This Week’s Installment of Nominees Are An Especially Shady Bunch
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer advocacy organization Allied Progress released their fifth set of nominees to the Payday Lender Hall of Shame as CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger faced tough questions this week at her Senate hearing about her reckless proposal to take away a critical protection against predatory lenders. After struggling to explain how the plan benefits consumers, Kraninger admitted that payday lenders will reap more than $7 billion a year in profits as a result of her proposal. So let’s meet the latest crop of disreputable characters President Trump and Director Kraninger think deserve a raise and more leeway to prey upon the borrowers who are most vulnerable to the payday loan debt trap.
From a schemer who engaged in a Ponzi scheme that conned over 500 people out of $8 million, to a greedy lender that charged annual percentage rates as high as 417%, to a CEO that shelled out millions of dollars to settle class action lawsuits alleging his company illegally renewed payday loans too many times, these would-be beneficiaries of Trump’s payday proposal are among the least deserving of special treatment from the federal government.
And yet, last month, the Trump/Kraninger-controlled Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rolled out a proposal to undo a commonsense CFPB rule from the Cordray-era requiring payday and car-title lenders to consider a borrower’s ability-to-repay before making a high-interest loan. Without this check in the system, the floodgates will open for millions of consumers – particularly in communities of color – to fall into cycles of debt where borrowers take out new high-interest loans to pay off old loans, over and over again. It is no coincidence that the Trump administration is advancing a top priority of the payday lender lobby after the industry donated over $2.2 million to Donald Trump’s inauguration and political committees and after the Community Financial Services Association Of America (CFSA), the payday industry’s national trade group, came out in early and vocal support of Kathy Kraninger’s nomination to the CFPB and will be hosting their annual conference at one of Trump’s properties in Florida next week.
See the previous nominees for the Payday Lender Hall of Shame HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. And Allied Progress recently launched a digital ad campaign encouraging consumers to submit a public comment against the Trump-Kraninger payday protection rollback scheme.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Kip Cashmore, USA Cash Services: The Shady Schemer Working To Prevent Lower Rates For Payday Loans
Kip Cashmore Is The Owner Of USA Cash Services And Is On The Board Of The Payday Industry’s Trade Group.
Kip Cashmore Is The Owner Of USA Cash Services, Which Operates Payday Lending Stores Across The Western United States, And Is On The Board Of The Community Financial Services Association Of America (CFSA)
Kip Cashmore “Owns About Three Dozen USA Cash Services Stores In The Western United States.” “Kip Cashmore, 53, owns about three dozen USA Cash Services stores in the western United States, with advertised ‘convenient locations’ in Clearfield, Layton, Ogden, North Ogden, Riverdale, Roy, Logan, Taylorsville, Sandy and Orem[, Utah].” [Cathy McKitrick, “Group calls Utah payday lender ‘Predator of the Week,’” Standard-Examiner, 10/21/14]
- Cashmore Is On The Board Of Directors Of The Community Financial Services Association Of America (CFSA). Kip Cashmore, currently affiliated with USA Cash Services in Ogden, Utah, is on the Board of Directors of the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA). [“Board of Directors”, Community Financial Services Association of America, accessed 03/13/19]
Kip Cashmore Was Tied To A Scheme To Peddle Cash To A Candidate For Utah Attorney General Who Said He Would Support The Payday Lending Industry If Elected.
Utah AG Candidate John Swallow Sent An Email To Kip Cashmore Asking To Fundraise $100,000 From Payday Lenders And That, If Elected, He Would “Go To Bat” For The Payday Industry.
Utah AG Candidate John Swallow Wrote an Email to Cashmore Saying He Wanted to Raise $100,000 From The Payday Loan Industry, Directed Cashmore Where to Contribute the Money, And Said He Would “Go To Bat” For Payday Lenders.“In the email to Cashmore, Swallow said he wanted to raise $100,000 from the payday loan industry in 2011. He asked that payday money go to then-Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s political action committee Utah’s Prosperity Foundation and that non-payday money go to his PAC. Swallow ends the message, ‘Please do not forward this email.’” [Dennis Romboy and Richard Piatt, “Swallow ‘outright broke’ the law for political gain, investigators say,” KSL, 12/20/13]
- Swallow Said “He Would Go To Bat For Them With Federal Consumer Protection Regulators.” “[…] Swallow told payday lenders he would go to bat for them with federal consumer protection regulators if elected attorney general. ‘I am ready and willing to help lead out on that,’ he wrote in a June 29, 2011, email to Kip Cashmore, a payday loan industry leader.” [Dennis Romboy and Richard Piatt, “Swallow ‘outright broke’ the law for political gain, investigators say,” KSL, 12/20/13]
The Candidate Funneled Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In Campaign Contributions From The Payday Industry Through A Web Of Non-Profit Groups, Including $100,000 From Cashmore’s Company.
