CashPoint Settlements and Approved Financial Result in Debt Cancellation for Thousands of Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced a settlement with Kevin Williams and Mark Williams, owners of Dominion Management of Delaware, which operated as CashPoint, an auto title loan business that no longer exists. CashPoint made thousands of illegal loans to Pennsylvania borrowers at annual interest rates in excess of 200%. As a result of this settlement, Kevin Williams and Mark Williams will reimburse more than $1.5 million in illegal interest charges to consumers who fell victim to their scheme. These refunds are in addition to the $3.2 million in debt cancellation victims already received as a result of an October 2021 court order. AG Shapiro initially filed a lawsuit against the defendants in 2018 and 2020.

Attorney General Shapiro reached a similar settlement with Florida-based auto title lender Approved Financial for alleged violations of Pennsylvania usury laws and deceptive and unfair business practices. Under the terms of the AVC, Approved Financial will pay off all outstanding loans made to Pennsylvania consumers. The company will also reimburse Pennsylvania consumers for all fees and interest they paid, resulting in nearly 200 consumers receiving refunds in the amount of $21,500.

“Because they were based in Delaware and Florida, these defendants thought they could evade Pennsylvania law,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “But I don’t care where you are, if you exploit Pennsylvania consumers, you’ll hear from my office. Today’s settlements hold CashPoint and Approved Financial accountable and put other bad actors on notice.”

Title loans are high-cost installment loans that require the borrower to pledge a vehicle title as collateral. Because title loans are extremely expensive, consumers often turn to title lenders when they are at their most vulnerable, such as after losing a job or facing major medical bills. Under Pennsylvania’s usury and extortion laws, title loans are effectively prohibited because title lenders typically charge interest rates well above the Commonwealth’s 6 to 24 percent annual interest limit.

As part of the CashPoint settlement, Mark Williams and Kevin Williams are prohibited from knowingly participating in, owning, or working for any business that extends credit to Pennsylvanians, for a period of seven years after making their last payment under the settlement.

The settlements follow a major victory by the Office of the Attorney General’s Civil Division in the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. In that case, a third Delaware-based auto title lender, TitleMax, had sued the Department of Banking, seeking an injunction to prevent the Department from investigating loans TitleMax made to Pennsylvanians. In January 2022, the Third Circuit ruled that Pennsylvania can investigate and apply its usury laws to TitleMax. The Court wrote: “Pennsylvania has a vested interest in prohibiting usury. Applying Pennsylvania’s usury laws to Title Max loans increases that interest, and any burden on interstate commerce for doing so is, at best, incidental.”

The CashPoint settlement was filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court by Deputy Director of Consumer Financial Protection Nicholas Smyth.

The Approved Financial Settlement was filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court by Principal Deputy Attorney General Debra Warring. The TitleMax litigation was handled by Senior Assistant Attorneys General Claudia Tesoro and Sean Kirkpatrick and Assistant Attorney General Alexander Korn.

Consumers who believe they have been taken advantage of by a similar car title lender should file a consumer complaint online or contact the Office of the Attorney General by calling 1-800-441-2555 or emailing [email protected] attorneygeneral.gov.

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