Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release


December 23, 2013
Media Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General Bondi and OFR Commissioner Breakspear Sue Consumer Finance Companies for Illegal Interest and Annual Percentage Rates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi and Office of Financial Regulation Commissioner Drew Breakspear filed suit today against online consumer finance companies Western Sky Financial, CashCall, related companies and their owner John Paul Reddam. The suit alleges that the companies charged interest rates ranging from 95 percent to 169 percent and annual percentage rates from 139.13 percent to 331.38 percent to more than 6,000 Florida borrowers. It is alleged that Western Sky charges high origination fees for small dollar loans which results in higher annual percentage rates. These interest rates far exceed what is allowed under Florida law. The lawsuit asks the court to cancel the illegal loans, order refunds for consumers, and ban the defendants from collecting on the loans and making any future illegal loans to Florida’s consumers.

“Florida law protects consumers from outrageous interest rates that leave borrowers continually paying interest without making progress in paying off their debt,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “This lawsuit is intended to protect Florida’s borrowers from these illegal interest rates."

“The OFR will continue to work tirelessly with our partners, including the Attorney General’s Office, to hold those accountable who seek to illegally separate Floridians from their hard earned dollars,” OFR Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear said. “We are committed to protecting the citizens of Florida through smart, efficient and effective regulation of the financial services industry.”

The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau filed a similar lawsuit against the companies and its owner last week for violations of the Dodd-Frank Act. Floridians who would like to file a complaint with our office can do so by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.

Follow this link to view a copy of the lawsuit: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MMFD-9ENM7P/$file/WesternSky.pdf