John Swallow Set Up “A Web Of Vaguely Named Nonprofit Organizations” To “Mask Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars” In Payday Lender Money.“Mr. Swallow and his campaign, they say, exploited a web of vaguely named nonprofit organizations in several states to mask hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from payday lenders. His campaign strategist, Jason Powers, both established the groups — known as 501(c)(4)s after the section of the federal tax code that governs them — and raked in consulting fees as the cash moved between them. And affidavits filed by the Utah State Bureau of Investigation suggest that Mr. Powers may have falsified tax documents submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. ‘What the Swallow case raises is the possibility that political money is never really traceable,’ said David Donnelly, executive director of the Public Campaign Action Fund which advocates stricter campaign finance laws.” [Nicholas Confessore, “A Campaign Inquiry in Utah Is the Watchdogs’ Worst Case,” The New York Times, 03/18/14]
The Entities Set Up To Collect Money For Swallow From Payday Lenders Totaled Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars, Including $100,000 from Kip Cashmore’s Company.“Between December 2011 and August 2012, Utah’s Prosperity Foundation contributed $262,000 to Mr. Swallow’s campaign, more than one of every six dollars he raised. About $30,000 in contributions to the foundation during the campaign came from four out-of-state payday companies. But the biggest payday contributions went into the new nonprofit. The Proper Role of Government Education Association collected $452,000 during the campaign, most of it from the payday industry. Mr. Rawle himself allegedly provided $100,000 in secret money to Mr. Swallow’s effort. Mr. Cashmore’s company and others provided about $100,000.” [Nicholas Confessore, “A Campaign Inquiry in Utah Is the Watchdogs’ Worst Case,” The New York Times, 03/18/14]
Kip Cashmore Made A Killing In A Huge Ponzi Scheme That Defrauded 500 People Out Of $8 Million.
Kip Cashmore Made A Whopping $475,000 Profit In A Huge Ponzi Scheme That Defrauded 500 People Out Of $8 Million.
Kip Cashmore, An “Amway Contractor,” Made A Whopping $475,000 Profit From A Ponzi Scheme. “A bankruptcy probe has reclaimed enough of Wayne Ogden’s assets to return $1 million to the victims of his real estate scam. Bankruptcy trustee Steve Bailey promises there will be even more when he recovers millions from Ogden’s former business partners and others who profited from the scheme. That includes $1.7 million from Josh Christensen, $458,000 from Dar Nelson, and $475,000 from Amway contractor Kip Cashmore. [“Victims of Ogden scheme will get paid back,” Associated Press, 03/19/00]
The Head Of The Ponzi Scheme Went To Prison For Defrauding 500 People Out Of $8 Million. “Ogden was sent to prison in July of 1998 for an investment proposal investigators said was a Ponzi scheme. He was granted a July 2001 parole date when he promised to pay all his victims back. Investigators estimated as many as 500 people were scammed out of $8 million between 1995 and 1997. Some of the jilted investors forced Ogden into bankruptcy in 1997, and since then 425 victims have filed claims worth $6.5 million with the bankruptcy court in Salt Lake City.” [“Victims of Ogden scheme will get paid back,” Associated Press, 03/19/00]
Kip Cashmore Testified Against Payday Loan Rate Caps And His Best Argument Was That The 22 Complaints Filed With The State Were “‘Phenomenal’” Compared To How Many Loans Were Made.
Kip Cashmore Testified Against Payday Loan Rate Caps Before The Utah State House, Arguing That “Most Consumers Are Happy With Payday Loans.”
Kip Cashmore Testified Against a Bill in the Utah State House That Would Have Limited Interest on Payday Loans to 8%, Saying That the Restrictions Aren’t Needed. “‘Payday loan’ stores dodged a legislative bullet Tuesday that would have limited them to charging a mere 8 percent annual interest to extend their short-term loans — instead of the 521 percent median annual interest that they now charge […] Kip Cashmore, vice president of the Utah Consumer Lenders Association, testified that restrictions Hogue proposes are not needed because most consumers are happy with payday loans. ‘Out of all the hundreds of thousands of transactions that the companies did last year, the (state) registered 22 complaints. That’s phenomenal,’ he said.” [Lee Davidson, “Payday loan stores dodge interest cap”, Deseret News, 02/22/06]
Tracy Rawle, Check City: Complaining About State Regulators Investigating The Payday Industry While Charging APRs Over 400%
Tracy Rawle, CEO Of Payday Lender Check City, Tried To Repel Utah State Regulators From Scrutinizing Payday Lenders.
