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Class Action Lawsuit Alleged Pay Day Loan Company Violated the Wisconsin Consumer Act
Madison - The Consumer Law Litigation Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Law School and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, reached a settlement in a lawsuit against a payday loan company, Tremont Financial, LLC.
The class action complaint was filed by the Consumer Law Litigation Clinic, which has been named Class Counsel in this litigation. The State of Wisconsin joined the lawsuit to enforce the Wisconsin Consumer Act. The suit alleged that Tremont Financial's loan contracts violated certain provisions of the Wisconsin Consumer Act.
On July 25, 2008, the Honorable Sarah O'Brien of the Dane County Circuit Court entered an order preliminarily approving the parties' Settlement Agreement. The Agreement provided for a $60,000 cash settlement to pay claims (less attorneys' fees and costs) to all Wisconsin customers who entered into a contract with Tremont Financial via the internet, and received a loan from Tremont Financial between November 1, 2004 and December 20, 2007. At a hearing held today, the Court gave final approval of the settlement and entered a judgment against Tremont Financial.
The Judgment provides, among other things, that:
1. Tremont Financial must pay $60,000.00. Each individual class member will receive $329.81 from the settlement fund.
2. Tremont Financial must contact any consumer reporting agency to which it reported any negative information regarding a Wisconsin-based customer to request deletion of such information. Tremont Financial also agrees to write off any outstanding amounts owed (principal and fees) from Wisconsin-based customers, and file satisfactions of any judgments obtained in an effort to collect these sums.
3. Tremont Financial must cease issuing loans to any person residing in Wisconsin.
The State was represented by Assistant Attorney General Lara Sutherlin. The State Department of Financial Institutions is also assisting in this case.