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Oswego Couple Ordered to Pay Millions for Payday Loan Harassment

Nov 05, 2015 05:47AM ● Published by Steven Jack

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An Oswego couple who ran an Aurora-based collection agency has settled a federal lawsuit that orders them to pay $6.4 million for abusive payday loan and debt collection activities. 

Charles and Chantelle Dickey were the owners of K.I.P. LLC, which for several years threatened and intimidated consumers to pay payday loan debts they either did not owe, or did not owe to the Dickeys. The business was operated under several other names, including Ezell Williams and Associates, Corp., Excel Receivables, Corp.; Second Chance Financial Credit, Corp., Payday Loan Recovery Group, LLC and several others. 

According to a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission in April, the Dickeys used a host of business names to target consumers who obtained or applied for payday or other short-term loans. Claiming those loans were delinquent, they threatened to garnish wages, suspend or revoke their driver’s licenses, have them arrested or imprisoned, or sue those who did not pay. 

Many consumers paid, even though they may not have owed the debts, because they believed the defendants would follow through on their threats or because they simply wanted to end the harassment.

The settlement also prohibits the Dickeys from misrepresenting financial products and services, profiting from customers’ personal information, and failing to dispose of such information properly. It imposes a $6,403,781 judgment, including proceeds from the sale of a car and the turnover of any assets held by third parties, including the couple's foreclosed upon Rosebush Lane home. 

The lawsuit filed against the Dickeys is part of a federal-state enforcement initiative targeting deceptive and abusive debt collection practices. This nationwide crackdown encompasses 30 new law enforcement actions by federal, state and local law enforcement authorities against collectors who use illegal tactics.

TO SEE MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESSES RUN BY THE DICKEYS, WATCH THE NBC5 INVESTIGATIVE REPORT BELOW

“My office receives thousands of calls and complaints each year from consumers who are victims of illegal debt collection tactics,” Illinois Attorney General Madigan said. “Through our partnership with the FTC and states across the country, we are putting scam operations out of business and protecting consumers from abusive practices by legitimate creditors.”

INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE

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