Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release


October 6, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General Bondi Secures Millions for Florida Consumers and Service Members

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi, joined by 49 other attorneys general, announced a settlement with retailer USA Discounters, also doing business as USA Living and Fletcher’s Jewelers, to resolve allegations of deceptive trade practices against the company. More than $4 million in restitution will go to consumers in Florida. This settlement is expected to impact almost 3,000 Floridians.

USA Discounters sold consumer products, including appliances, computers, furniture, jewelry, smart phones, televisions, computers and other consumer goods principally on credit. The company typically advertised to military and government employees and their families, claiming they would never be denied credit for goods purchased from the retailer.

“This multistate settlement secures millions of dollars in restitution for consumers, including our military members in Florida and across the country,” said Attorney General Bondi. “Thanks to the joint efforts of my office and 49 other attorneys general, military consumers are better protected.”

The complaint alleges that USA Discounters sold overpriced household goods at high interest rates, often using the military allotment system to guarantee payment. The complaint also alleges that USA Discounters engaged in abusive debt collection practices and other deceptive, false and unfair trade practices by persistently contacting service members’ chains-of-command and, in some cases, causing service members to lose security clearances and face demotions. Additionally, no matter the service members’ location, deployment status or residence, USA Discounters allegedly only filed its collection lawsuits in a few Virginia jurisdictions. According to the complaint, USA Discounters’ unlawful business practices were achieved through misrepresentations and omissions in advertising, as well as, during the loan origination and collection processes.

Before declaring bankruptcy, USA Discounters closed its stores in the summer of 2015.

As part of the settlement, USA Discounters has agreed to provide relief to certain current and former customers. The total estimated value to consumers for these restitution measures is more than $95 million, primarily benefiting service members.

USA Discounters agreed to:

The settlement particularly focuses on the judgments obtained in a state different from where the debtor resided, which impacted service members the hardest. Service members were often unable to travel to other states to defend themselves in court while stationed in a different state or overseas.

To view the settlement, click here.