Department of Business Oversight settles with TitleMax of California, Inc. on disciplinary charges

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By James D. Colleran

On December 16, 2019, the Department of Business Oversight (DBO) announced that it entered into a settlement agreement with TitleMax of California, a subsidiary of the nationwide financial lender TitleMax, which operates 65 California Financing Law (CFL) branch office licenses. DBO filed an accusation against TitleMax on December 7, 2018, accusing the corporation of multiple Financial Code violations, including making false, misleading or deceptive statements in violation of Financial Code section 22161, filing a false report with the [DBO] Commissioner in violation of Financial Code sections 22159 and 22170; overcharging interest rates in violation of Financial Code sections 22303 and 22304; overcharging administrative fees in violation of Financial Code sections 22305; charging and receiving prohibited charges in violation of Financial Code section 22306.

According to its Accusation, DBO’s investigation of TitleMax’s disclosed loan files revealed that, with respect to loans of $3,100 or less, 22 of the 165 loan files demonstrated that borrowers “made their first payment on the same day their loan funded or within 3 days of funding,” suggesting to the Commissioner that TitleMax was illicitly lending borrowers amounts of less than $2,500 and imposing unlawfully excessive fees on such loans. DBO also accused TitleMax of unlawfully including Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) registration, lien, and handling fees in the calculation of loans of a bona fide principal amount of less than $2,500, by which TitleMax “routinely overcharged interest rates and administrative fees on its loans” and, as stated in DBO’s press release, “illegally required customers to pay the lender to cover DMV charges.” In light of these accusations, DBO revoked TitleMax’s finance lender licenses on December 7, 2018.

More than a year after revoking TitleMax’s finance lender licenses, DBO settled with the company and restored its licenses. In a Settlement Agreement dated December 16, 2019, DBO issued a Desist and Refrain Order prohibiting TitleMax from participating in any further Financial Code violations, imposed a $25,000 penalty due to the Commissioner within five days of the effective date of the Settlement Agreement and ordered the repayment of $695,140.08 to 21,117 TitleMax customers who were reportedly victimized by the company’s violations. In entering the Settlement Agreement, TitleMax neither admitted nor denied DBO’s accusations, but agreed to settle to avoid “the necessity of a hearing.” So long as TitleMax remains in full compliance with DBO’s terms and conditions, TitleMax’s Financing Law licensure is to be reinstated on the condition that, “as of January 1, 2020, TitleMax will cease originating new loans in California and will engage only in servicing outstanding loans.”

 

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11 thoughts on “Department of Business Oversight settles with TitleMax of California, Inc. on disciplinary charges

  1. My name is Jermaine Simpkins and I was wondering if there’s still the way I could file a claim against TitleMax for any damages I paid two loans off to them but I was constantly harassed for payments my interest rates were unbelievable I paid my loan three or four times the amount of the original $2,600 I received recently if anybody could help me I would appreciate it thank you this was the TitleMax office on foothill boulevard and Central in upland California.

  2. Titlemax repossed my vehicle this morning. I am a victim of covid 19. I have been keeping in contact with them and all of a sudden thier office closed and I haven’t recieved any mail from them. I woke up this morning and my vehicle was gone. No letter, no phone call, or anything….
    Abbyleaddison@gmail.com

  3. Was wondering if i could file a class action or become part of one against TitleMax ?
    I borrowed 2,600 dollars paid 300 a month for just about 3 years roughly 14,000 dollars in interest , Then when i made the final payment they wanted another 285.00 before they would send me my pink slip for administration fees.

  4. About end Noveber 2019 I needed a loan for 900.00. The Titlemax associate talked me into 2600.00. Said they didnt do smaller loans. I didnt get any terms just a check. I was to go online open account to keep track of payments. He said the first payments the big one. I paid 2200.00 on a 2600.00 dollar loan in 4mo.. Logged on and saw i owed 2300.00. I stopped paying in May 2020. Then i learned they closed all doors in Ca in May
    They lost their lenders license in 2018. So they should not have loaned me the money. Now they still have my title.

  5. TitleMax repossessed my car …

    Got behind two months on payments and they had a repo man come get it , take it to the yard . I paid the late payments were given release paper to pick my car up . Went to go get my car from yard and it wasn’t there, the lady who works at the yard said that the tow company never brought my car to the yard . I called the tow company and they say it was delivered my car on a particular date and time to the yard.

    So what I’m saying is no one can find my car that’s tow company title max and or the yard where my car is suppose to be.

  6. They are a bunch of lazy people they dont do nothing just drink coffee all day I comply and comply and nothing happen

  7. I borrowed 2,600. In 2018 and paid 500.00 monnthly a total of 7,000 . I still have my car but they have my title, what can I do to to get my tittle back since they are closed now?.

  8. If titlemax gave you a title loan when their license was supposed to be revoked does that mean your contract is void with them

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