts you the first time about a debt. This is important because, under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, your legal rights to obtain verification information from a debt collector are greater during the 30-day period.
When a debt collector is asking you to pay money, you’re entitled to ask for details. The sample Debt Validation Letter below will help you to get details on the following:
Why a debt collector thinks you owe this debt.
The amount of the debt and how old it is.
Details about the debt collector’s authority to collect this money.
A debt collector may not have a legal obligation to provide some or all of the information you seek, even if you request it within the 30-day period. If the collector doesn’t give you what you request, that doesn’t necessarily mean the debt collector has broken any laws or has given up a legal right to collect from you.
After you send your Debt Validation Letter:
If the debt collector makes vague statements about what will happen if you do not pay, read their response to your letter carefully. If they tell you that they intend to sue you, you should take that seriously. Federal law prohibits a debt collector from threatening to take any action they can’t take or that they don’t intend to take.
If you have specific questions, you may want to contact a lawyer. If you need a lawyer, you can:
Not all states require debt collectors to be licensed. Where a license is required, knowing whether or not a debt collector is licensed may be useful. If the debt collector isn’t conducting itself properly, you can contact the state licensing agency.
Sample Debt Validation Letter:
[Your return address] [Date]
[Debt collector name] [Debt collector Address]
Re: [Account number for the debt, if you have it]
Dear [Debt collector name]:
I am responding to your contact about a debt you are trying to collect. You contacted me by [phone/mail], on [date] and identified the debt as [any information they gave you about the debt]. Please supply the information below so that I can be fully informed:
Why you think I owe the debt and to whom I owe it, including:
The name and address of the creditor to whom the debt is currently owed, the account number used by that creditor, and the amount owed.
If this debt started with a different creditor, provide the name and address of the original creditor, the account number used by that creditor, and the amount owed to that creditor at the time it was transferred. When you identify the original creditor, please provide any other name by which I might know them, if that is different from the official name. In addition, tell me when the current creditor obtained the debt and who the current creditor obtained it from.
Provide verification and documentation that there is a valid basis for claiming that I am required to pay the debt to the current creditor. For example, can you provide a copy of the written agreement that created my original requirement to pay?
If you are asking that I pay a debt that somebody else is or was required to pay, identify that person. Provide verification and documentation about why this is a debt that I am required to pay.
The amount and age of the debt, including:
A copy of the last billing statement sent to me by the original creditor.
State the amount of the debt when you obtained it, and when that was.
If there have been any additional interest, fees or charges added since the last billing statement from the original creditor, provide an itemization showing the dates and amount of each added amount. In addition, explain how the added interest, fees or other charges are expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or are permitted by law.
If there have been any payments or other reductions since the last billing statement from the original creditor, provide an itemization showing the dates and amount of each of them.
If there have been any other changes or adjustments since the last billing statement from the original creditor, please provide full verification and documentation of the amount you are trying to collect. Explain how that amount was calculated. In addition, explain how the other changes or adjustments are expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.
Tell me when the creditor claims this debt became due and when it became delinquent.
Identify the date of the last payment made on this account.
Have you made a determination that this debt is within the statute of limitations applicable to it? Tell me when you think the statute of limitations expires for this debt, and how you determined that.
Details about your authority to collect this debt.
I would like more information about your firm before I discuss the debt with you. Does your firm have a debt collection license from my state? If not, say why not. If so, provide the date of the license, the name on the license, the license number, and the name, address and telephone number of the state agency issuing the license.
If you are contacting me from a place outside my state, does your firm have a debt collection license from that place? If so, provide the date of the license, the name on the license, the license number, and the name, address and telephone number of the state agency issuing the license.
I have asked for this information because I have some questions. I need to hear from you to make an informed decision about your claim that I owe this money. I am open to communicating with you for this purpose. In order to make sure that I am not put at any disadvantage, in the meantime please treat this debt as being in dispute and under discussion between us.
In addition to providing the information requested above, please let me know whether you are prepared to accept less than the balance you are claiming is owed. If so, please tell me in writing your offer with the amount you will accept to fully resolve the account.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Sincerely, Your Name
[This Debt Validation Letter complements of the CFPB]