Predatory lenders, working as auto title loan companies, continue to exploit consumers, through bait & switch, obscenely excessive fees, refusing to work in good faith with consumers, jacking up interest rates as high as 175% (yes, that constitutes Usury), and many, many more unethical or illegal tactics, all designed to extract money from unsuspecting consumers, many of whom are elderly, handicapped, ill and infirm. These companies deserve to lose their licenses, and their operators should be going to prison, for putting their clients through financial hell.
One such financial nightmare is LOAN MART, the trade name of WHEELS FINANCIAL GROUP LLC, located in Van Nuys, California. It is also known to operated under 800 LOANMART, 1800LOANMART, and W.F.G. NEED CASH NOW.COM. HUGO DONNER is listed as its CEO; ANNALISA CLEARIHUE a/k/a ANNIE PIRAINO, as compliance officer; CARLOS CARDONA a/k/a JOE CARDONA as Title Service & Collections Manager. The Director of Compliance is JESSEN CALLOWAY (818) 285-2129. All of these officers have been accused by their victims of criminal activity, specifically making usurious loans (Loansharking).
Nevertheless, LoanMart continues to operate outside of California; victims allege unethical behavior, Annual Percentage rates over 150%;harassing consumers over the telephone; altering credit reports; wrongful repossession of consumers' automobiles; Alteration of Annual Percentage Rates; tacking on charges to insure that loans will literally never be paid off; installing illegal tracking devices on consumers' vehicles; deception; failure to release titles after payment in full have been made; and many more consumer complaints filed with regulatory agencies, online complaint websites, and consumer protection groups.
What follows is the State of California Consent Decree, which details the company's criminal conduct leading to its termination of services within the state. It will give the reader insight into how this predatory lender operates.