“Eligible Consumers” are those non-residents of Pima County who obtained pay day loans from Quik Cash outside of Pima County and against whom Defendants obtained a default judgment in the Pima County Justice Court and received funds from its collection efforts, including garnishments, which funds were applied to such default judgments.
The Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Quik Cash in December 2009, alleging that the company, in order to obtain as many defaults as possible against consumers who lived outside of Pima and Maricopa counties, filed for default judgments and, in many cases obtained garnishment orders, in Pima County against non-county residents. Quik Cash’s actions allegedly deprived consumers of their right to appear in court or to contest judgments and garnishments and in some cases, allowed Quik Cash to collect on debts consumers had already paid.
The consent judgment requires Quik Cash to comply with the Consumer Fraud Act. In addition, Quik Cash must do the following:
1. If Quik Cash has not already filed releases of the default judgments and garnishments it obtained against Eligible Consumers, Quik Cash shall file releases within ten days of the Effective Date (Tuesday, March 8, 2011).
2. Quik Cash will pay up to $170,000 in restitution to Eligible Consumers within thirty days of the Effective Date. Quik Cash must send a letter explaining that Quik Cash and the Attorney General’s Office have entered into a settlement and that Quik Cash has released the Eligible Consumer’s default judgment and garnishment.
3. Quik Cash will enclose a restitution check with the letter. The envelope containing both must contain the words “Quik Cash Refund” so that consumers do not throw the checks away.
4. Quik Cash must provide a report to the Office within thirty days of mailing the refund checks to include a sample refund letter; the names and addresses of the Eligible Consumers; and the amount of the restitution check Quik Cash sent to each consumer.
5. If restitution checks are returned to Quik Cash as undeliverable, Quik Cash shall use all reasonable efforts to locate the Eligible Consumers. If, after ninety days from receiving the returned checks, Quik Cash has not been able to locate the Eligible Consumers, Quik Cash shall pay the total amount of the undeliverable checks to our Office to be deposited into the Consumer Fraud Revolving Fund as fees and costs.
6. If Eligible Consumers do not cash restitution checks within 120 days of the date of the restitution checks, Quik Cash must pay the total amount of cancelled checks to the Attorney General’s Office to be deposited into the Consumer Fraud Revolving Fund as fees and costs.
7. Quik Cash is required to pay $67,500 to the Attorney General’s office for attorney’s fees and costs.
Horne concluded: “Payday lending is now illegal in Arizona. If consumers are aware of continued payday lending activity or believe they are a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s office at (602) 542-5763.”
This case was handled by AAG Noreen Matts.