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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Title lender tries to cut off dispute by out-of-state customers who drove to South Carolina for loan

Federal Court

By Marian Johns | Aug 20, 2019


Cooper

CHARLESTON , S.C. (Legal Newsline) – A South Carolina lender alleges that a loan dispute involving a North Carolina resident who drove to South Carolina to obtain a title loan is not subject to North Carolina statutes.

According to the Aug. 8 filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, AutoMoney Inc. filed a motion seeking a declaratory judgment against Deirdre Booker Pippins claiming non-applicability of North Carolina law, invalid extraterritorial application of the North Carolina Consumer Finance Act and an unenforceable loan agreement. 

The suit states Pippins, a North Carolina resident, obtained a loan from AutoMoney's Indian Land, South Carolina, location in April 2017. In 2018, North Carolina law firm Brown, Faucher, Peraldo & Benson "made a demand" on behalf of Pippins and other AutoMoney loan customers alleging AutoMoney's violation of North Carolina's Consumer Finance Act and Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices, according to the court filing. 

"AutoMoney takes the position that its title loans with North Carolina customers - who drove to its South Carolina stores, negotiated their titles loans in South Carolina while physically present at the AutoMoney stores, and executed the Loan and Security Agreements at the South Carolina stores – are not subject to the provisions of the North Carolina Consumer Finance Act," the suit states. 

AutoMoney also states in the suit that it does not have store locations in North Carolina, where title loans are not allowed.

The plaintiff is represented by Lindsey Cooper Jr., Margarete Allio and Christina Humphries with the Law Offices of L.W. Cooper Jr. LLC in Charleston, South Carolina.

U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina case number 2:19-cv-02217

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