Friday, March 23, 2018
Court Orders "Pension Advance" Companies to Cease Soliciting and Collecting on Their Loans in Minnesota Until AG Swanson’s Lawsuit Is Resolved
Temporary Injunction Prohibits Companies from Collecting on Loans They Have with Minnesota Consumers While State’s Lawsuit Proceeds
The Hennepin County District Court has issued a temporary injunction in the lawsuit that Attorney General Lori Swanson filed in 2017 against two “pension advance” companies—Future Income Payments, LLC of Delaware and FIP, LLC of Nevada—that required military veterans and senior citizens to sign over significant portions of their monthly pension payments for up to ten years in exchange for loans of relatively small amounts of money. Minnesota consumers often used the loans, whose annual percentage rates of interest were commonly 200%, to cover household emergencies and basic living expenses.
The lawsuit against FIP alleges that the companies violated Minnesota law by engaging in the business of making loans without a license, failing to provide required loan disclosures, charging unauthorized fees, and charging interest at rates higher than Minnesota law allows. Under the court’s temporary injunction order, FIP is prohibited from doing the following while the temporary injunction is in place:
- Engaging in the business of making loans to Minnesota consumers without first obtaining a license,
- Making loans in Minnesota that charge a rate of interest higher than Minnesota law allows, and
- Seeking or receiving payment on any loan it has with a Minnesota consumer that was made on or before March 13, 2018.
Although the court has not yet decided the final outcome of the State’s claims, the issuance of the temporary injunction prevents additional harm to Minnesota consumers as the lawsuit proceeds.
The Attorney General’s Office previously issued an alert entitled Pension Advance Schemes to warn borrowers about so-called “pension advance scams.” People may report complaints to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office by calling (651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities Metro Area) or (800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities), or by emailing Attorney.General@ag.state.mn.us. People may also download a Complaint Form from the Attorney General’s Office website and mail the completed form to the Attorney General’s Office at: 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400, Saint Paul, MN 55101-2131.