EZCORP, which operates under names such as “EZMONEY Payday Loans,” “EZ Loan Services,” “EZ Payday Advance,” and “EZPAWN Payday Loans,” will no longer deal in payday loans. The company was a short-term, high-cost lender that would attempt to collect its loans by appearing at the personal residence or workplace of the borrower. According to federal regulators, approximately 200,000 consumers will receive refunds or debt collection relief as a result of EZCORP’s actions. EZCORP operated in 15 states and from more than 500 storefronts.
The Austin-based company violated the law in a variety of ways, including disclosing information regarding the borrowers’ debts to third parties during home or workplace collection attempts. In a press release, the CFPB also alleged that the firm:
- EZCORP’s in-person collection attempts caused adverse employment consequences for the consumer.
- The company’s debt collectors ignored borrowers’ requests to cease contacting them at the workplace. They also contacted third parties and improperly disclosed debts to those parties.
- EZCORP made improper threats of legal action against consumer borrowers.
- EZCORP’s advertisements claimed they would not run credit checks on loan applicants when they routinely ran credit checks on the applicants targeted by the advertisements.
- EZCORP violated the law by requiring consumers to repay their debts with pre-authorized withdrawals from their checking accounts.
- The company made improper electronic withdrawals that exposed the consumers to unnecessary fees.
- EZCORP lied to consumers by claiming that the consumer could not stop the electronic withdrawals or collection calls. They also falsely told consumers they could not repay their loans early.
The CFPB’s consent order requires EZCORP to repay $7.5 million to 93,000 consumers, pay penalties in the amount of $3 million, and cease all collection of any remaining payday or installment loan debts that are owed by an estimated 130,000 consumers.
“People struggling to pay their bills should not also fear harassment, humiliation, or negative employment consequences because of debt collectors,” CFPB director Richard Cordray said in a statement.
“Borrowers should be treated with common decency. This action and this bulletin are a reminder that we will not tolerate illegal debt collection practices.”
Fitzgerald Campbell handles debt collector harassment cases on a “contingency fee” basis, which means you pay us nothing unless we are successful! There is no charge to you for us to represent you. If we win, we will get paid. If we lose, we will not get paid. It is that simple. The law provides that if your case is successful, the creditor or collector will pay your reasonable attorney fees. Call us today toll free at (844) 431-38518 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.