Couple files lawsuit against payday lenders

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COLUMBIA - A South Carolina couple has filed a lawsuit claiming that payday lenders attract borrowers to "unconscionable loans" and trap them in an endless cycle of debt.

State Sen. John Hawkins filed the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Mark and Rebecca Morgan, of Horry County. Mr. Hawkins said he would seek to make the lawsuit a class-action.

"We allege in this case that the payday lenders have enticed borrowers to enter into unconscionable loans with little reason to believe the loans could be repaid," the Spartanburg Republican said.

The lawsuit names several payday lenders, including the nation's largest, Spartanburg-based Advance America. Spokesman Jamie Fulmer said the company was aware of the lawsuit but hadn't seen the details.

"We can't comment on the specifics of the case. We are going to defend our position strongly in court. We won't try it in the media," Mr. Fulmer said.

The company doesn't do anything illegal and "provides a needed service to consumers," Mr. Fulmer said. "Consumers have shown that this is a product that they like and use responsibly."

Mr. Hawkins said the Morgans are representative of a larger group. They were "in debt up to their eyeballs," he said, but would not provide specifics. He also would not make the Morgans available for an interview.

The borrowers are being "trapped into getting continuous loans to repay loans that should not have been made," with the lenders accruing fees and interest payments along the way, Mr. Hawkins said.

The suit also names Carolina Payday Loans; Check into Cash of S.C.; Check 'n Go of S.C. and Local Cash Advance of S.C.

It claims the lenders violated the Consumer Protection Code with negligent lending practices, "breached their obligations of good faith, and engaged in a civil conspiracy to make unconscionable loans."

Legislation to curb payday lending in the state was proposed but did not pass earlier this year.

The proposal would have limited loans to five a year, set the maximum loan at $400 each and require that borrowers pay off one loan before getting another.

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jdcooper
0
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jdcooper 08/30/07 - 05:33 am
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This is idiotic! Nobody

This is idiotic! Nobody forces them to go to an payday advance company- get over it. You got a high-risk immediate loan for a high "convenience" price

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 08/30/07 - 05:41 am
0
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payday loan companies know

payday loan companies know their loans are high risk and make it clear to the borrowers that responsibility is the key word when using their service. I'll be interested in seeing how this is presented to the court.

concernednative
28
Points
concernednative 08/30/07 - 08:06 am
0
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This is a joke. No one wants

This is a joke. No one wants to except responsibility for their actions.

pofwe
5
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pofwe 08/30/07 - 08:34 am
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Former SC state Senator Tommy

Former SC state Senator Tommy Moore, foolishly resigned his elected office to work in this unscruplous industry. I think one of his new duties is to put out the fires that erupt after people realize they have signed themselves into a loan sharking enterprise. Shame on you T. Moore, they'll screw you out of your money too, now that they know what motivates you. The people you disappointed have lost respect for your judgement. Welcome to your world of extortion, not a far stretch from your previous position. God Bless.

pi
0
Points
pi 08/30/07 - 08:53 am
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0
Payday loans are designed to

Payday loans are designed to prey on the ones that are least able to pay them back. You can all say that people know what they are getting into, however, if you look at it logically, the poorest people usually have the least education and most of the time, these are the people getting these loans. I don't say that as a "put down", but I don't think a lot of people using this service understand how the interest works, thereby getting themselves into something that will take forever to get out of, if ever. MEANWHILE, these companies are charging them scandalous interest rates that just keep mounting up.

I'm glad someone is out there finally trying to tackle this problem. It's sad when a man will prey on the poorest people around to make himself rich. I think this service can still be profitable to the company and beneficial to the customer while being held to a strict standards on what they are allowed to charge for interested rates.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 08/30/07 - 08:58 am
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"Legislation to curb payday

"Legislation to curb payday lending in the state was proposed but did not pass earlier this year."

"The proposal would have limited loans to five a year, set the maximum loan at $400 each and require that borrowers pay off one loan before getting another." ........................................
Tommy Moore was hired to make sure this law will never pass.....what a skank!!! Money hungry low-life!............The people who have supported you all these years are saddened by your true character..................Rot!

thepest
0
Points
thepest 08/30/07 - 09:33 am
0
0
What a crock of crud. Maybe

What a crock of crud. Maybe his next law suite will be against the automobile industry.....for making cars with gas peddals that cause drivers to get tickets when they drive over the speed limit. Get a grip!

jack
10
Points
jack 08/30/07 - 10:29 am
0
0
Usery used to be against the

Usery used to be against the law. Evidently, we have legislators in the payday loan business both in SC and GA.

nyquil
0
Points
nyquil 08/30/07 - 10:30 am
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0
This lawsuit is just like

This lawsuit is just like those fat kids suing McDonald's for making them fat. Did anyone put a gun to their heads and make them eat it? Hell no!

mizzfattycush
0
Points
mizzfattycush 08/30/07 - 11:09 am
0
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This is extremely crazy!!! I

This is extremely crazy!!! I have used payday loans in the past...and I think it's all about control. You can't go in there and get loan after loan and think that you are making your financial situation better. If you have an emergency come up and you need the money and if that's pretty much your only option..then go for it. But don't get more than you need and then end up mad when you have no money left when it's time to pay it back.

kiddspur
2
Points
kiddspur 08/30/07 - 11:31 am
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Loan sharking with a new name

Loan sharking with a new name -- check them out!!!!

andrealluckey
0
Points
andrealluckey 08/30/07 - 11:52 am
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we are not loan sharks .

we are not loan sharks . these are payday loan companies. get serious, no one makes you get payday loans with multiple companies. it is your own fault if you get more than you can pay back .the interest on a payday loan is fifteen dollars per every hundred you borrow , trying going to a bank and getting a loan and you tell me how much interest they charge you . then try filing a lawsuit on the bank because they let you borrow too much money, and you can't pay them back.

