Final Settlement in Class Action Suit Pays Hundreds of Millions from Illegal Internet Lending Schemes
Wednesday, August 17th, 2022
Gibbs v. Elevate, Gibbs v. Stinson, Brice v. Stinson
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia this week approved a settlement in the last of nine class action lawsuits against entities that sought to evade state and federal law by making extremely high-interest internet loans in Virginia and other states.
The August 16, 2022 ruling marks the third such settlement against a group of out-of-state internet companies, investors and shareholders that together were known as Think Finance. As part of this final settlement, the companies will pay out will pay $44,530,000 in refunds to borrowers. This is additional relief for more than one million class members who already received over $110 million in refunds and $760 million in debt relief.
“This litigation not only led to over $900 million in relief, but it also helped propel passage of the 2020 Fairness in Lending Act,” said Jay Speer, Virginia Poverty Law Center Executive Director. “The litigation stopped most of the illegal internet lenders, and legislation kicked out the payday and car title lenders, but a few illegal internet predators continue to target Virginians over the internet.”
Speer warns borrowers to only do business with lenders licensed in Virginia.
The settlements come after years of litigation by Consumer Litigation Associates, Kelly Guzzo, and the Virginia Poverty Law Center. Payouts benefit consumers with loans from companies identified as Great Plains Lending at any time, loans with Plain Green before June 1, 2016, or cash advances or lines of credit from MobiLoans before May 6, 2017.