Consumers Should Exercise Caution When Utilizing Internet Lenders
LANSING -- Michigan consumers looking for a quick loan must perform due diligence before doing business with an internet lender and be sure that they are working with properly licensed companies or it could end up costing them thousands more than expected, warned the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) today.
Michigan law limits the maximum amount of interest and fees that a lender can charge on a written contract and DIFS has received numerous complaints of unlicensed lenders far exceeding those limits. Consumers should only conduct business with licensed lenders and can check the DIFS website to verify if a lender is licensed.
To avoid entering into a bad loan consumers should:
- Verify the lender is licensed - ask the company for its Michigan license information and verify it with DIFS online or by calling 877-999-6442.
- Review loan documents before signing - ask to see the terms of the loan, including the interest rate, before entering into any agreement.
- Review all fees - discuss any fees associated with the loan before agreeing to any contracts.
“Michigan consumers are being deceived by unscrupulous lenders who are trying to take advantage of them,” said DIFS Director Ann Flood. “We have seen instances of rates exceeding 400 percent without disclosure to the borrower. The department has also received complaints involving unethical and illegal collection tactics that included automatic withdrawals from bank accounts without authorization, phone calls to family, friends, and employers, as well as unrelenting calls at home.”
Each complaint received by DIFS is thoroughly reviewed to determine if any wrongdoing has occurred. DIFS has taken action against 15 lenders since 2012, including the issuance of eight Cease and Desist Orders to end a company’s activities in the state.
Lenders Ordered to End Business Activity in Michigan:
AALM Consulting Services, Ltd dba MultiLoan Source.com
American Consumer Credit LLC aka The Cashspot
Atlantic Capital Group Limited
Bayside Cash LDC dba CK Marketing
Cash Direct Express aka Government Employees Credit Center and Cash Direct Express.com
Devidia II Ltda. Dba Nationalpayday.com
DJR Group, LLC
Down Under Ventures LTD dba Cash Jar and Cash Jar.com
Everest Cash Advance dba SCS Processing LLC
Eastside Lenders, LLC
Express Money Line
Integrity Advance LLC
The VIP Loan Shop
Consumers with questions about internet lenders should visit www.michigan.gov/difs or call 877-999-6442.