Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
December 3, 2018
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Attorney General Bondi Stops Auto Lender from Making Unlawful Loans
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office obtained a temporary injunction in connection with a complaint against Marlin Financial, Inc. to prohibit Marlin from offering alleged unlawful loans to Floridians. Marlin is a Miami-based lender that makes loans to borrowers that pledge cars as collateral. The Attorney General’s Office filed the complaint on Nov. 20 in Hillsborough County that seeks additional relief including restitution, penalties and imposition of a constructive trust.
Marlin stipulated to a temporary injunction that prohibits it from offering loans with a debt cancellation product and repossessing vehicles where the loan includes this product. The injunction also requires Marlin to segregate funds collected on existing loans with a debt cancellation product.
This lawsuit arises from an investigation of Marlin’s debt cancellation product that began in November 2017. This product purportedly protects the consumer and cancels the debt if the vehicle securing the debt is damaged and deemed a total loss. However, according to the complaint, Marlin charged hefty fees for the debt cancellation product, sometimes amounting to more than the underlying loan, and misrepresented that consumers could decline purchase of the product. As a result, consumers were allegedly charged excessive interest rates and other fees in violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
While the temporary injunction is an important step for Florida borrowers, litigation for permanent relief remains pending in the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County. Florida consumers with a loan from Marlin Financial, Inc. that includes a debt cancellation product may contact the Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.
To view the complaint, click here. To view the stipulated temporary injunction, click here.