Justia Consumer Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part an order of the district court granting a petition for judicial review of a decision of the administrative law judge (ALJ) and vacated the ALJ's order finding that the Grace Period Payment Deferment Agreement (GPPDA) marketed by TitleMax of Nevada, Inc. violated Nev. Rev. Stat. 604A.445 and Nev. Rev. Stat. 604A.210, holding that the GPPDA impermissibly extended the duration of the loan.In 2014, TitleMax began offering the GPPDA, marketed as an amendment and modification to its 210-day loan and under which TitleMax collected seven months of interest-only payments calculated based on a static principal balance and then collected seven months of payments amortizing principal. The Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Financial Institutions Division brought the underlying administrative disciplinary action alleging that TitleMax violated sections 604A.445(3) and 604A.210. The ALJ ordered TitleMax to cease and desist offering the GPPDA and sanctioned TitleMax for willfully violating the statutes. The district court vacated the ALJ's order. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) because the GPPDA required borrowers to make unamortized payments and consequently charged "additional interest" it violated the pertinent statutes; and (2) TitleMax's statutory violation was not "willful" and thus did not warrant statutory sanctions. View "State, Department of Business & Industry, Financial Institutions Division v. TitleMax of Nevada, Inc." on Justia Law

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Enacted in 2005, in response to the "debt treadmill," NRS Chapter 604A regulates the payday loan industry, including deferred deposit loans and loans with an annual interest rate greater than 40 percent. If a borrower cannot repay such a loan within 35 days, NRS 604A.480 subsection 1 allows for an extension but a licensee cannot extend the period beyond 60 days and cannot "add any unpaid interest or other charges accrued ... to the principal amount of the new deferred deposit loan or high-interest loan." However, under subsection 2, certain new deferred deposit or high-interest loans are exempt from those restrictions: A licensee may offer a new loan to satisfy an outstanding loan for a period of not less than 150 days and at an interest rate of less than 200 percent. The licensee must follow all of subsection 2's requirements for the new loan to be exempted. Subsection (2)(f) permits a loan under subsection 2 if the licensee does “not commence any civil action or process of alternative dispute resolution on a defaulted loan or any extension or repayment plan thereof." Reversing the district court, the Nevada Supreme Court held that NRS 604A.480(2)(f) bars a licensee from bringing any type of enforcement action on a refinancing loan made under NRS 604A.480(2) and is not merely a condition precedent to making a refinancing loan under the subsection. View "State of Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Financial Institutions Division v. Dollar Loan Center., LLC" on Justia Law

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NRS 604A.480(2)(f) bars a licensee from bringing any type of enforcement action on a refinancing loan made under NRS 604A.480(2). In this case, the Nevada Supreme Court held that the district court erred in concluding that NRS 604A.480 does not prohibit certain payday loan licensees from filing suit against borrowers who default on the loans. The state supreme court noted that the bar against future civil action on loans made under subsection 2(f) puts an end to the debt treadmill. Accordingly, the state supreme court reversed the judgment. View "Nevada Department of Business & Industry v. Dollar Loan Center, LLC" on Justia Law

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Appellant, a payday loan company, provided loans to the named plaintiffs. The named plaintiffs and other borrowers did not repay their loans, prompting Appellant to file several thousand individual collection actions. Appellant secured thousands of default judgments against the named plaintiffs. It was later discovered that the process server hired by Appellant falsified affidavits of service. The named plaintiffs sued Appellant, alleging that Appellant improperly obtained its default judgments against them and other similarly situated borrowers without their knowledge. Appellant moved to compel arbitration based on the arbitration provisions in its loan agreements. The district court denied Appellant’s motions, holding that Appellant waived its right to arbitrate by bringing collection actions in justice court and obtaining default judgments based on falsified affidavits of service. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court correctly concluded that Appellant waived its right to an arbitral forum where the named plaintiffs’ claims all concerned the validity of the default judgments Appellant obtained against them in justice court. View "Principal Investments v. Harrison" on Justia Law