Schneiderman announces millions in relief are available to victims of illegal loans by high interest lendersby Editorial
Western Sky, CashCall begin to reimburse victims in settlement reached with attorney general earlier this year; more than $20 million could be distributed to consumers who file claims
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced consumers who were charged illegal interest on loans from Western Sky Financial LLC and CashCall Inc. can begin filing claims for refunds, through a fund established by the attorney general's settlement with the companies earlier this year. All borrowers who received a loan from Western Sky while a resident of New York and who paid Western Sky, CashCall, or a party collecting on their behalf more than the proceeds of the loan plus the legal interest rate of 16 percent are eligible to receive a refund of the illegal interest they paid. If consumers make claims, there is more than $20 million that could be distributed.
The settlement resolved a lawsuit filed by the attorney general against Western Sky Financial LLC, CashCall Inc., WS Funding LLC, and their owners over illegal, high-interest loans made to New York residents. Under the settlement, many New York borrowers have already received loan modifications and credit history adjustments, and the companies have paid $1.5 million in penalties to the state.
"Thousands of New Yorkers who were the victims of exorbitant and illegal interest rates can receive meaningful relief through our settlement fund," Schneiderman said. "I encourage all those eligible to take full advantage of this program. In these tough economic times, my office will continue to pursue all avenues for consumers and seek justice against anyone who defrauds them."
The refund process is the final stage of relief for New York consumers. To receive a refund, eligible borrowers must submit a claim to the settlement fund administrator, Feinberg Rozen LLP, by Aug. 5, 2014. Copies of the claim form were mailed to all eligible borrowers on April 29. Copies of the form may also be downloaded from the settlement fund administrator's website, www.westernskysettlement.com. The amount of each borrower's refund depends on how much the borrower paid; many eligible borrowers will receive a refund of more than $1,000.
More information about the settlement fund is available on the attorney general's website and also on the fund administrator's website. New York residents with questions relating to the completion and submission of a claim form should contact the settlement fund administrator by email at [email protected], or by phone at 877-302-2525.