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AG Nessel Announces $35 Million National Settlement with Leasing Company Tempoe, LLC
September 11, 2023
LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a settlement with Tempoe, LLC resolving a multistate investigation into Tempoe’s advertising and leasing to consumers through retailers across the nation. The multistate investigation—which included 41 states and the District of Columbia—revealed that Tempoe’s marketing and sales practices often misled consumers into believing they were signing up for an installment plan or credit sale when, in reality, they were entering into a lease agreement. The complicated structure of the lease agreements, as well as their lack of required disclosures, caused more confusion, often resulting in consumers paying 2-3 times the purchase price of the product or service.
Through this settlement Tempoe is permanently banned from engaging in future consumer leasing activities. All existing leases on which payment is still being made or with an outstanding balance will be canceled and consumers may retain the leased merchandise in their possession without any further financial obligation to Tempoe – resulting in approximately $33 million of “in-kind” financial relief to consumers nationwide. Additionally, Tempoe shall not provide negative information regarding lessees to any consumer reporting agency.
Consumers with existing leases do not need to take any action as Tempoe has automatically canceled their account(s) as a result of this settlement.
Finally, as part of this settlement, Tempoe will pay $2 million -- $1 million to the states and jurisdictions participating in this settlement and $1 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has agreed to a parallel settlement resolving the same alleged misconduct.
“Businesses that deceive their customers with ambiguous language and hidden agreements will be held accountable for their conduct when they mislead Michigan residents,” Nessel said. “I am glad to see this settlement frees Michigan consumers with existing Tempoe leases from future payments, and caution all Michigan residents to look out for confusing lease agreements that can be easily mistaken as an installment credit sale.”
The settlement agreement will be filed in the Ingham County Circuit Court.
Forty-one (41) states and the District of Columbia are participating in the settlement. The multistate Executive Committee was comprised of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, which led the multistate group consisting of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.