Check n’ Go Settlement

Brent Finnegan -- January 18th, 2008

Yesterday the AP reported that Check n’ Go, the nation’s second largest payday lender, has agreed to pay Virginia $100,000 “for violating numerous state laws regulating the industry.”

The State Corporation Commission cannot disclose which laws Check n’ Go violated because such reports are confidential, but a commission spokesman said an examination of the company by the commission’s Bureau of Financial Institutions revealed “numerous violations that the bureau considered excessive.”

There’s a Check n’ Go located at 1790 East Market Street. Check n’ Go spokesperson Yancey Deering was quoted in a WHSV story earlier this week, defending the industry against state regulation. “Because we want to loan customers only what they can afford to pay back, Check ‘N Go has developed its own underwriting standards to evaluate the risk associated with a loan,” said Deering.

One of the payday loan activists I interviewed in November was also quoted in the AP story:

“I suppose Check ‘n Go realized that they were going to have charges finalized against them and I think that they were terrified of that happening during this fight in front of the Assembly,” said John LaCombe, executive director of CapAmerica, an anti-payday loan group that includes several former Check n’ Go workers.

One of the those, former Check ‘n Go manager William Harrod, wrote to legislators in July detailing how he was trained to always push the maximum loan on customers, threaten those who did not pay and hack into borrower’s bank accounts using their personal information.

Harrod and at least one other industry whistle-blower provided information to the SCC, LaCombe said.

LaCombe said he was satisfied with the $100,000 settlement.

“It really doesn’t seem like a whole lot of money considering what they make off the backs of the poor and minority folks that live in Virginia, but I will say that it is a lot if you look at statutory penalties,” he said.

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5 Responses to “Check n’ Go Settlement”

  1. Lowell Fulk says:

    “…..he was trained to always push the maximum loan on customers, threaten those who did not pay and hack into borrower’s bank accounts using their personal information.”

    What a wholesome and noble business methodology which has been allowed into our state and communities. Thank you so much General Assembly of 2002 majority!

    Have you noticed the ads in the dnr promoting legal loan sharks, er, payday lenders?

    Little shady looking guy with a thin mustache wearing the poorly fitting jacket with his arms crossed and standing in a defensive/defiant pose? Rather a good representation of the lenders really. Not, I would guess, what they had intended.

  2. JGFitzgerald says:

    Blame Giuliani, Lowell. He claims to have helped break the back of organized crime in NY. Presumably that’s what has led to activities previously conducted by OC now being handled by mainstream business people. Loan-sharking in Virginia, prostitution in Nevada, gambling anywhere there’s a reservation or a place to dock a riverboat. Presumably the occasional $100,000 settlement and a few campaign contributions are cheaper than outright bribery.

    Hell of a business model.

  3. Lowell Fulk says:

    You know Joe? None of these new directions involve production. They only involve a way to enable the promoters of human weakness to prey on, and profit from, well, human weakness. Not any promotion of human strength, self reliance or productivity. Not the United States I grew up believing in….

  4. arthur turner says:

    doese this civil suit cover florida also

  5. finnegan says:

    I don’t think so. This is only for Virginia.

    Florida may have a similar suit filed, but I don’t know.

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