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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Georgia secures nearly $200,000 for consumers harmed in predatory title lending scheme

By Mark Iandolo | Nov 21, 2017

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ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) — Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced Nov. 15 that First American Title Lending of Georgia LLC (First American) agreed to pay $196,573.69 in consumer restitution and $25,000 in penalties after allegations of violating the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act and the Georgia laws governing title pawns.

According to Carr’s office, First American would sue consumers who defaulted on their title pawn loans, seeking outstanding principal, interest and fees. Such alleged actions are not allowed in pawn transactions under Georgia’s laws. Title pawns are short-term, high-interest rate pawn transactions in which a consumer uses his or vehicle as collateral.

Carr also alleged that First American failed to prominently include the word “pawn” or the words “pawn transaction” in its advertising of loans. To settle the allegations, the company agreed to the monetary penalties, and it will also refrain from conducting deceptive business practices.

“Consumers who seek out title pawns may already be in financial straits,” Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement. “Our office is committed to protecting vulnerable consumers from companies that try to intimidate and take advantage of them through false threats and illegal actions.”

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Georgia Office of the Attorney General