Olens files suit to stop Ga. payday lending
by Jon Gillooly
July 30, 2013 12:20 AM | 4181 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Attorney General Sam Olens’ Friday lawsuit demanding that payday lenders cease doing business in Georgia brought praise from Mayor Steve Tumlin and former state Rep. Pat Dooley (D-Marietta).

Dooley says it was Tumlin’s support of a predatory, payday lending bill he sponsored as a member of the Georgia House that allowed her to oust him from office in the 2008 election.

“I think that the thoughtful people of Georgia did not want that, and they were disappointed that that was something that was being pushed, and they thought it was not appropriate for Georgia,” Dooley said Monday.

Olens said while the firms he’s filed the lawsuit against are not licensed to lend in Georgia, they still make high interest payday loans to Georgia consumers over the Internet. The loans carry crushing interest rates of up to 340 percent and trap the borrower in a cycle of debt. For example, a consumer borrowing $2,600 from the defendants will ultimately pay more than $14,000 in principal and interest over the life of the loan, he said.

“Nobody can justify that,” Dooley said. “So I think when that became an issue that people were showing their disapproval of it. That it wasn’t so much between Tumlin and Dooley, it wasn’t a popularity thing, it was, ‘We don’t like this idea.’”

Tumlin learns a lesson

Tumlin said Monday while he did sponsor a payday lending bill as a Republican state representative, as he learned more about the legislation, he ultimately turned against it.

While the Republican leadership at the time saw it as a free enterprise issue, it was a consumer rights issue, he said.

“I don’t even eat PayDay candy bars after that,” Tumlin joked.

The mayor said he was proud of Olens for taking action to enforce the law against unauthorized payday lending in Georgia.

“As far as not retaining my seat, this was indeed one of the raised issues in the campaign as Rep. Dooley won fair and square,” Tumlin said. “I prevailed one time and my worthy opponent prevailed in the rematch. Both races were close.”

Tumlin is referring to how Dooley held the House seat from 2002 to 2004 before he ousted her.

“If I didn’t have payday lending could I still be down in the House?” Tumlin asked himself. “Maybe. Or something else could have come up. I came in on the Bush sweep and she came in on the Obama sweep.”

Filed in Fulton County Superior Court, Olens accuses South Dakota-based Western Sky Financial, the company’s owner, Martin Webb, and California-based Cash Call, Inc. of violating a state law prohibiting lenders from offering payday loans over the Internet.

Complaints made against companies

Olens said his office and the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection have received numerous complaints regarding Western Sky’s payday loans, including that Western Sky continues to electronically withdraw funds from consumers’ bank accounts to collect high interest payments even though the consumers have repaid the full amount of the principal on the loan. There have also been a large volume of complaints about CashCall’s collection practices. Consumers have reported that CashCall representatives have harassed them with repeated telephone calls, obscene and abusive language, threats of wage garnishment or other legal action, even going so far as to call consumers’ employers to threaten wage garnishment, he said.

In addition to asking the court to prohibit the defendants from making payday loans in Georgia, Olens is seeking that the court declare any pending loans null and void and stop them from further collection of payments. The complaint also seeks civil penalties and attorneys’ fees.

Just like the mob, Dooley says

Dooley said she’s noticed ads for payday lending on TV.

“And I’ve been noticing the counter ads on television saying, ‘If you’re caught up in these payday loans come and see us,’ which probably isn’t a whole lot better, but you can see what happens,” she said. “It’s like the stuff that you used to do with the mob, the loan sharking. I think when you pay those outrageous interest rates you can’t catch up, and Sam is an excellent attorney, and he understands the ins and outs of things like this. And whereas I don’t always agree with him, I think in this case I’m very glad to have him representing the state of Georgia, and I think he’ll take them down.”

After Dooley ousted Tumlin, Tumlin went on to become mayor of Marietta. Dooley was later ousted herself in 2010 by state Rep. Sam Teasley (R-Marietta). Since that time, Dooley said she has served on the board of Right in the Community, a nonprofit that partners with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to build homes for developmentally delayed adults.

“The mindset is to make the money anyway you can, and anyway you can means people get hurt, so that was really the reason they voted down the payday loans,” Dooley said, referring to how the lawmakers ultimately killed Tumlin’s bill.

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Bill, Kennesaw
July 30, 2013
About time something was done and when you have time how about those rip off 'title loan' places like InstaLoan which is really another name for Title Max.

Title Max has nearly a dozen sub names all around the country. This is really a rip off operation. Once upon a time you found such things set up just outside military bases, but there is so much money to be made they spread like crabgrass.

When Title Max gets to much bad press they just go down a few blocks an open another store under a different name (like InstaLoan). Here is some info from the internet:


Payday Loans Cost Economy $1 Billion And Thousands Of Jobs, Study Finds: CNBC

Payday loans cost the U.S. economy nearly $1 billion and thousands of jobs in 2011, according to a report from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

The study says that the burden of repaying the loans resulted in $774 million in lost consumer spending and 14,000 job losses. Bankruptcies related to payday loans numbered 56,230, taking an additional $169 million out of the economy.

"Payday loans are an ongoing problem and an economic drain," said Tim Lohrentz, the center's program manager and author of the report. "The amount is not huge in the big picture of the total economy, but it's big enough."

Designed to meet the need for emergency cash, the short-term loans are essentially advances on wages and meant to be repaid on the next payday—usually within two weeks. Borrowers secure the loans by providing a postdated check or electronic access to their bank account.

But the loans, which have been around for nearly 20 years, carry onerous interest rates, ranging from 200 percent to 500 percent.

See the full article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/05/payday-loans-cost-economy_n_3211597.html
grody toe
July 30, 2013
Speaking of preying on customers too dumb to understand what's going on, what about that grocery store on the South Marietta Parkway? All the prices on the food look good.

Most people can tell if $.94 at this store is less than $.99 for the same thing at another store. However, if you can't read the signs at this particular store or don't understand math, you'll never know that your total is artificially inflated at the cash register and you're really paying $1.04 for that $0.99 item plus tax.

Have 10% added to your bill without your knowledge because you're illiterate is not as bad as payday loans that get the math-ignorant (for which we don't even have a word because we place so little value on math), but it's every bit as sleazy.
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