Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
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Lara Sisselman, Press Secretary
ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH INTERNET LENDER
~Mr. Amazing Loans to provide refunds and debt forgiveness totaling more than $265,000, and to pay $50,000 in civil penalties, fees, and costs~
RICHMOND (October 25, 2017) - More than $265,000 is going back into the pockets of hundreds of Virginians who took out loans from Mr. Amazing Loans, a Las Vegas, Nevada based Internet lender, Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today. Attorney General Herring announced that his office reached a settlement with Investment Evolution Corporation d/b/a Mr. Amazing Loans ("Mr. Amazing Loans") to provide refunds and debt forgiveness to nearly 200 consumers as a result of the company's alleged violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act ("VCPA").
"Virginians who resort to Internet loans are often exploited by their own circumstances-in need of money for groceries, rent, or car repairs," said Attorney General Herring. "Consumers should be wary of misrepresentations made by Internet lenders about being licensed by the government or about their ability to collect more interest than Virginia law allows. I'm glad in this case that we were able to get some relief to Virginians, and hope this settlement sends a clear message that we will not allow Internet lenders to deceive, defraud, or abuse Virginians."
From May 2014 through May 2017, Mr. Amazing Loans offered closed-end installment loans over the Internet, and advertised on its website (www.mramazingloans.com) that it was licensed by Virginia's Bureau of Financial Institutions ("BFI")-a bureau of the State Corporation Commission tasked with regulating certain consumer lenders. Mr. Amazing Loans charged Virginia consumers 29.9% APR, but was never licensed by BFI and did not qualify for any exception to Virginia's general usury limit-12% APR.
The settlement resolves allegations that Mr. Amazing Loans violated the VCPA by misrepresenting its licensure by BFI and by misrepresenting that it had the legal ability to collect more than 12% APR on loans with Virginia consumers. It also resolves allegations that Mr. Amazing Loans violated the VCPA by misrepresenting that it had the legal ability to collect a higher late payment fee than allowed by Virginia law.
The settlement includes the following key terms relating to loans made by Mr. Amazing Loans during the period in question:
- Mr. Amazing Loans agrees to provide $31,198.40 in refunds to 34 Virginia consumers who paid more than their loan principal plus 12% APR;
- Mr. Amazing Loans agrees to provide $234,512.21 in interest forgiveness to 165 consumers who have open accounts with Mr. Amazing Loans;
- A payment to the Commonwealth of $50,000 in civil penalties, costs, and fees;
- A permanent injunction preventing Mr. Amazing from misrepresenting that it is licensed by BFI in violation of the VCPA;
- A permanent injunction preventing Mr. Amazing from misrepresenting its ability to collect more interest than allowed by Virginia's general usury statute in violation of the VCPA; and
- A permanent injunction preventing Mr. Amazing from misrepresenting its ability to collect a higher late payment fee than allowed by Virginia law in violation of the VCPA.
The Office of the Attorney General will be monitoring Mr. Amazing Loans' compliance with the settlement to make sure it is being administered properly. Consumers who have questions about the settlement may contact Mr. Amazing Loans directly at (702) 227-5626.
The settlement is in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance which was approved by the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond on October 13, 2017.
This matter was handled by the Predatory Lending Unit of Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section. The Unit was established as a part of Attorney General Herring's reorganization of his Consumer Protection Section, which now includes a focus on predatory lending in addition to deceptive conduct, anti-trust matters, charitable solicitation, and more. During Attorney General Herring's administration, the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $224 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.
For additional information on the settlement or to file a complaint about a consumer protection matter, please contact Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section:
By phone: (800) 552-9963
You can also subscribe to the Consumer Protection Quarterly Newsletter here.