Payday Loan Kansas City Mo – In Kansas City alone, the payday loan industry siphons more than $26 million from the local economy each year. Money that could be spent on goods and services from local companies instead pays for predatory fees and interest rates to out-of-state interests.
Payday lenders have saturated state capitals with cash. Missouri is no exception, with more than $1,000,000 dollars spent in recent years on lobbying state officials and lining their campaign coffers.
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It’s important to remember: Every steak and lobster dinner, every campaign check, every dollar a lobbyist spent at the state capitol was taken from desperate people in financial pain. The average payday loan borrower is a working single mother.
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With lobbyist money from the lenders clogging the corridors of justice in Jefferson City, Missourians had one last option: go directly to the people.
In 2012, thousands of volunteers across the state stepped forward, joining former borrowers, faith leaders, community groups and people tired of the drain on their neighborhood. They built a referendum campaign to put rules protecting borrowers from predatory lenders on the ballot.
Payday lenders viciously attacked reformers, threatened churches and pastors, hired men to follow and intimidate volunteers, and poured in political contributions to silence community voices.
Volunteer leaders have overcome all this and more. They organized congregations and clubs, stood in hundred degree heat, and collected more than 200,000 signatures – more than twice the amount needed to qualify.
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But at the last minute, the industry’s deep pockets bought a legal challenge that threw thousands of valid signatures (including an elected state senator), with no time for the community to respond.
From the disappointment of the 2012 campaign, the community emerged stronger than ever. They successfully passed many lender-sponsored bogus reform bills in the state legislature that would make it easier to prey on our families. They took the story of their work higher and higher.
That organizing is now paying off. We can win something bigger than ever before. On June 2, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will announce new, national rules designed to crack down on the worst abuses of the predatory lending industry.
After all the thousands of hours and miles of work, there is one more thing to do to ensure a victory that meets the real needs of our families: show up and make your voice heard.
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Giving up: On Thursday, June 2, Kansas City will host a big event to celebrate the announcement of the new rules. We need you to join us. Hundreds of volunteer leaders, reform advocates, former borrowers, and others from across the country will gather to show that Americans are serious about payday loan reform and we need the strongest regulations. We will make it clear to predatory lenders and the politicians who enable them that we will accept nothing less. And we will remember the powerful community leadership that brought us to this historic moment. More information will be available soon – sign up for updates!
Make your voice heard: Whether you can participate in Kansas City or not, your voice will make the difference between true reform or lukewarm relief. The CFPB will soon open its proposed rules for a public comment period, and we need to make sure they hear from you. The payday loan industry will spend millions of dollars trying to water down these rules. They will pay people to make sure their comments are included. We need you to make sure your voice is heard. Sign up to get notified when public comments are open. Scott Tucker and his attorney, Timothy Muir, were arrested in Kansas City, Kansas. Both men were indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for Southern New York on charges of conspiring to collect illegal debts from payday loan consumers.
Scott Tucker, a Kansas City man who made a fortune running a payday loan business, was among three people arrested Wednesday in connection with a federal investigation into those businesses.
Tucker and his attorney, Timothy Muir, were arrested in Kansas City, Kansas. Both men were indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for Southern New York on charges of conspiring to collect illegal debts from payday loan consumers.
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Separately, Richard Moseley was arrested and made his first appearance in federal court in Kansas City, Missouri, on similar charges. (See separate story here.)
For Tucker, his arrest is the culmination of a long-running investigation, both by the Federal Trade Commission and a grand jury in New York into an elaborate business enterprise that investigators believe deceptively usurious interest rates to millions in consumers of payday loans.
For two years, The Pitch has chronicled Tucker’s payday loan businesses, many of which have apparently been housed on tribal reservations to work around state rules on interest rates that short-term lenders can charge their customers. But the companies operated largely in Overland Park, and consumers seeking redress from Tucker’s companies through state courts had their cases dismissed when the payday companies argued “tribal immunity” or that tribal reservations were not subject to state usury laws .
Last week, The Pitch described how the Federal Trade Commission, which has been pursuing Tucker and his companies for years, believes customers of Tucker’s companies overpaid their loans to the tune of $1.32 billion due to misleading language in the terms of the loan disclosures. The FTC alleged, and a federal judge in Nevada agreed, that customers were led to believe that a $300 loan would cost them $390. But labyrinthine wording in the loan documents could cost these customers closer to $1,000, due to automatic loan renewals that were not made clear to customers, according to the FTC.
Confessions Of A Payday Lender
The FTC also believes that Tucker made as much as $419 million from his business, $67 million of which he used to finance his race car team that races in North American and European motorsports circuits.
Payday loans are short-term lines of unsecured credit that are usually extended to people in tight financial situations or whose bad credit makes them ineligible for accounts at conventional banks. To offset the risk of lending to these consumers, lenders often charge higher than prime interest for payments.
But the industry is often criticized for trapping consumers in an endless cycle of debt. In the case of Tucker’s companies, the short-term loans were often described as a relatively modest 30 percent, but the grand jury found cases where individuals were paying 700 percent interest on their loans.
In the normal course of business, a consumer takes out a loan and it is repaid when their next paycheck comes. The grand jury alleged that Tucker’s companies would deduct only the interest payment on the consumer’s payment and leave the principal balance untouched, so the loan would renew and incur another round of interest payments.
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The New York grand jury alleged that Tucker’s various payday loan companies “systematically exploited more than four and a half million working people in the United States who were struggling to pay basic living expenses.”
The indictment says that between 2003 and 2012, Tucker’s payday loan businesses generated more than $2 billion in revenue, allowing Tucker to receive “hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.” He spent these profits on luxury homes, including an $8 million home in Aspen, Colorado; a private jet and a racing team called Level 5 that races Ferraris in places like Monaco and Abu Dhabi.
The suit says that Tucker’s companies received complaints from consumers, their banks, consumer protection groups and regulators, and that the companies simply stopped collecting money but did not return any money.
Muir worked as general counsel for AMG Services, one of the main business entities that ran the payday loan operation out of an office building in Overland Park. He is accused of setting up a corporate structure that made it appear that Indian tribes owned and operated the payday loan companies. He also allegedly devised a scheme to funnel profits from the payday businesses to Tucker in a way that would conceal his ownership in the businesses.
Kansas Man Pleads Guilty To Payday Loan Scheme, Tax Evasion
Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, is seeking a $2 billion forfeiture from Tucker and Muir, a sum equal to what his office believes are their ill-gotten gains. Among other things, they look for:
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Judge: Kansas City Payday Lender Should Pay Restitution
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