Illegal Payday Lending:
ince 2008, the Attorney General's Office has worked to eliminate all forms of payday lending in Arkansas. Payday lending is the practice of extending short-term loans at high annual percentage rates. It also includes so-called "installment" loans with longer terms, which carry high interest rates. Though all storefront payday loan operations in Arkansas have been shut down, these usurious loans are still available on the internet. Most online payday lenders have "roll-over" provisions that direct most, if not all, of a debtor's payments toward loan fees without reducing the amount borrowed.
How to Spot a Payday Loan
High Interest Rate: Payday loans typically carry triple-digit interest rates or high fees, even if the fees are not called "interest." Short Terms: Typically, a payday loan is payable within two weeks to one month. Direct Bank Account Access: Payday lenders usually require information about the borrower's bank account, either through a check written to the lender or through electronic access.
What Should I Do?
Consider alternatives to payday loans. Contact creditors to request extensions on due dates. Seek the financial assistance of family or friends. Remember, a borrower typically pays more than $800 to retire a $300 payday loan. Ultimately, you will spend most of your money on interest payments.
If you would like to file a consumer complaint against a payday lender or a payday loan debt collector, submit an online complaint to the Consumer Protection Division here or call (800) 482-8982.
If your loan is illegal and unenforceable
under Arkansas law, our office can request that the lender or collector cancel the loan.
You may decide to prevent further withdrawals by closing your bank account to prevent the lender from accessing your funds. Stopping payment or closing your account will have consequences. You may be contacted by the lender or a debt collector. You could be sued. If sued, by law, our office cannot represent you.
Some payday lenders, or related collection agencies, use harassing and abusive collection tactics. If this happens to you, you can file a complaint with our office. Also you should be aware of your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
After successfully ridding the state of storefront payday loan operations several years ago, the Consumer Protection Division has actively pursued payday lenders who conduct illegal lending activities in Arkansas via the Internet. In 2011, the State sued and reached settlements with two such lenders, forcing the operations to abandon claims of close to $750,000. The companies charged more than 300 percent interest on their illegal short-term loans. The Consumer Protection Division will continue to monitor the Internet marketplace to investigate and take action against online payday lenders.
Criminal Action: Prohibited (Unless check returned due to closed account and stop-payment by maker)
Where to Complain, Get Information:
Regulator: Arkansas State Board of Collection Agencies
Address: Division of Check-Cashing Companies, 523 Louisiana Street, Suite 460 Little Rock AR 72201
Phone: (501) 371-1434
Fax: (501) 371-1440
Regulatory Contact: Peggy Matson. Executive Director
Category: Payday loans