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AG Nessel protects consumers from alleged predatory lender

Posted at 10:46 AM, Apr 16, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Online tribal lender Sierra Financial LLC has agreed to an assurance of voluntary compliance, according to the attorney general's office.

This comes months after Attorney General Dana Nessel filed Michigan's first lawsuit against the company alleging violations of the federal Consumer Financial Protect Act, according to the attorney general's office.

Sierra Financial, an online lending company incorporated under laws of the California-based lipay of Santa Ysabel, has also been referred to as Tall Grass Finance and Sierra Lending LLC, the attorney general's office said.

Back in October 2019, Nessel filed a lawsuit against the company after complaints of predatory lending and offering or providing exorbitant interest rate loans in Michigan were made, Nessel's office said.

The attorney general said the lawsuit was dismissed due to the compliance agreement, which includes several assurances from Sierra Financial.

Under the agreement, the business must stop marketing and making new loans to Michigan consumers as of March 5, 2020, and will limit collection on any existing loans up to the principal amount and all repayments will be applied to the amount borrowed, the attorney general's office said.

The attorney general's office said if the company wants to do business in the state of Michigan again, it must give the attorney general's office a 120 days' notice of its intentions.

“Loans with excessively high-interest rates are a clear violation of state consumer protection laws, and my office will not stand for predatory lenders that take advantage of people, especially those asking for help to pay their bills,” Nessel said. “Many people need financial assistance at one point or another, and companies that employ deceptive tactics and act in bad faith should not be permitted to operate in Michigan.”

The attorney general's office said it received complaints from consumers who were surprised by hidden terms and exorbitant interest rates and fees.

To view an affidavit related to the business, click here.

You can report any violation of the Consumer Protection Act online, or by calling 877-765-8388.

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