Title loans trap Florida consumers in debt, critics say


Predatory title loans trap Florida borrowers in cycle of debt, consumer advocates say.
News Story (Florida)

Susan Jacobson
Orlando Sentinel
February 20, 2016
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Tags: Consumer Protection, Title Loans

Organizations mentioned/involved: Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA)


DETAILS

Feeling taken advantage of and afraid of losing the truck, Janet Schmitt, 68, and her husband, 62, who works two part-time custodial jobs, asked for help from Legal Aid, which represents low-income clients in civil cases. Now they are suing Florida’s largest title lender, hoping to get out from under their debt and possibly stop others from ending up in the same dire circumstances.

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“They always find a loophole,” said Lynn Drysdale, managing attorney with the consumer-law unit at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

Soon, the state’s financial-regulation office was receiving complaints about fees, interest rates and repossessions.