Arizona settles lawsuit with payday lender Quik Cash

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(File photo)

A major payday lender agreed to pay up to $ 170,000 to settle a consumer fraud lawsuit filed by the Arizona attorney general in 2009.

The settlement announced Tuesday by Attorney General Tom Horne will reimburse Quik Cash borrowers who defaulted on their loans but were sued in an Arizona county where they did not live. This made it difficult for them to defend themselves against lawsuits and easier for Quik Cash to obtain a default judgment and garnish a borrower’s salary to repay the loan.

The lawsuit alleged that Quik Cash and its parent company, QC Holdings Inc., based in Overland Park, Kan., Had filed hundreds of lawsuits in Pima County. This reduced the collection costs for the company.

The company has 30 days to send checks to clients sued in Pima County but who lived elsewhere. He is also required to pay Arizona nearly $ 68,000 in legal costs and fees.

Quik Cash hasn’t done anything illegal but stopped the practice more than a year ago, a company spokesperson said in a statement.

“Quik Cash has spent the past year working with the state on a reasonable resolution of all state concerns about this ligature approach,” wrote spokesman Tom Linafelt. “Today marks the end of this collaborative effort, and Quik Cash will begin working with affected customers in Arizona on possible refunds.”

The lawsuit said Quik Cash’s collection practices were “a difficult and onerous burden” on rural customers.

Quik Cash even sued clients from Nevada in Pima County, located in southern Arizona, although clients got their loans about 300 miles from Bullhead City, near the Nevada border in County of Mohave, Arizona, according to the lawsuit.

Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said at the time that the company’s practices set up “a veritable assembly line of default judgments” that poked fun at the court system.

Payday loans were banned in Arizona last July after a 10-year-old law expired. Loan companies have failed to persuade voters or the legislature to extend the provision allowing high rates.

Quik Cash has stopped offering short-term, high-interest, fee-based payday loans, but still has 25 stores offering securities lending, check cashing, wire transfers, and prepaid debit cards.

The lawsuit originally called for up to $ 5 million in restitution and asked the court to overturn hundreds of judgments and prevent the company from doing business in the state.

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