For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: April 18, 2013
Boise Loan Broker to Refund Unlawful Upfront Fees
(Boise) - A Boise loan broker has agreed to pay $19,575 in customer refunds and change his business practices, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said today. The agreement with Dairld G. Wurtz, Jr., who operates Allied Commercial Partners 1, LLC, resolves a lawsuit filed by Wasden's office in February. Under terms of the settlement, Wurtz must comply with the Idaho Consumer Protection Act and Idaho's loan broker law, which prohibits loan brokers from accepting upfront fees for unfunded loans.
The Attorney General received complaints from consumers who paid thousands of dollars to Wurtz for business loans. Without providing a commitment to lend, Wurtz continued to charge the consumers for expenses. This practice violates the Idaho Consumer Protection Act and Idaho's loan broker law.
"Every year my office receives dozens of complaints from consumers who lost money to loan brokers because the consumers paid upfront fees for loans they never received," Wasden said. "If a loan broker asks a consumer for an upfront fee, including an application fee, that loan broker has violated Idaho law."
The settlement requires Wurtz to provide his customers with all written disclosures required under the Idaho Consumer Protection Act, including the length of time it will take for him to arrange a loan. Consumers who contacted the Attorney General about Wurtz's business practices complained they were strung along for months without knowing the status of their loans. Wurtz also must give a copy of the settlement to his employees to ensure they comply with its terms.
In addition to paying restitution to the consumers who contacted the Attorney General's Office, Wurtz agreed to pay $1,500 to reimburse the Attorney General for his expenses. A $15,000 civil penalty is held in abeyance pending Wurtz's compliance with the settlement agreement.
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