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Sun Jun 30, 2019, 06:14 AM

Fort Worth firm allegedly violated payday loan laws for years. Now it's paying $39.7M.

In times of desperation or financial uncertainty, a payday loan can be a way to get cash, quick — so long as the applicant accepts the terms and conditions set by the lender.

Fort Worth’s Think Finance LLC, according to lawsuits filed over the past several years across the country, capitalized on people’s vulnerabilities by repeatedly servicing loans with interest rates sometimes more than 15 times legal limits. And to fight away the allegations, the company used Native American tribal laws like a shield, the lawsuits allege.

The business, which was formed in 2001 as Think Finance Inc. and declared bankruptcy in 2017, purports to be a financial services firm providing software technology, analytics and marketing services to clients. But, according to lawsuits, the entity engaged in an illegal “rent-a-tribe” payday loan scheme, adopting Native American tribes as partners to evade state and federal laws.

The firm in 2016 was accused of being part of a scheme with Plain Green LLC, a lender “owned by the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, Montana,” according to a complaint filed in Vermont. In 2018, according to a complaint in North Carolina, Think Finance was accused of giving out loans with illegal interest rates through an entity called Great Plains Lending.

Read more: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article231999877.html

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