Community Issues

Thousands In PA Could Get Payback For Payday Loan Scheme

On line company charged an illegal amount of interest for loans and lines of credit.


448% interest?!

We'd all like to earn that on an investment! But no one wants to pay that much for a loan.

Pennsylvania Attorney Josh Shapiro says that's exactly what Think Finance, a national online payday lender, charged as many as 80,000 Pennsylvania consumers in what he calls an illegal online payday loan scheme that cost consumers more than $133 million.

Thursday, Shapiro announced a settlement with the company that will be good news for people who took loans or lines of credit with Think Finance between 2011-2014 on three websites: Plain Green Loans, Great Plains Lending and Mobiloans.

The company in the settlement used three websites to make loans.

Under the settlement;

  • Remaining balances on the illegal loans will be voided.
  • People who repaid more than what they borrowed, plus the state's legal 6% interest rate, will be in line to get refunds. You don't have to do anything -- you'll get a check in the mail (to the address on the loan) if you're eligible.
  • The defendants have to request that the credit bureaus delete any credit reporting on the loans, which is great if your credit was damaged.

In late 2014, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General sued Think Finance, Inc. and Chicago-based private equity firm Victory Park Capital Advisors, LLC, and various affiliated entities. The suit alleged that between 2011-2014, the three Think Finance websites lent people money at effective interest rates as high as 448 percent. Payday loans, which typically charge interest rates higher than 200 or 300 percent, are illegal in Pennsylvania.

"This is a model of how aggressive enforcement by one state can lend itself to nationwide relief for consumers." Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

You can get more information about the settlement, including whether you qualify for relief, by visiting www.PAThinkFinanceSettlement.com or by calling 1-877-641-8838. IMPORTANT: if you're at a mailing address that's different than the one on the loan you'll need to notify the settlement administrator of your new address at the above telephone number.

If you think you've been a victim of a predatory loan or illegal debt collection practices, you can submit a complaint by clicking here or contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 1-800-441-2555 or emailing scams@attorneygeneral.gov.

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