The Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance is investigating potentially illegal practices at payday lender All American Check Cashing Inc., which is based in Madison and has 51 locations throughout the state.
The department issued a cease-and-desist order on June 19, alleging that the company illegally charged customers extra fees and refused to comply with law by turning over business records to examiners. The order says the department obtained a document detailing the company's "Monthly Lending Program," which "specifically instructs employees to accept only the fee (interest) on a delayed deposit check and further instructs them on how to illegally 'roll' a check during the middle of each month." The program appeared to target participants in government-benefit programs, such as Social Security and Medicaid.
Mississippi law limits the fees that can be charged for certain loan amounts. All American reportedly held the checks of customers who could not pay off the full amount of the loan before the deadline but accepted an additional fee, only later cashing the original check.
Under the Check Cashers Act, if the company is found in violation of the law, it could face losing its license or paying a fine.