MS_ALEXIS
0
Points
MS_ALEXIS 08/30/07 - 11:59 am
0
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i personally give thanks to

i personally give thanks to people like advance america. i've had hard times and i have always went to them, and i stay in augusta, ga. it's all about self control. you have to set limits with yourself first.

shamrock
513
Points
shamrock 08/30/07 - 12:49 pm
0
0
One of the few times I find

One of the few times I find myself agreeing with the majority on these articles because most of you see the real problem. A lack of self-control. Personallyt I find the people who run these places low-lifes but they are legit (unfortunately).

TrulyBlessed
0
Points
TrulyBlessed 08/30/07 - 01:14 pm
0
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While a lack of self-control

While a lack of self-control may be the problem, these loans are bad for the economy, so they are bad for everyone. Debtors on these loans repay them, with exhorbitant interest, instead of paying other creditors (banks, utility companies, etc.). The other creditors (legitimate businesses) suffer, and they pass their costs along to the rest of us. Just consider the disaster we have with sub-prime mortgage lenders. The bill to revive payday lending in Georgia did not pass this year. The military knew the bill was bad - there was an exception preventing lenders from lending to the military. Let's hope we can keep it out of Georgia.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 08/30/07 - 02:33 pm
0
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I continue to think it is

I continue to think it is unfair, even morally wrong, to make something easily available that someone desperately needs or wants, but that will cause that person more problems than help in the short or long term. Not all of us are insightful or have strong wills, and sometimes we just have to look out for the weaker ones, even if we think they should know better. I know, it's that old paternalism again, but I can't help being tenderhearted when it comes to the young and other idiots.

jdcooper
0
Points
jdcooper 08/30/07 - 03:55 pm
0
0
Perhaps we need to ban

Perhaps we need to ban bill-consolidation loans too?? Obviously the same people cannot pay THOSE bills-- why should they pay their bank back then? All this is idiotic. Sometimes ya need a little extra cash till payday!! I believe the maximum payday loan is either $300-$400. That is not an amount that's going to ruin your life.

t of i
25
Points
t of i 08/30/07 - 07:11 pm
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0
WorriedAboutOurFuture, I'm

WorriedAboutOurFuture, I'm more hard hearted than you. I think Americans have come to expect instant gratification. Easy credit, buy what you want now and pay later. Only then something unforseen comes up and gets in the way of your paying later. More credit card debt and now pay day loans become the short term answer. Those who have good memories of the Great Depression are dying off daily as are those who remember the hardships of WWII. I'm not an advocate of payday loans. I'm an advocate of trying to live within your current means and saving some back and having some sense of self sacrifice. Even the poorest of Americans have luxuries we did not have when we first got married and started a home years ago. Yikes, I'm starting to sound like an old fogey!

eq2695
47
Points
eq2695 08/30/07 - 07:35 pm
0
0
I wish our churches would get

I wish our churches would get involved and put an end to these types of businesses.Its morally wrong for these companies to take advantage of these poor people.Its even more wrong for the citizens of our state to allow it.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 08/30/07 - 08:49 pm
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I know you aren't quite an

I know you aren't quite an old fogey, T of I. I don't think you are more hard hearted than I am but you have more faith in people than I do. I don't think most people who would even consider getting a payday loan have the sense God gave a hammer, and they need to be corraled to the extent that they actually can be. That's what most laws are for anyway: the civically and/or morally challenged or retarded. You and I, and our stellar spouses (spises), probably could live honest, peaceful and successful lives without most laws that are on the books as it is, because we were formed and trained by good, moral, educated parents to grow into good, moral educated adults ourselves. The same cannot be said for, well, umm, a significant percentage of our fellow "citizens".

wootchieone
4
Points
wootchieone 08/31/07 - 05:47 am
0
0
I am grateful to Sen. Tommy

I am grateful to Sen. Tommy Moore for all the good things he has done for his constituants over many years.
He is a good man, and by taking the job that he has, he may very well make a difference in that area that will benefit "The little man".
Let's not judge him before he even has a chance to make a difference.

Dark Lord
2
Points
Dark Lord 08/31/07 - 08:01 pm
0
0
I think this is a classic

I think this is a classic case of people not being responsible for their own actions. This doesn't sound like a one time visit. Sounds like the couple made numerous visits to this establishment. It's not a matter of the people not being smart enough to know what they are getting into because lets face it, they were smart enough to read the ads and take out the loan. Why borrow money if you don't have a way to pay it back unless you never intended to pay it in the first place. I have a solution for them' STOP BORROWING MONEY!!! When you swim with the sharks you are bound to drown.

law
0
Points
law 09/03/07 - 12:25 am
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I hope a judge throws that

I hope a judge throws that case out the darn window. I can not believe the trash that lives in this area. Everyone wants to sue for crap that is noone's fault but their own. Hey let's borrow something from that couple and tear it up then sue because they let you borrow it in the first place. It's sad that people are that hard up for money they will do anything just to get something for nothing. I work at a bank and I can't tell you how many times a day people come in and stop payment on a check to these checking cashing places not even an hour of them getting their advance from the company, I am so tempted to let them know how trashy and wrong that is, but I am sure they know they are worse than crap on the bottom of shoes everytime they look in the mirror

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