Virginia AG Settles With Unlicensed Pawnbroker Over Illegal Interest Rates & Fees

On June 30, 2017, the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia AG) announced that it had entered into a proposed consent order to resolve an action filed in Richmond City Circuit Court against a Virginia-based pawn broker that allegedly assessed excessive fees, made motor-vehicle-secured loans without a title loan license, and charged illegal interest rates on loans.

The Virginia AG alleged that the interest on the loans secured by consumer’s personal property violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA), Va. Code Ann. § 59.1-196, et seq.  Under the terms of the consent order, the pawnbroker agreed to refund over $60,000 to 847 consumers, equal to the amounts these consumers paid beyond what Virginia’s consumer protection statute allow.  The pawnbroker also agreed to pay a $2,500 civil penalty and over $11,000 in attorneys’ fees.  The agreement includes a permanent injunction prohibiting future violations of the VCPA and related statutes.

In December 2016, February 2017, and May 2017, the Virginia AG took similar actions against another pawnbroker.  Enforcement Watch covered those actions herehere, and here.