State goes after online consumer finance companies

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TALLAHASSEE –Attorney General Pam Bondi and Office of Financial Regulation Commissioner Drew Breakspear filed suit recently against online consumer finance companies Western Sky Financial, CashCall, related companies and their owner John Paul Reddam. The suit alleges that the companies charged interest rates ranging from 95 percent to 169 percent and annual percentage rates from 139.13 percent to 331.38 percent to more than 6,000 Florida borrowers. It is alleged that Western Sky charges high origination fees for small dollar loans which results in higher annual percentage rates. These interest rates far exceed what is allowed under Florida law. The lawsuit asks the court to cancel the illegal loans, order refunds for consumers, and ban the defendants from collecting on the loans and making any future illegal loans to Florida’s consumers.

“Florida law protects consumers from outrageous interest rates that leave borrowers continually paying interest without making progress in paying off their debt,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “This lawsuit is intended to protect Florida’s borrowers from these illegal interest rates."

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