Colorado Attorney General’s Office settles with lender for exceeding state interest rate limits on consumer loans, secures $275K in restitution
April 24, 2023 (DENVER)—Attorney General Phil Weiser today announced that his office reached a settlement protecting residents from predatory lending practices, ousting a predatory lender from the state and securing $275,000 in restitution for Coloradans.
To advance a scheme to make illegal, predatory loans, EasyPay, the attorney general alleged, partnered with an out-of-state bank in an attempt to circumvent interest rate limits, violating Colorado law.
“In Colorado, we will continue to vigorously protect consumers from predatory lending practices,” Weiser said. “To that end, we will continue to hold accountable lenders that charge excessive interest rates, often leaving people stuck in a cycle of debt.”
An investigation by the Consumer Credit Enforcement Unit of the Consumer Protection Division in the Colorado Department of Law found that EasyPay charged interest ranging from 29% to 199% on small-dollar loans ranging from $350 to near $5,000. The investigation found that 78% of its loans were at rates over 100% and over one-third were over 168% APR. Of the consumers who did not qualify for an interest rebate promotion through 2019, 36% of the loans defaulted.
Under the settlement, EasyPay agreed to refrain from lending in Colorado. EasyPay also agreed to return $275,000 to Colorado consumers whom it owes over $100 in excess interest. Additionally, EasyPay agreed to reduce rates on existing loans and agreed to stop collecting on defaulted loans.
Finally, EasyPay will pay the department an additional $100,000 for attorneys’ fees and costs, restitution, for future consumer or creditor educational purposes, for future consumer credit or consumer protection enforcement, or public welfare purposes.
Borrowers who are having issues with their loan or lender can file a complaint with the department.