Tracy Rawle Is The CEO Of Payday Lender Check City And Is On The Board Of The Payday Industry’s Trade Group.
Tracy Rawle Has Been The CEO Of Check City Since January 2005. [Linkedin Profile for Tracy Rawle, accessed 03/13/19]
- Check City Offers Payday Loans, Cash Advances, Installment Loans, And Title Loans. [“Financial Services You Can Count On,” Check City, accessed 03/13/19]
Tracy Rawle Is On The Board Of Directors For The Community Financial Services Association Of America (CFSA). Tracy Rawle, currently affiliated with Check City in Provo, Utah, is on the board of directors of the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA). [“Board of Directors”, Community Financial Services Association of America, accessed 03/13/19]
Tracy Rawle Argued Against Regulating Payday Lending When Utah Regulators Considered Investigating The Industry.
Tracy Rawle Argued Against Payday Loan Regulation In Utah With The Claim That Few Consumers Complain About The Industry. “Rawle contended that the industry has few such problems. ‘Of the million-plus transactions that we do a year, there are fewer than 30 complaints (to the state),’ he told the committee. ‘There is a reason people like our services and do use them, and a reason they don’t complain: They find a lot of value in what we provide.’” [Lee Davidson, “Utah’s regulators seek more loan data,” Deseret News, 10/18/07]
- Rawle Was Responding To Utah Regulators’ Potential Payday Investigations To See If The Industry Was Comprised Of “Legalized Loan Sharks That Trap The Unwary Into Spiraling Debt.” “Utah regulators want to require ‘payday lenders’ to disclose more data that may help show whether they are fair firms offering emergency cash to those with poor credit or are essentially legalized loan sharks that trap the unwary into spiraling debt. ‘Additional data collection is probably warranted so we can better understand the industry in Utah,’ Ed Leary, commissioner of the Utah Department of Financial Institutions, told the Legislature’s Business and Labor Interim Committee on Wednesday.” [Lee Davidson, “Utah’s regulators seek more loan data,” Deseret News, 10/18/07]
An AARP Representative Argued That Few People Complain Because They Feel It’s Futile To Complain About Loans That Are Technically “Legal.”“But Laura Polacheck, advocacy director for AARP Utah, said few complaints arise because people feel it will do little good to complain that they have become trapped in debt for taking out legal loans. But she noted that the Pentagon recently convinced Congress to cap such loans at 36 percent annual interest for members of the military, because debt from payday loans was causing widespread problems with military families.” [Lee Davidson, “Utah’s regulators seek more loan data,” Deseret News, 10/18/07]
Tracy Rawle Argued Against Rate Caps For Payday Loans—While His Company Charged APRs As High As 417%.
Tracy Rawle Is A Major Advocate For The Payday Industry In Utah And Has Argued Against Rate Caps On Payday Loans.
Tracy Rawle Has Been The “Spokesman For The Payday Loan Industry’s Utah Consumer Lending Association.” “Tracy Rawle, spokesman for the payday loan industry’s Utah Consumer Lending Association, told the committee it wants more time to study the proposal before it takes any stand on it. The association also wants to figure what it may cost to collect such data.” [Lee Davidson, “Utah’s regulators seek more loan data,” Deseret News, 10/18/07]
Tracy Rawle Argued Against Interest Rate Caps As He Argued That Competition Serves To “Keep Rates In Line” And That “Looking At Annual Percentage Rates Is Misleading.” “The payday loan industry’s trade group, the Utah Consumer Lending Association, says it might even support some of the measures, especially those designed to weed out bad operators and provide greater oversight of Internet-based lenders. But interest rate caps? No way. Tracy Rawle, a Check City vice president, said caps make no sense because ‘there’s a lot of competition to keep rates in line.’ Plus, he thinks that looking at annual percentage rates is misleading.” [Lesley Mitchell, “Easy Money: With strings attached,” The Salt Lake Tribune,12/17/06]
Tracy Rawle’s Payday Lending Company Charged Annual Percentage Rates As High As 417%.
