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MADISON The Wisconsin Department of Justice, on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, and class counsel have reached a preliminary settlement in a lawsuit against Tremont Financial, LLC, an internet payday loan company. The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that the company violated the Wisconsin Consumer Act in the issuance of payday loans to Wisconsin consumers.
On July 25, 2008, the Honorable Sarah OBrien of the Dane County Circuit Court entered an order preliminarily approving the Settlement Agreement. The Agreement provides for a $60,000 cash settlement to pay claims (less attorneys fees and costs) to all Wisconsin customers who entered into a contract with Tremont Financial, LLC via the internet, and received a loan from Tremont Financial, LLC between November 1, 2004 and December 20, 2007. There are approximately 137 potential members of this class. The settlement also provides non-monetary relief, including:
The Court has scheduled a Fairness Hearing for December 19, 2008 to consider comments from interested parties. Class members are not required to attend the Fairness Hearing.
The class action complaint was filed by the Consumer Law Litigation Clinic. The State Department of Financial Institutions joined the lawsuit to enforce the Wisconsin Consumer Act, which among other things, regulates consumer credit transactions. The Court has not ruled on the merits of any of the claims involved in this lawsuit, and Tremont Financial denies the complaints allegations.
The Department of Financial Institutions is being represented by Assistant Attorney General Lara Sutherlin.
If citizens believe they could be a member of this class or if they have any questions about the class settlement, they should contact the Consumer Law Clinic at (608) 263-6283.