COLCHESTER, Vt. (4/28/14)--In light of a $1 million settlement with four predatory lending companies, Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell is turning to the state's credit unions to help slow abuse by unlicensed lenders.
Joe Bergeron, president/CEO of the Association of Vermont Credit Unions, was on hand during last week's press conference where Sorrell announced the settlement and made the plea to financial institutions to halt unlicensed lenders that offer illegal short-term, high-interest loans via the Internet.
"Here's another instance where the small state of Vermont is a national leader in taking action to protect consumers from the lure of easy money from these online loan sharks," Bergeron told Newslines Express (April 25). "Credit unions, regulators and legislators all have a common interest, and are working in concert, to safeguard Vermont consumers from being victimized," he added.
The settlement resulted in at least $1 million in potential refunds and loan forgiveness to more than 1,600 Vermonters and $90,000 to the state.
Bergeron shared Sorrell's request with credit union CEOs that they are to report any transactions related to the 81 known unlicensed lenders on the attorney general's list, assist members seeking help or guidance concerning unwanted or suspicious transactions and to notify the attorney general's office of any unlicensed lender activity reported by members.