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Judge Finds Payday Loan Company in Contempt, Orders Consumer Restitution for Violations of Settlement Agreement

 

Madison – In 2008, the Consumer Law Litigation Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Law School and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, filed a class action lawsuit against Arrowhead Investments, LLC, (Arrowhead) an internet payday loan company. The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that this company violated the Wisconsin Consumer Act in the issuance of internet payday loans to Wisconsin consumers.

 

The class action lawsuit was settled in February 2010 when the Honorable Maryann Sumi of the Dane County Circuit Court entered a Final Order and Judgment. The settlement required significant restitution and non-monetary relief for the class members, forfeitures, attorney fees and costs. Specifically, Wisconsin consumers who received a loan from Arrowhead between December 1, 2001, and December 21, 2007, and who paid more than their principal loan amount to Arrowhead, received a cash payment. The settlement terms also required Arrowhead to do the following:

 

  • Close all loans with a balance owed, totaling more than $432,000 in loan, cost and fee forgiveness.
  • Refrain from selling any Wisconsin debt to third-party debt collectors and buy back any such debt already sold to third-party debt collectors.
  • File satisfaction of any judgments obtained in efforts to collect outstanding debts from Wisconsin consumers.
  • Refrain from soliciting or extending loans to any person residing in Wisconsin for a period of five years.
  • Contact all credit reporting agencies and instruct the agencies to delete any negative credit information about Wisconsin consumers that Arrowhead reported.

 

In January 2012, the Court found that third party debt collectors had contacted class members for collection on Arrowhead loans, contrary to the terms of the settlement. The Court ordered that Arrowhead ensure that all class members are contacted to ascertain whether they had received collection calls on waived Arrowhead debt. The Court further ordered that Arrowhead refund any class members who made payments on waived Arrowhead debt.

 

If you entered into a loan agreement with Arrowhead Investments, Inc. in the State of Wisconsin between December 21, 2001 and December 21, 2007, and believe you have been contacted after February 2010 by a debt collector seeking payment on that loan, please contact the Department of Financial Institutions at 1-800-452-3328.

 

The State was represented by Assistant Attorney General Lara Sutherlin. The State Department of Financial Institutions also assisted in this case. Attorney Sarah J. Orr of the University of Wisconsin Law School's Consumer Law Litigation Clinic was Class Counsel in this litigation.

 

A copy of the Consent Judgment is available at the following link: