Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) today filed a lawsuit against Liquidation LLC, for offering predatory car title loans to more than 250 Oregonians and ignoring Oregon consumer and business laws by operating an illegal car title scam.
The lawsuit alleges that the sophisticated scam worked when unsuspecting Oregon consumers searched online for “title loans” and filled out an application by a third-party loan-referral site. The third-party site then sent their personal information to a company calling itself Auto Loans, LCC or Car Loan, LLC. Oregon consumers thought they were applying for a legal title loan, but were deceived into listing Auto Loans, LCC or Car Loans, LLC as a secured interest holder on their car titles. In addition, the consumers did not know that the company had labeled the loan as a ‘pawn loan’ to be repaid in 11 monthly payments, with a final balloon payment equal to or more than the amount originally borrowed. Consumers with loans from either of these companies should stop paying these illegal loans immediately.
“These phony loans carried triple-digit interest rates, and we believe nobody ever saw the final terms of their loan agreement,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “When a consumer ultimately could not pay the astronomical interest on these illegal car loans, the company would threaten repossession. If a consumer actually paid off the loan, they would have paid over three times the amount originally borrowed! This is illegal in Oregon.”
In Oregon, all title lenders must be licensed by the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Division of Corporate and Finance Securities. A list of licensed title lenders can be found online at stopunlicensedloans.com. There are currently no online title lenders licensed to do business in Oregon.
“This investigation and subsequent Department of Justice action are a direct result of consumer complaints to our office,” said DCBS Director Patrick Allen. “If you currently have a loan from either of these companies, stop making payments on these illegal loans and contact the department.”
There are simple steps that Oregonians can take to protect themselves from illegal title lenders:
- Before applying for a loan, verify the lender you are considering is licensed by visiting stopunlicensedloans.com. All payday or title lenders, including those online, must be licensed by the State of Oregon. Do not do business with unlicensed lenders.
- Never provide your personal account information or Social Security number to any lender just to see its fees, interest rates, or what your loan payments may be, and never send your title to any lender.
- Ensure you receive a written loan agreement for you to read, agree to, and sign.
- Contact DCBS with questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-814-9710.
The complaint, which was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, also alleges the company was never registered in Oregon as a licensed financial lending institution.
Kristina Edmunson, Department of Justice, Kristina.Edmunson@doj.state.or.us, 503-378-6002
Jake Sunderland, Department of Consumer and Business Services, Jake.W.Sunderland@oregon.gov, (503) 947-7897
The Oregon Department of Justice is led by the Oregon Attorney General, and is the chief legal office for the state of Oregon and is responsible for the general counsel and supervision of all civil actions and legal proceedings in which the state is a party or has an interest. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is committed to protecting Oregon’s most vulnerable, including families, children, seniors, students and Oregonians whose first language is not English. She is Oregon’s 17th Attorney General.
The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Division of Finance and Corporate Securities helps ensure that a wide range of financial products and services are available to Oregonians and protects consumers from financial fraud and abuse. It does that by licensing financial institutions and service providers, regulating the sale of securities in Oregon, investigating complaints and alleged violations of financial-service laws, and providing education and other resources to consumers.