Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

Division of Financial Institutions

NEWS
   
 

Consumer Installment Lender’s License Revoked for Seeking Incarceration to Collect on Loans

 
 

CHICAGO – In its ongoing effort to protect consumers from unscrupulous lenders, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) today revoked the license of Easy Money Express Company in Carbondale.  IDFPR found evidence that the company used the taxpayer-funded criminal justice system as a private debt collection device for at least four of its customers. 

“Easy Money Express exploited the court system to obtain the arrest and incarceration of its customers.  This is a business practice that will not be tolerated by the Department,” said Brent Adams, Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation. 

On repeated occasions, Easy Money Express, a Consumer Installment Loan Act (CILA) licensee, used the courts to threaten and cause jail time as part of its efforts to collect money from its customers.  Easy Money Express filed civil charges, and then sought contempt orders against their customers if the full payments had not been made.  With the exception of one customer, who was incarcerated on an unrelated charge in addition to the contempt charge, none of the customers would have been incarcerated if they had not obtained loans from Easy Money Express.

IDFPR has the authority to revoke CILA licenses when it learns of an improper business practice that, if it had known about it at the time of licensure, would have caused the Department to deny the license.  In the case of Easy Money Express, threatening and causing jail time through the court system would be one of those business practices. 

Click here to view the order and exhibits.