Ill. reaches agreement with payday loan companies

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CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced that the state has reached a settlement with three online payday loan companies.

Settlement with MoneyMutual LLC, PartnerWeekly LLC and Selling Source LLC resolves allegations by the Illinois Office of the Attorney General and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) that the companies violated Illinois lending laws State.

The settlement filed with Cook County Circuit Court requires companies to immediately stop offering loans to unlicensed Illinois borrowers.

The three companies have been accused of generating unlicensed payday loan leads and arranging high-cost payday loans for out-of-state payday lenders, some of which are also unlicensed.

“Payday lenders disproportionately target low-income communities and communities of color, and they make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for people to escape the cycle of poverty,” Raoul said. “I am committed to protecting Illinois residents from payday lenders who operate illegally and trick people into expensive loans with unaffordable interest rates.”

The settlement prohibits the three companies from pursuing the following practices:

  • Arrange or offer small loans, online or otherwise, without being licensed by the IDFPR.
  • Advertise or offer small consumer loans or lead generation services in the State of Illinois, unless licensed by the IDFPR.
  • To provide services related to arranging or providing small dollar loans to Illinois consumers without being licensed by the IDFPR.

The attorney general’s office filed suit against the companies in 2014 after the companies refused to comply with a cease and desist order issued by the IDFPR requiring them to obtain a license.

According to the lawsuit, MoneyMutual lured borrowers in part by using an advertisement featuring former TV host and famed spokesperson Montel Williams.

The companies reportedly managed to collect personal financial information from tens of thousands of Illinois consumers who applied for loans on the MoneyMutual website. The companies were accused of selling the personal information to payday lenders who used it to offer loans to potential borrowers.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Tom James handled the lawsuit for Raoul’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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