Rome Finance Company agrees to $92 million global settlement

By Bryan Cohen | Jul 31, 2014

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Tuesday that a federal, multi-state coalition reached a global settlement worth approximately $92 million with a military consumer lender that allegedly exploited service members.

Rome Finance Company, doing business as Colfax Capital Corporation and Culver Capital LLC, allegedly engaged in multiple illegal practices while financing consumer debts to service members. Rome Finance allegedly failed to accurately disclose finance charges and interest rates; financed contracts with inflated prices of goods sold; failed to provide periodic disclosures; violated the Military Lending Act; and engaged in unfair, deceptive or abusive acts.

Schneiderman's office led the national coalition, which consisted of 13 states and the federal Consumer Protection Bureau, in its efforts to provide debt relief to U.S. servicemembers worldwide.

“The brave men and women of our military, who are already sacrificing so much, shouldn’t also have to worry about being exploited by predatory and abusive lenders,” Schneiderman said. “By holding Rome Finance accountable for these egregious acts, we are sending the message that those who prey upon our nation’s heroes will be held accountable.”

Under the terms of the settlement, Rome Finance will provide approximately $92 million in debt relief to more than 17,800 affected U.S. servicemembers worldwide. The agreement also marks all outstanding debt as paid in full with consumer finance reporting agencies, bans new business by the company and its principals, and liquidates Rome Finance and its successor corporations.

The coalition participating with Schneiderman in the national effort against Rome Finance included the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the state attorneys general of Vermont, Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan, Massachusetts, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Delaware and Colorado.

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