Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions announced a settlement in excess of $250,000 with Integrity Acceptance Corp., affiliated companies, and their owners to resolve allegations that they originated personal loans without the required license, contracted for charges in excess of the maximum allowable rate, misrepresented finance charges, and failed to disclose prepaid finance charges in violation of the Indiana Uniform Consumer Credit Code and Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. As part of the settlement, the entities will forgive $223,685 in loans, pay $33,991 in restitution, and pay $33,000 in civil penalties and costs to the state. The entities and their owners are also enjoined from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
According to the press release, Integrity Acceptance Corp. and its related entities provided personal loans to consumers to finance taxes and down payments associated with vehicle purchases.
There are two things to note here. First, Indiana chose to pursue the entities under Indiana law rather than asserting violations of potentially applicable federal statutes like the Consumer Financial Protection Act or the Truth in Lending Act. This settlement is yet another example of an activity that the State Attorneys Generals across the United States view as germane to their mandate to protect consumers, especially from perceived unfair or unlawful consumer lending practices. Second, unlike many cases currently in the news, these allegations do not involve retail installment sales contracts. It is a reminder in particular to non-bank finance companies that make direct loans to finance vehicle purchases that they need to carefully consider the related licensing implications of their relevant financial services offerings.
Troutman Pepper State Attorneys General Team
|Ashley Taylor – Co-leader and Firm Vice Chair
Ashley is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. He focuses primarily on federal and state government regulatory and enforcement matters involving state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Drawing upon his experience as a deputy attorney general, Ashley has developed an extensive consumer practice with regard to the consumer financial services industry.
|Clay Friedman – Co-leader
Clay is a partner in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group and co-leader of the State Attorneys General practice. Informed by nearly a decade in a state attorneys general office, and more than 25 years in private practice, Clay spends much of his time representing clients in singular or multistate regulatory actions. Clay has repeatedly led teams before all 50 state attorneys general and also handles matters with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other local, state and federal agencies.
Stephen represents clients interacting with, and being investigated by, state attorneys general and other enforcement bodies, including the CFPB and FTC, as well as clients involved with litigation, particularly in heavily regulated industries.
Michael handles high-profile state attorneys general, FTC, and CFPB investigations by advising clients through these complex government inquiries. He assists clients through the entire life cycle of investigations, from regulatory enforcement through formal litigation.
As a former government official at the state and federal level, Ketan leverages extensive experience in the public and private sectors to skillfully represent client interests.
A former deputy attorney general of New York, Avi applies his experience in bet-the-company matters, representing clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement actions before state and federal regulators, prosecutors and enforcement agencies.
Chris represents clients in regulatory, civil and criminal investigations and litigation. In his practice, Chris regularly employs his prior regulatory experience to benefit clients who are interacting with and being investigated by state attorneys general.
Natalia is an associate in the firm’s business litigation practice. She recently received her J.D from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Namrata is an associate in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group, based in the Washington, D.C. office. Her work includes advising clients in regulatory investigations and compliance matters, in addition to representing clients in civil litigation matters.
Whitney is an attorney in the firm’s Regulatory Investigations, Strategy + Enforcement (RISE) Practice Group. She represents clients facing state and federal regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, as well as related civil litigation.
Stephanie is Troutman Pepper’s senior government relations manager in the state attorneys general department.