A number of lawsuits have been filed against online payday lenders for allegedly charging excessive interest rates – in some cases up to 800%.
How Could Lawsuits Help?
A court could order any illegal loan void and unenforceable, and borrowers may be able to get back interest they paid in excess of the legal limit.
Class action lawsuits are now being filed against online payday lenders over claims that the companies are charging excessive interest rates – sometimes up to 800% – in violation of state and federal laws. Read on to learn more.
Why Are Online Payday Lenders Getting Sued?
State laws cap loan interest rates at certain percentages to cut down on predatory lending. For instance, in Virginia, most businesses cannot levy more than a 12% interest rate.
It is believed that some online payday lenders, however, are charging annual percentage rates in excess of 800% in clear violation of these laws. While these companies claim that a loophole in the law protects them from being sued, attorneys believe otherwise and class action lawsuits are now starting to be filed.
What’s This Loophole You’re Talking About?
Some online payday lenders are purporting to associate themselves with Native American tribes and claiming they are therefore entitled to the same “sovereign immunity” extended to these people. Having “sovereign immunity” means, more or less, that you can’t be sued.
Attorneys believe, however, that this “association” is more of a disguise. It is suspected that the online payday loan companies aren’t controlled or owned by tribal members and that any association is, in fact, a scheme to exploit sovereign immunity and skirt federal and state lending laws. Attorneys also suspect some tribes may be getting a small fee for each loan serviced in exchange for the use of their name. Courts are becoming increasingly skeptical of this setup.
What Companies Are Under Investigation?
It is believed that this practice is widespread among online payday lenders; however, only a handful have been sued. As a result, attorneys are looking to hear from anyone who took out an online payday loan.
Some prominent lending websites include the following:
This list is not exhaustive and only a sample of existing online payday lenders.
Attorneys want to speak with anyone who took out a payday loan online to help determine whether borrowers were charged excessive interest rates. Talking to these individuals will help the attorneys determine whether more class action lawsuits can be filed.
How Class Action Lawsuits Can Help
In a successful case, the court could order that any loan agreements it finds to be unlawful are void and unenforceable. Furthermore, consumers may be able to get back the interest they paid in excess of the legal limit.