Tracy Rawle’s Company Had Annual Percentage Rates As High As 417%. “Check City, which is based in Provo and has 43 locations in Utah and four other states, charges $8 interest per week for every $100 borrowed. That works out to an APR – annual percentage rate – of 417 percent. But payday loans are not paid back over years such as with other types of loans. ‘Our average loan is for only 13 days,’ Rawle said. ‘There is no way to make that short term of loan for a low APR.’” [Lesley Mitchell, “Easy Money: With strings attached,” The Salt Lake Tribune,12/17/06]
Darrin Andersen, QC Holdings: Arguing Against Payday Regulations While His Company Shells Out Millions In Legal Settlements
Darrin Andersen Has Complained About APR Caps, Complaining They Would Be “‘In Effect, A Ban” Against Payday Lending
Darrin Andersen, President And CEO Of QC Holdings, Is On The Board Of The Community Financial Services Association Of America (CFSA), The Payday Industry’s Trade Group.
Darrin Anderson Has Been The President And CEO Of QC Holdings Since 2004. [Linkedin Profile for Darrin Andersen, accessed 03/13/19]
- QC Holdings Offers “Consumer Financial Services In The Form Of Payday Loans, Title Loans, Check Cashing, Money Order And Wire Transfers.” [QC Holdings, Inc., Better Business Bureau, accessed 01/30/19]
Darrin Andersen Is On The Board Of Directors For The Community Financial Services Association Of America. [“Board of Directors,” Community Financial Services Association of America, accessed 03/13/19]
Darrin Andersen Argued That A 45% APR Cap Would Threaten Payday Lenders And That A 36% APR Cap Would Be, “In Effect, A Ban” On The Industry
Darrin Andersen Argued That Limiting Payday Lenders To A 45% APR “‘Won’t Keep The Lights On Or Pay Employees.’” “‘To apply a 45-percent annual percentage rate, as proposed in (pending) legislation, would be equivalent to a maximum fee of $1.73 per $100 for the two-week transaction — less than 13 cents a day. Thirteen cents a day won’t keep the lights on or pay employees,’ argues Darrin Andersen, president of the Community Financial Services Association of America.” [Clint Talbott, “Cycles of debt; There ought to be a law,” Daily Camera, 02/26/08]
Darrin Andersen Argued In A 2008 USA Today Op-Ed, “Let’s Be Clear: Placing A 36% Annual Rate Cap On A Two-Week Loan Is, In Effect, A Ban.” [Darrin Andersen, “Let consumers decide [Opinion],” USA Today, 02/22/08]
QC Holdings Has Paid Millions Of Dollars To Settle Allegations That It Illegally Harmed Consumers With Its Payday Loans.
QC Holdings Settled A Class Action Lawsuit For $1.9 Million, Which Alleged That The Company Illegally Renewed Payday Loans Too Many Times And Charged Borrowers Exorbitant Rates.
QC Holdings Settled A Class Action Lawsuit For $1.9 Million Alleging That It Violated Missouri Laws By “Renewing Payday Loans Too Many Times And By Charging Exorbitant Rates.” “QC also said it recently reached a tentative settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging that it violated Missouri laws by renewing payday loans too many times and by charging exorbitant rates. QC said it considered the suit, which was filed in Circuit Court of St. Louis County, to be without merit but settled to mitigate costs and management distractions.” [James Dornbrook, “QC Holdings sees payday lending shrink,” Kansas City Business Journal, 08/04/11]
- QC Holdings Ultimately Settled For $1.9 Million. “In August 2011, we reached a tentative agreement with the plaintiff to settle this purported class action arbitration for approximately $1.9 million. In second quarter 2011, we recorded a $2.0 million liability in accrued expenses and other liabilities in connection with this tentative settlement and anticipated additional legal expenses to effect the settlement. The settlement terms are subject to approval by the arbitration panel. We expect the settlement to be finalized during the first half of 2012.” [QC Holdings, Inc. Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K, 2011]
Quik Cash (An Affiliate Of QC Holdings) Had To Pay $170,000 In Restitution To Harmed Consumers In A Settlement With The Arizona Attorney General.
QC Holdings’ Affiliate Quik Cash Had To Pay Up To $170,000 In Restitution To Harmed Consumers In A Settlement With The Arizona Attorney General. “Quik Cash, one of the nation’s largest payday lenders with 550 locations across the country, has agreed to pay up to $170,000 in restitution to consumers who were victims of consumer fraud. Under a settlement agreement, Quik Cash will pay restitution to consumers who had judgment for loans entered against them in the Pima County Justice Court even though they signed up for the loans outside of the county and didn’t live there, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said in a statement. After obtaining the judgments, consumers were subject to collection efforts, including garnishment of wages, Horne said.” [“Payday Loan Provider Quik Cash Agrees to Reimburse Consumers,” AOL, 03/10/11]
- QC Holdings’ “Affiliates Include Financial Companies With The Following Names: Quik Cash, QC Finance, QC Financial Services, National Quik Cash […]” [“Privacy,” QCHI, accessed 01/30/19]
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