Attorney General Herring Reaches Settlement with Open-End Credit Plan Internet LenderPosted: Updated:
11/30/2017 Release from The Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General:
RICHMOND (November 30, 2017) - In his efforts to keep Virginia consumers safe, Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that his office has reached a settlement valued at more than $3 million with a Chicago-based open-end credit plan internet lender, Opportunity Financial, LLC ("Opportunity Financial").
Opportunity Financial has agreed, as part of the settlement, to provide refunds and debt forgiveness to over 4,000 consumers as a result of the company's alleged violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA).
"My Predatory Lending Unit has made a concerted effort to review the practices of open-end credit plan lenders operating in Virginia to ensure that they are compliant with Virginia law," said Attorney General Mark Herring. "Today's settlement is another successful result against an open-end credit lender that will provide more than $3 million in relief to over 4,000 Virginia consumers. Credit lenders across the commonwealth should know that they'll be held accountable if they don't comply with Virginia's laws."
Opportunity Financial offered short-term loans with periodic interest rates as high as 160 percent to Virginians in the form of open-end cash advances. The settlement resolves allegations that Opportunity Financial violated Virginia's consumer lending laws by imposing a $50 origination fee on borrowers who received open-end credit loans during the statutorily required, finance-charge-free grace period. It also resolves allegations that Opportunity misrepresented on its website, www.opploans.com, that it was licensed to conduct lending activity in Virginia.
The settlement includes the following key terms relating to loans made by Opportunity Financial during the period from February 3, 2015 to February 2, 2017:
- Opportunity Financial agrees to refund approximately $267,000 in origination fees to over 3,900 Virginia consumers;
- Opportunity Financial agrees to refund approximately $42,000 in interest to over 160 Virginia consumers who repaid their loans during the initial grace period;
- Opportunity Financial agrees to provide approximately $3,100,000 in interest forgiveness to over 2,400 consumers;
- Opportunity Financial agrees to pay $15,000 in civil penalties and $15,000 in attorneys' fees to the commonwealth;
- A permanent injunction preventing Opportunity Financial from misrepresenting that it is licensed to conduct lending activity in Virginia;
- A permanent injunction preventing Opportunity Financial from violating the VCPA.
The Office of the Attorney General will be monitoring Opportunity Financial's compliance with the settlement to make sure it is being administered properly. Consumers who have questions about the settlement may contact Opportunity Financial directly at (800) 990-9130.
The settlement is in the form of an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed for approval with the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond. The Attorney General acknowledges that Opportunity Financial fully cooperated with its investigation.
This matter was handled by the Predatory Lending Unit of Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section. The unit was established as a part of Attorney General Herring's reorganization of his Consumer Protection Section, which now includes a focus on predatory lending in addition to deceptive conduct, anti-trust matters, charitable solicitation, and more. During Attorney General Herring's administration, the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $234 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.
For additional information on the settlement or to file a complaint about a consumer protection matter, please contact Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section:
By phone: (800) 552-9963
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Contact Form/Online Complaint Form