Online payday loan company settles with W.Va. consumers
Payday cash loan portals provide a segment of the public with a useful short-term credit resource, but not everyone supports the terms of such online payday loan products. For online payday loan companies, lending to credit-impaired individuals involves a significant amount of risk that many would argue justify a certain fee level. However, the state of West Virgina doesn’t subscribe to notion that online loan portals and their products are worth the price. WalletPop reports that a recent lawsuit the state’s attorney general’s office brought against the Nevada-based online payday loan portal group of companies FFD was settled out of court. The settlement requires FFD to refund West Virgina online loan customers $305,446 in online loan fees and interest.
FFD Companies refunding money to 576 consumers
The November 2009 lawsuit brought against FFD Companies was raised by West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw because in his words, “Payday loans are not solutions but treacherous traps that can lead to financial ruin for the many West Virginians facing difficult financial circumstances.” Online payday loans cannot legally be originated by companies located within West Virginia, but online payday loan portals have typically been immune to this law. In total, the eight corporations under FFD, which include FFD Ventures; DFD Ventures; First Fidelity Inc.; FFD Resources; FFD Resources II; FFD Resources III; FFD Resources IV; and Great American Credit Management, are subject to the settlement agreement. These corporations have offices in Delaware, Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah. At close of business July 22, FFD Financial Corporation (FFDF) priced at $14.25 per share on the NASDAQ.
McGraw advises West Virginia consumers to remain vigilant
While the FFD Companies lawsuit has reached settlement, Darrell McGraw advises West Virginia consumers to continue to exercise caution in their financial doings. If they suspect an online payday loan company is operating illegally, McGraw’s office urges them to call it in immediately. Per McGraw’s website, consumers may file a complaint or notify his office of any “unfair or deceptive practices” by calling West Virginia’s Consumer Protection Hot Line at 800-368-8808. Additional information is available at the West Virginia attorney general’s website, wvago.gov.