Massachusetts Officials Crack Down on Debt Collectors, Warn Against Use of Payday Loans

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Multiple cease and desist orders were recently issued by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Division of Banks. According to Inside ARM, the orders went out to unlicensed lenders as well as a licensed debt collector, all of whom had been accused of violating Massachusetts consumer protection laws. Recipients of the orders included a licensed debt collection agency based in Nevada which was ordered to stop collecting payments on more than 100 payday loans issued to Massachusetts consumers. Additionally, cease and desist orders were given to five unlicensed lenders based online who worked with the Nevada-based agency. The agencies allegedly violated Massachusetts’ small loan statute due to their high interest rates and fees, some of which were more than 150 percent. Additionally, Massachusetts law dictates that businesses that make loans less than $6,000 with interest rates greater than 12 percent, must have a small-loan company license from the Division of Banks. Further, these types of loans can only have a maximum interest rate of 23 percent and third-party debt collectors must be supervised and licensed by the Division of Banks. The collection agency in question has been ordered to cease collection activity and refund fees to Massachusetts consumers. In coordination with the orders, the Division of Banks sent a letter to 408 licensed debt collectors warning them not to collect on loans from unlicensed creditors or loans that violate the state’s rate and fee limits. Fair debt collection attorney Howard D. Silver is committed to protecting consumers’ rights and financial well-being. If you have been targeted by debt collectors through unfair practices or for debts you do not owe, you owe it to yourself to enlist attorney Howard Silver for help. For more information call (855) 341-2611.