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200 Court House Sq. #101
Des Arc, Arkansas 72040

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Scam Series No. 5: Payday Loan Scams

Since 2008, the Arkansas Attorney General’s office has worked to eliminate all forms of payday lending in Arkansas, according to current Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's website. 

"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," Rutledge's press release reads. 

How to spot a payday loan, according to Rutledge:

  • 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 residents 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, residents will spend most of their money on interest payments.
  • If anyone 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 or call (800) 482-8982.
  • If the loan is illegal and unenforceable under Arkansas law, the attorney general's office can request that the lender or collector cancel the loan.
  • Residents may decide to prevent further withdrawals by closing their bank account to prevent the lender from accessing the funds. Stopping payment or closing the account will have consequences. They may be contacted by the lender or a debt collector. They could be sued. If sued, by law, the attorney general's office cannot represent them.
  • Some payday lenders, or related collection agencies, use harassing and abusive collection tactics. If this happens, file a complaint with the attorney general's office. Also they should be aware of their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
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