AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline)-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Thursday reached an agreement with one of the Lone State's largest payday lenders over claims the company recklessly disposed of consumers' financial information.
Abbott reached the settlement with CNG Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries, Check 'n Go of Texas, Inc. and Southwestern & Pacific Specialty Finance, Inc.
The agreement resolves the state's May 2007 enforcement action, which charged the Mason, Ohio-based company with violating state laws governing the disposal of customer records containing sensitive personal information by disposing of business records in easily accessible trash cans.
The attorney general's office said several Check 'n Go in the state were disposing of records that included financial records and bank statements that contained names, addresses, Social Security and driver's license numbers, as well as their customers' checking account information.
Under the agreement, General, Check 'n Go will overhaul its information security program to provide safeguards to protect the company's customers.
Check 'n Go also agreed to pay $220,000 to the state to help bankroll future actions against Texas' Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act.
"Today's agreement ensures that Check 'n Go stores will implement new procedures to prevent identity theft," Abbott said. "In 2005, the Texas Legislature enacted an important law to help curb one of the nation's fastest growing crimes."
The payday lender and check cashing outlet must also provide employees with a review of Check 'n Go's privacy procedures as well as state laws governing the disposal of customer records.
Also a part of the judgment, Check 'n Go must provide a sworn statement to the Office of the Attorney General certifying that Check 'n Go has instituted and satisfied the training for employees on how to handle sensitive personal information.
The judgment also requires the personal finance stores to conduct unannounced compliance checks at each of its stores every six months.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at email@example.com.