Commonwealth of Virginia
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ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING SUES "PENSION SALE" COMPANIES FOR HIGH-COST, ILLEGAL LOANS THAT TARGETED RETIRED VETERANS AND GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
~ AG Herring Seeks Restitution and Loan Forgiveness for 650 Affected Virginia Pensioners including Veterans and Public Servants ~
RICHMOND (March 7, 2018) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring has filed a lawsuit against Future Income Payments, LLC; FIP, LLC; and their owner, Scott Kohn (collectively, "FIP"), for allegedly making illegal loans carrying annual interest rates as high as 183%, and for lending practices that violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. According to Attorney General Herring's suit, FIP specifically targeted Virginia pensioners-often elderly veterans with military pensions and public servants with pensions through the Virginia Retirement System-with illegal loans disguised as "sales" that could provide purchasers with a quick lump sum of cash. Attorney General Herring believes the company made more than 950 illegal loans to at least 650 pensioners in Virginia, concentrated in the Hampton Roads area with its significant veteran population.
The Complaint cites the outrageous exploitation of one Virginia veteran who, as the Complaint alleges, received a $5,500 loan from FIP and was required to pay $40,920 over five years, resulting in an APR of 137%, more than 10 times Virginia's 12% interest cap on installment loans.
"These companies and their owner took advantage of Virginians who earned their pensions through years of dedication to our nation's armed forces and as civil servants. These men and women served our Commonwealth and our country, and they deserve better than to have their life savings drained by an illegal, but cleverly disguised, predatory loan," said Attorney General Herring. "By disguising their loans as sales, these companies tried to get around important laws that protect seniors and retirees on fixed-incomes from financial exploitation. I filed this suit to help these Virginia veterans and retirees get back their savings, and to hold these companies and their owner accountable for the predatory scheme they operated in Virginia."
Attorney General Herring's suit alleges that FIP violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act by misrepresenting that it was "buying" portions of Virginia pensioners' monthly pension payments, when it was actually making high-cost installment loans with interest rates that far exceeded the applicable 12% annual interest cap mandated by Virginia law. The company used terms like "purchase and sale agreement," "purchase price," and "buyer" to conceal the true nature of its high-cost loans.
Attorney General Herring is seeking restitution and loan forgiveness for affected Virginians and civil penalties and attorneys' fees for the Commonwealth. Attorney General Herring is also asking the court to ban FIP from further violating the VCPA.
The lawsuit has been filed in the Circuit Court for the City of Hampton by attorneys in the Predatory Lending Unit of Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section, including Assistant Attorney General James Scott. Attorney General Herring's first-of-its kind Predatory Lending Unit investigates and prosecutes suspected violations of state and federal consumer lending statutes, including laws concerning payday loans, title loans, consumer finance loans, student loans, mortgage loans, and more.
Virginians who have a question, concern, or complaint about a consumer matter should contact Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section:
- By phone: (800) 552-9963
- Online Complaint Form
- Online Contact Form
Since 2014, Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $240 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators. The Section has also transferred more than $28.6 million to the Commonwealth's General Fund. Following a major reorganization and enhancement in 2016, the OAG's Consumer Protection Section has been even more effective in fighting for the rights of Virginians.
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