Virginia AG Settles Action Against Pawnbroker Over Illegal Interest Rates

On May 9, 2017, the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia AG) announced that it had entered into a proposed consent order to resolve an action filed in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court against a Virginia-based pawn broker that allegedly charged illegal interest rates on loans.  The proposed consent order would require the pawnbroker to provide restitution to more than 1,400 consumers.

The Virginia AG alleged that the interest on the loans secured by consumer’s personal property violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCPA), Va. Code Ann. § 59.1-196, et seq.  Under the terms of the consent order, the pawnbroker agreed to refund $36,916.60 to 1,400 consumers, constituting the amounts these consumers paid beyond what Virginia’s consumer protection statutes allow.  The pawnbroker also agreed to pay the enforcement costs of the action and to consent to a permanent injunction prohibiting future violations of the VCPA.

In December 2016 and February 2017, the Virginia AG took similar actions against another pawnbroker.  Enforcement Watch covered those actions here and here.