Our consumer protection lawyers represent consumers subjected to illegal loan tactics in predatory lending lawsuits. Although not precisely defined in the law, predatory lending may include loan transactions achieved through, among other things:

•  aggressive pursuit of loan recipients

•  targeting of high-risk borrowers who cannot easily obtain or repay loans

•  misrepresentation of loan terms, charges, and fees and other forms of consumer fraud

•  discrimination in loan offerings and terms

Predatory Lending Actions

Consumers injured by unfair, deceitful, and otherwise abusive loan practices may file predatory lending lawsuits in state or federal court. Federal laws that protect consumers against fraudulent and manipulative lending schemes include:

•  The Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., and

•  The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. § 1691 et seq.

Many states also prohibit predatory lending through state consumer protection statutes and common law. Predatory lending practices contrary to federal and / or state laws may include:

•  religious, racial, and other prohibited discrimination in offering and acceptance of loans

•  excessive or hidden charges and fees

•  excessive interest and pre-payment penalties

•  balloon payments

•  knowingly or negligently requiring loan payments borrowers cannot afford

•  knowingly or negligently granting loans to borrowers who are likely to default

•  minimum payments that increase rather than decrease principal by failing to cover interest owed (negative amortization)

•  misrepresenting borrowers’ ability to pay on loan applications

•  requiring borrowers to forfeit right to sue for fraud or other illegal predatory practices (mandatory arbitration clauses)

Damages in Predatory Lending Actions

Plaintiffs in predatory lending lawsuits may obtain damages and, in some cases, injunctive relief. Courts may order defendants whose loan transactions or practices violate the Truth in Lending Act and / or the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to pay plaintiffs:

•  actual damages in both individual and class actions

•  punitive damages less than or equal to $10,000 in individual actions

•  punitive damages less than or equal to one percent (1%) of the defendant’s net worth or $500,000, whichever is smaller, in consumer class actions

•  attorneys’ fees in both individual and class actions

•  equitable relief, where appropriate, in both individual and class actions

Contact a Consumer Protection Lawyer

Predatory lending violates consumers’ rights and subjects them to serious financial and other risks. If you were victimized by abusive lending procedures, contact us to inquire about starting or joining a predatory lending lawsuit. We will evaluate your case without charge.

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