The Attorney General of Pennsylvania announced separate settlements with the former Chief Executive Officer of Think Finance and a debt collector, National Creditor Adjusters (NCA), in relation to a $133 million allegedly illegal online payday lending scheme. As part of its settlement, NCA has agreed to pay more than $600,000 to cover the cost of the investigation and litigation.
A copy of the settlement agreement can be accessed by clicking here. NCA denied the allegations made by the Attorney General and voluntarily ceased active collection efforts on the accounts that were subject to the enforcement action back in 2015.
A separate fine of $276,523 was suspended under the terms of the settlement agreement. NCA, which allegedly collected more than $4 million from 6,000 Pennsylvania consumers, also agreed to:
- ensure that all debts it acquires, and which it attempts to collect, comply with applicable laws and regulations;
- cancel all balances on, and will take no further action to collect debts allegedly owed by Pennsylvania consumers on Think Finance debts;
- notify each Pennsylvania consumer debtor alleged to have owed monies under a Pennsylvania account that the balances have been cancelled;
- refrain from engaging in collections on any debts involving loans made over the internet by non-bank lenders that violate Pennsylvania laws, including its usury laws, and;
- not sell, re-sell or assign debt related to Pennsylvania accounts, including those subject to a previously-negotiated nationwide class action settlement agreement and Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan.
NCA will pay off the $602,000 during the course of the next two years, according to the terms of the settlement.
“Think Finance exploited thousands of Pennsylvanians and used their vulnerability to turn a profit,” said Josh Shapiro, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, in a statement. “Today’s agreement is another step towards ensuring that anyone involved in the Think Finance scheme can never again take advantage of Pennsylvanians through illegal payday lending.”
Think Finance reached a settlement with the Pennsylvania Attorney General back in 2019 that saw it cancel all of the remaining balances on illegal loans made in the state and refund some of the funds paid by those who took out loans from the company. Think Finance was also sued back in 2017 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for allegedly collecting on loans that were void under state usury laws.
National Credit Adjusters reached a settlement with the CFPB back in 2018 after engaging in allegedly illegal collection practices.