If you took out an online payday loan from a company affiliated with AMG Services between January 2008 and January 2013, you may be getting a check in the mail from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). AMG related companies include 500FastCash, Advantage Cash Services, Ameriloan, OneClickCash, Star Cash Processing, UnitedCashLoans, and USFastCash. The Federal Trade Commission is mailing over 1.1 million refund checks totaling more than $505 million to people who were deceived by AMG Services, Inc. and related companies, who operated a massive payday lending scheme. The companies marketed online payday loans with false loan disclosures that did not accurately describe the true cost of the loans. As a result, consumers paid far more for the loans than they had originally agreed to pay.
If you are eligible for a refund, you do not need to do anything. The FTC and a refund administrator have used AMG’s business records to identify eligible consumers and calculate the refund amounts. Check are currently in the process of being sent out. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days. Remember, the FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information to cash refund checks. If you borrowed from one of the above lenders before January 2008, please call 1-866-730-8147.
Consider the following tips before choosing a payday lender:
- Start with trust. Check out the company’s BBB Business Review to see its rating, history of complaints and customer reviews.
- Never pay an upfront fee. Some short-term loan providers will ask for a post-dated check to cover the amount you borrowed plus interest and fees. However, if any lender asks for those fees in cash before giving you any money, walk away — especially if it’s an online lender asking for money via wire transfer. Charging undisclosed upfront fees is illegal, and cash sent by wire cannot be traced.
- Limit the amount you borrow. Only borrow what you know you can pay off with your first paycheck. Most companies will allow you to “roll over” the balance for several weeks or months but will tack on fees. This can result in owing several times what was originally borrowed.
- Know your rights. Payday lenders are required to disclose certain information before initiating a loan. That information includes the cost, the interest rate to be paid and the specific fees that will be paid.
- Read the fine print. Pay close attention to fees and consequences of non-payment.
- Keep your documentation. Protect yourself by having documentation that all loans were paid in full.
- Know where to turn.If you feel a lender has committed fraud or taken advantage of you, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the FTC.
Source: BBB.org and Federal Trade Commission
For the original article, visit $505 Million in Refunds Sent to Payday Loan Customers 1. Source: United States Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov – not subject to copyright protection. 17 U.S.C. 403.