Ditch the Pitch
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) have filed a complaint in federal court against Life Funding Options, Inc. (LFO), a corporation headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina. The complaint alleges LFO, Katharine Snyder and Performance Arbitrage Company, Inc. (PAC) brokered high-interest credit contracts in violation of federal and South Carolina law.
SCDCA and the Bureau allege that LFO, Snyder and PAC set up contracts between consumers and investors where consumers would receive a loan that must be paid using their monthly pension or disability payments. Most of the high-interest credit offers were marketed to veterans. The loans ranged from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars and repayments typically last five to ten years. Federal law prohibits agreements where a person can acquire a veteran’s pension payments.
South Carolina law prohibits the assignment of earnings for payment or security of payment for a consumer loan, regardless of whether the consumer is a veteran. “Earnings” includes periodic payments from a pension, retirement or disability program. LFO, Snyder and PAC brokered consumer credit contracts that are explicitly governed by South Carolina law. SCDCA and the Bureau specifically allege the contracts are void under state and federal law and that LFO, Snyder and PAC never disclosed the interest rate to consumers, nor did they obtain appropriate lender licenses from the state.
The agencies seek to prohibit LFO, Snyder and PAC from further violating state and federal law, declare the contracts void and require payment of fines and refunds, among other requests. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that LFO, Snyder or PAC actually have violated the law. A copy of the complaint filed in the Greenville division of federal district court is available here.
SCDCA urges consumers who may have signed up for a loan of this type to file a complaint by visiting their website or calling (800) 922-1594. Consumers who are looking for credit, visit DCA’s “Background a Business” page to view licenses, complaints and other helpful information.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free in SC: 1 (800) 922-1594. SCDCA is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code (SCCPC), which controls consumer credit transactions made in the state. DCA can seek an injunction against any person violating the SCCPC.