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CRL Statement on Pennsylvania’s Enforcement Against Evasions of State Law by FinTech Company and Private Equity Investor

Monday, July 29, 2019
Diane Standaert

DURHAM, N.C. – Last week, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a settlement with Think Finance LLC, a fintech company that had engaged in multi-party schemes to make loans with interest rates of up to 448% in Pennsylvania in violation of the state’s interest rate cap.  Under the terms, Think Finance and its investor Victory Park Capital must void outstanding balances on loans, compensate those who already paid their loans back, and have their credit reports cleaned up.

CRL Director of State Policy and Executive Vice President Diane Standaert released the following statement:

This settlement is significant both in its scope of defendants and in the redress it provides to consumers harmed by the schemes designed to evade state law. We applaud Attorney General Shapiro for holding accountable both Think Finance and the private equity firm investor, Victory Park Capital. Payday and other high-cost lenders have a well-earned reputation as predators. But the investors behind them too often go unnoticed -- even as these investors fuel systems designed to strip the resources of low-income people and channel their dollars to the affluent.

This settlement includes substantial remedies for those who were subject to these illegal debt traps – the wiping away of both unfair debt and the damage to credit reports, in addition to restitution. These remedies are necessary to give consumers a fighting chance at recovering from the harms caused by these schemes.

This action by the Pennsylvania Attorney General shows that states do indeed have the power to hold out-of-state actors accountable for breaking state laws, even when those actors use complicated evasion schemes.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Carol Hammerstein at carol.hammerstein@responsiblelending.org.