AG Shapiro Recovers $1.6M for Consumers Who Issued Illegal Car Title Loans – PA Attorney General’s Office

CashPoint settlements and approved financial results in debt relief for thousands of Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced a settlement with Kevin Williams and Mark Williams, owners of Delaware-based Dominion Management, which operated as CashPoint, a now-defunct auto title lending company. CashPoint made thousands of bad loans to Pennsylvania borrowers at annual interest rates in excess of 200%. As a result of this settlement, Kevin Williams and Mark Williams will reimburse more than $1.5 million in wrongful interest charges to consumers who were victims of their scheme. These rebates come on top of the $3.2 million in debt relief victims already received as a result of an October 2021 court order. AG Shapiro initially filed suit against the defendants in 2018 and 2020.

AG Shapiro reached a similar settlement with Florida-based auto title company Approved Financial over alleged violations of Pennsylvania usury laws and unfair and deceptive business practices. Under the terms of the AVC, Approved Financial will cancel all outstanding loans to Pennsylvania consumers. The company will also reimburse Pennsylvania consumers for any fees and interest they have paid, which will result in nearly 200 consumers receiving $21,500 in refunds.

“Because they were based in Delaware and Florida, these defendants thought they could circumvent Pennsylvania laws,” AG Shapiro said. “But I don’t care where you are, if you’re exploiting consumers in Pennsylvania, you’ll hear from my office. Today’s settlements hold CashPoint and Approved Financial accountable and draw attention to other bad actors.”

Title loans are high-priced installment loans that require the borrower to pledge a vehicle title as collateral. Because title loans are extremely expensive, consumers typically turn to title lenders when they are most vulnerable — such as after losing a job or facing high medical costs. Under Pennsylvania’s usury and extortion laws, home loans are virtually prohibited because home loans generally charge interest rates well above the Commonwealth’s annual interest rate limit of 6 to 24 percent.

As part of the CashPoint Settlement, Mark Williams and Kevin Williams are prohibited from knowingly participating in, owning or serving on behalf of any company for a period of seven years after they make their last payment under the Settlement work that provides loans to residents of Pennsylvania.

The settlements follow an important victory by the Office of Attorney General’s Civil Division in the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. In that case, a third Delaware-based auto titler, TitleMax, had sued the Department of Banking, seeking an injunction to prevent the Department from investigating the loans TitleMax made to Pennsylvania residents. In January 2022, the Third Circuit ruled that Pennsylvania could examine its usury laws and apply them to TitleMax. The court wrote: “Pennsylvania has a strong interest in prohibiting usury. The application of Pennsylvania’s usury laws to Title Max’s loans encourages such interest, and any burden it may impose on interstate commerce is incidental at best.”

The CashPoint Settlement was filed with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by Assistant Director for Consumer Financial Protection, Nicholas Smyth.

The approved financial settlement was filed with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by Assistant Attorney General Debra Warring. The TitleMax litigation was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Claudia Tesoro and Sean Kirkpatrick and Assistant Attorney General Alexander Korn.

Consumers who believe they have been taken advantage of by a similar vehicle rental company should file a consumer complaint online or contact the Office of Attorney General by phone at 1-800-441-2555 or email [email protected]

# # #

Comments are closed.