HAMPTON, Va. — A Hampton Circuit Court has ordered a loan company and its owner to pay more than $50 million in debt relief and civil penalties for advancing illegal, high-interest loans to more than 1,000 veterans and seniors in the state, according to the Virginia Attorney General's Office.
According to Virgina Attorney General Mark Herring, who filed a suit against Future Income Payments in March, the company was found to have "carried illegally high interest rates" in specific areas of the state which are known to have a large number of retired veterans and retirees with civil servant pensions. Future Income Payments concealed the loans to look like "quick lump sum of cash" for pension holders, the Attorney General's Office said. One loan made to a veteran for $5,500 included paying $40,920 over five years, according to Herring's office.
“This is a really satisfying result because it represents the intersection of two of our biggest consumer protection priorities: combatting predatory lending and protecting our veterans and military families,” Herring said in a statement. “This ruling is going to wipe out millions in illegal charges for Virginians who fell victim to FIP’s lies and exploitative loans.
"The civil penalties that were ordered also send a loud and clear message that companies who violate our laws and prey on financially vulnerable Virginians will be held to account, especially when they target our veterans."
The court's ruling will take away $20 million in outstanding debt for the more than 1,000 Future Income Payment's loan recipients in Virginia, according to the Attorney General's Office.