“The Attorney General always makes decisions based on sound legal reasoning and what’s in the best interest of Missourians. Any allegations to the contrary are baseless and unfounded. He has implemented the strongest conflict-of-interest policy in the country, refunding or returning more than $115,000 during this campaign cycle. Furthermore, he has taken a number of actions against payday lenders during his tenure, including shutting down 8 operations in 2015.” — Koster for Missouri statement, 11/1/2016

2011: Koster Sued A Payday Lender In Utah. “The Missouri attorney general is suing a Utah-based Internet payday lender alleging that it sold loans to Missouri residents without a required license, and attempted to garnish wages there illegally without court orders. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed suit in state courts there against FloBridge Group of Orem, seeking an injunction to stop it from operating there, and to force it to comply with orders for information about its Missouri dealings. It also seeks civil penalties of $1,000 for each loan the company made there.” [Salt Lake Tribune, 5/6/11]

2011: Koster Sued Internet Pay Day Lenders For Not Complying With Laws And Regulations Of Missouri.  Attorney General Chris Koster said his office has filed lawsuits in Cole County against two internet payday lenders, Ambassador Financial Services Inc., doing business as Nationwide Cash Inc., and Global Payday Loan LLC, doing business both as Payday Loan Yes and Fast Cash Advance. The two payday lenders have been lending money to Missouri consumers without registering with the Missouri Secretary of State or being licensed by the Missouri Division of Finance. Koster said payday lenders in Missouri are required to be licensed by the Division of Finance. Missouri law subjects payday lenders to many consumer safeguards, such as a cap on interest rates and fees, and a limit on the amount of time each loan can be renewed.” [AGO Press Release, 12/1/11]

2012: Koster Appealed Judges Ruling That Struck Down Language That Sought To Limit Payday Loans. “Koster to appeal payday loan ruling. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster will appeal a judge’s ruling that struck down language for a ballot initiative that seeks to limit payday loans. Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green ruled last week that the ballot summary prepared by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan was “insufficient, unfair and likely to deceive voters” because the language talked about limiting interest rates without stating the specific limit. Carnahan’s office says the original language is fair and accurate.” [AP, 4/12/12

2015: Koster Shut Down 8 “Predatory Operations” In Missouri – Winning Back $270,000 In Consumer Restitutions And Erasing Loan Balances For Missouri Customers. “Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that he has obtained an agreement with eight online payday loan operations to shut down payday loan operations in Missouri, provide $270,000 in consumer restitution, and erase all loan balances for Missouri consumers. Koster said Martin A. “Butch” Webb acted through numerous business entities operating from a Native American reservation in South Dakota, including Payday Financial, Western Sky Financial, Lakota Cash, Great Sky Finance, Red Stone Financial, Big Sky Cash, Lakota Cash, and Financial Solutions, none of which were licensed to do business in Missouri. These businesses sold short-term loans with exorbitant fees and forced consumers to agree to have their future wages garnished without going through the court system as required by Missouri law. The Attorney General’s Office received 57 complaints from consumers who were collectively charged approximately $25,000 in excess fees. The Attorney General’s investigation subsequently discovered as many as 6,300 other Missourians who may have also been charged excessive fees. One Missouri consumer was charged a $500 origination fee on a $1,000 loan, which was immediately rolled into the principal of the loan. She was charged 194 percent APR and eventually paid more than $4,000.” [AGO Press Release, 3/5/15]

AP Headline: “Attorney General Stops Online Payday Lenders In Missouri.” [AP, 3/6/15]

Koster Said Up To 6,300 Missourians Paid “Excessive” Loan Fees. “Missouri Attorney General Chis Koster said up to 6,300 Missourians, including 784 in the St. Louis area, may have paid excessive loan fees. The operation had claimed that it was exempt from all states’ laws because it operated from a “sovereign” nation, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. It lent money over the Internet and had no office in Missouri.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/5/15]

Koster: “These Predatory Lending Businesses Operated In The Shadows, Taking Advantage Of Missourians Through Outrageous Fees And Unlawful Garnishments.”“’These predatory lending businesses operated in the shadows, taking advantage of Missourians through outrageous fees and unlawful garnishments,’ said Koster. ‘Webb may have thought that by operating on tribal land he could avoid compliance with our state’s laws. He was wrong.”

Under Missouri law, a payday lender cannot charge ‘origination’ or other such fees in excess of 10 percent of the loan, up to a maximum of $75. The judgment obtained by Koster permanently prohibits Webb or any of his businesses from making or collecting on any loans in Missouri, and it cancels existing loan balances for his Missouri customers. Webb must also instruct credit reporting agencies to remove all information previously supplied to them about specific consumers. In addition, Webb must pay $270,000 in restitution to consumers and $30,000 in penalties to the state.” [AGO Press Release, 3/5/15]     

Koster: “My Hope Is That Every Missouri Consumer Who Took Out A Short-Term Loan With These Companies Gets Back What They Were Charged In Excess Of Missouri Law. The Message To Online Payday Lenders Is Clear: Follow Missouri Law Or You Won’t Be Doing Business In Our State.” [AGO Press Release, 3/5/15]

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS TAKEN SIGNIFICANTLY MORE MONEY FROM THE PAYDAY LOAN INDUSTRY THAN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY 

The Payday Lending Industry Has Given More Than $1 Million Over The Last Decade To Missouri Statewide Officials – 65% Of Those Donations Went To Republicans.  “The payday lending industry has spent more than $1 million over the last decade, between the 2000 and 2010 election cycles, to influence Missouri state elections. 12 With the exception of the 2000 cycle, these interests have given more to Republican candidates and committees than they have to Democratic ones. In the 2010 cycle and over the decade, Republicans have received nearly twice the campaign support Democrats have received from payday interests.” [Public Campaign Indebted, 7/6/12]

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[Public Campaign Indebted, 7/6/12]

 

Republican Party Committee’s Have Taken Significant Sums From The Payday Loan Industry — $166,364 To The House Republican Campaign Committee and $94,430 To The Missouri Republican Party. 

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[Public Campaign Indebted, 7/6/12]