Consumer Finance Lenders
For immediate release
Feb. 14, 2002
Attorney General Hardy Myers and Director Mary C. Neidig of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) today announced the filing of a stipulated judgment against a Bend "payday" loan operation, A 1 Cash Advance, and its owner Tim Stroud, also known as Tim Loren. The judgment was filed Wednesday in Deschutes County Circuit Court.
The short term personal loan lender was closed down Feb. 1 after the Oregon
Department of Justice on behalf of DCBS obtained a temporary restraining order
and filed a lawsuit against Stroud and his business.
"Oregon customers who were unlawfully charged for interest on their loans
will receive refunds and the unlicensed activity has been corrected, "
Myers said. "The defendants were stopped from collecting on debts that
were the direct result of illegal activity."
DCBS and Justice investigators found that A 1 Cash Advance was once licensed
to make loans and do business in Oregon but canceled the license and refused
to renew it. County records revealed that in the last two years, the defendants
had filed 153 cases against its customers for delinquent loans, in which the
interest rates ranged from 400 to 500 percent.
"The settlement provides a mechanism for Oregonians to receive refunds of the interest payments illegally charged by A 1 Cash Advance when it was open and not licensed. In addition, licensing
the defendants will allow us to monitor their lending practices and ensure that the company and its owner are complying with all of the laws and regulations related to lending money in Oregon,"
DCBS Licensing Manager Jim Krueger said. Krueger's office licenses non-depository lenders and is part of the Division of Finance and Corporate Securities of DCBS.
The judgment requires A 1 Cash Advance to refund interest paid on loans made
by the company between Dec. 17, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. Interest is the $20
per $100 fee charged to borrowers and does not include any other charge such
as court costs or bad check charges.
The defendants must pay $5,000 to DCBS to repay some of its enforcement costs,
to reimburse some consumer witnesses who appeared at the preliminary injunction
hearing, and to provide $1,000 to fund Bend Legal Aid Services.
Customers must file refund applications with DCBS no later than 5 p.m. on Apr.
15, 2002 and refund distributions will be made on a "first come, first
served" basis as money payments are made by A 1 over the next year. Refund
applications are available at the A 1 Cash Advance office at 2669 NE Twin Knolls
Rd., Ste. 206, in Bend or by calling toll-free (866) 814-9710 or from our Web
site. Applications should include the date(s) of each loan or loan renewal
and copies of all loan documents including canceled checks, if available.
Oregonians may check on the licenses of lenders by calling DFCS at (503) 378-4140
or on our Web
site. Consumers wanting information on all consumer issues may call the
Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503)
229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at (877) 877-9392. Justice is online
Jan Margosian, Justice, (503) 378-4732 (media line only)
Steve Corson, DCBS, (503) 947-7868