Internet Car Title Loans: a Tribe

Alleged Facts

20. Ms. Bynon is the owner of a 2008 Ford F150 Lariat Supercrew worth over $20,000. Exhibit P-7.

21. The vehicle was titled, registered, and licensed in Pennsylvania.

22. Ms. Bynon keeps the vehicle at her personal residence in Pennsylvania.

23. In 2013, Sovereign operated a web site under the fictitious name Title Loan America, from which it made title loans to residents of Pennsylvania at triple digit interest rates. Exhibit P-6.

24. During the month of March, 2013, Sovereign purports to have lent Ms. Bynon $2,500 at or about an annual interest rate of 180%.

25. Ms. Bynon entered into the loan transaction from a her computer at her home within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

26. The car title loan was supposedly memorialized by a written contract, but Sovereign did not provide Ms. Bynon with a copy, and Ms. Bynon does not recall seeing or accepting any particular set of terms and conditions when she took out the loan.

27. Ms. Bynon denies that she saw or agreed to a 180% interest rate or that she gave Sovereign a security interest in her vehicle.
Case 2:15-cv-00206-GJP Document 1 Filed 01/16/15 Page 9 of 4828. Ms. Bynon kept a record of her payments, which shows that she paid $442.50 on April 25, 2013; $441.72 on May 28, 2013, and $441.72 on June 26, 2013. A copy of Ms. Bynon’s payment history is attached as Exhibit P-2.

29. On or about June 28, 2013, Sovereign refinanced Ms. Bynon’s loan. Sovereign extended additional credit to Ms. Bynon of $2,435.91 and refinanced her previous
balance of $2,514.09, for a total of $4,950.

30. This loan was supposedly accepted on-line, but Ms. Bynon denies seeing or accepting any specific set of terms and conditions.

31. About a year and a half later, at Ms. Bynon’s request (after asking for months), she was provided with a copy of a document purporting to be her loan agreement, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit P-3. The loan agreement is not signed, and Ms. Bynon denies ever seeing or accepting it.

32. The loan contract purports to carry an interest rate of 182.02% A.P.R., and have a payment schedule consisting 11 payment of interest only in the amount of
$747.05 each, followed by a balloon payment of principal and interest in the amount of $5,797.05. Exhibit P-3.

33. In total, Sovereign sought to be paid $14,014.56, to satisfy a loan of $4,950.

34. Over the next year, Ms. Bynon made monthly payments totaling $9,297.69. Exhibit P-2.

Case 2:15-cv-00206-GJP Document 1 Filed 01/16/15 Page 10 of 4835. During the twelfth month, the lender demanded the final balloon payment referenced in the loan agreement. Ms. Bynon denied she owed the balloon payment and did not pay it.

36. During or about the month of July 2014, Bryan Casey entered into an agreement with the lender for his company Top Notch Recovery to repossess Ms. Bynon’s

37. The repossession occurred in Montgomery County Pennsylvania during or about July 2014.

38. Top Notch Recovery repossessed Ms. Bynon’s vehicle for the lender based on the alleged failure to make the balloon payment consisting entirely of usurious interest.

39. Mr. Casey approved the repossession for Top Notch and performed the repossession himself or had an employee acting under his direction perform it.

40. The lender forced Ms. Bynon to pay $3,192.08 to reinstate the loan and recover the vehicle. Exhibit P-4.

41. The lender continued to demand the balloon payment, and repossessed Ms. Bynon’s vehicle again during or about the month of September 2014.

42. This time the vehicle was repossessed by Vince Venezia operating through his company JVI Recovery Service, Inc.

43. Mr. Venezia agreed to have JVI perform the repossession.

44. Mr. Venezia performed the repossession himself, or had someone operating under his direct supervision perform the repossession.

Case 2:15-cv-00206-GJP Document 1 Filed 01/16/15 Page 11 of 4845. To get the car back, the lender required Ms. Bynon to pay $1,500 up front and agree to make a lump sum payment of $4,892, the following month. Exhibit P-5.

46. On or about January 8, 2015, the vehicle was repossessed for a third time by an unknown repossession company.

47. Following the repossession, Mark Weiner demanded payment from Ms. Bynon of $5000 for the vehicle’s return. Mr. Weiner told Ms. Bynon she had ten days to pay
the money and refused to tell her where the vehicle was located.

48. Suffice it to say, the lender never sent Ms. Bynon any notices required by the UCC regarding the right redeem the vehicle or disclosing the date, time and place of sale.

49. Ms. Bynon is suffering damages as a result of the loan and repossession, including but not limited to the loss of her money and vehicle, loss of personal mobility; possible loss of employment if she is not able to find transportation to work, loss of income, expenses for alternative transportation, cost to purchase a replacement vehicle, and the
emotional distress of dealing with these hardships. Ms. Bynon is disabled and unable to get to her doctor for needed medical care without her vehicle.

50. In Cash America Net v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 607 Pa. 432, 8 A.3d 282, 295 (2010), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that internet lenders were doing business in Pennsylvania and subject to the Commonwealth’s usury laws. 51. Under Pennsylvania law, an unlicensed lender may…



Read more about starting a car title loan business here: Automobile Pawn Industry


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