Political Notes – AG’s office squeezes $221,000 out of title pawn lender

[private]First American Title Lending of Georgia has agreed to a $221,000 settlement with the attorney general’s office over allegations that it violated the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act and the Georgia laws governing title pawns.

“Consumers who seek out title pawns may already be in financial straits,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “Our office is committed to protecting vulnerable consumers from companies that try to intimidate and take advantage of them through false threats and illegal actions.”

Title pawns are short-term, high-interest loans that are typically secured by the title on a borrower’s car, making the vehicle subject to repossession if there’s a loan default.

The attorney general’s office alleged that on some defaults, First American sued borrowers for the outstanding principal, interest and fees, which is not allowed in pawn transactions. The company also allegedly threatened consumers with arrest warrants, which it lacked the authority to issue.

Under the agreement, First American will:

  • Pay $196,573 in consumer restitution and return of titles.
  • Dismiss all pending lawsuits against consumers in which it attempted to hold them personally liable for principal, interest, fees and/or other costs.
  • Have any judgments entered against such consumers set aside.
  • Pay $25,000 in penalties and fees to the state.

Grant’s on Supreme Court short list

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant is on Donald Trump’s short list of potential appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trump disclosed late last week that the names of Grant and four other jurists had been added to the list of possible appointees.

Grant was as the solicitor general in the attorney general’s office before Gov. Nathan Deal appointed her to the Georgia court last year.

She earlier was an associate attorney in the firm of Kirkland and Ellis in Washington, D.C. Grant earned a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a law degree from Stanford Law School.

Williams lashes out at fellow lawmakers

State Sen. Michael Williams insulted his fellow lawmakers in saying he opposed pay raises for legislators, as was recommended by a state commission on compensation.

“I strongly oppose pay raises for legislators,” Williams said in a statement released Monday. “It doesn’t take a business degree to know that under-performing employees don’t deserve raises.”

“How many Georgians are given a 70 percent pay raise without delivering promised results?” Williams asked. “None. Why should legislators who fail to deliver on their campaign promises get a raise?”

He added: “Georgians send us to the capitol to fight for legislation that moves our state forward; instead, legislators of both parties vote for tax breaks for big corporate, expansion of state powers, and higher taxes. Broken promise after broken promise.”

Perdue Frys up

U.S. Sen. David Perdue has named Ben Fry, a former chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, as his new state director.

“Ben has an extensive career helping Georgians and knows our state very well,” Perdue said. “He will be a valuable asset on our team as we work to tackle our nation’s toughest issues and get results for Georgians.”

© 2017 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Britt Grant , Chris Carr , David Perdue , First American title pawns , Michael Williams , pay raises