The Federal Trade Commission and Complaints against Personal Loan Practices
There are several distinct divisions of the FTC including Advertising Practices, Consumer and Business Education, Enforcement, Financial Practices, Marketing Practices, Planning and Information, Privacy and Identity, Consumer Protection, and Economics. Each division has rules and regulations in place that businesses much abide by to ensure equality for consumers. The Financial Practices Division focuses on the area of personal loans as well as other types of lending issues.
If you believe you are the victim of unfair personal loan practices by a lender, it is very important that you report it to your local authorities and to the FTC immediately. Not reporting such incidents allows the predator to continue doing so to others just like you. Many people choose not to file a complaint because they don’t want to get involved with a government agency or because they are embarrassed. Consumers need to know the FTC is an advocacy and voice for them.
State laws very as to what action will be taken for those lenders who have participated in unfair personal loan lending practices. However, it is often difficult to apprehend them and take action, especially if the lender is an online predator. They move very quickly and know how to manipulate computer systems so that they can’t be effectively tracked down.
To file a complaint with the FTC about improper personal loan lending practices, you may do so online, over the phone, or in writing. The FTC will obtain as much information about the situation from you and conduct an investigation. They will look for patterns with similar reported cases. Often a perpetrator of personal loan lending victimizing has devised a scheme that is repeated over and over again in various areas, especially the internet. It is very quick and easy for such a person to change the name of their company on their website and continue the cycle.
The FTC investigates thousands of personal loan lending scams each year. The average victim loses about $450 to the scheme. The FTC is working hard to educate consumers to help protect themselves from such scams working in the first place. Make sure you are working with a reputable lender who has verifiable history with customers. You can check this information online by looking for consumer reviews and by checking with the Better Business Bureau.
Most personal loan victims are young people under 30 years of age. They often need the funds quickly and urgently, so they agree to whatever the lender tells them without giving it a second thought. Consumers need to know that it is illegal for a potential lender to charge you processing fees or bad credit fees prior to approving your loan. This is how a lot of victims get roped in. They are told by the lender that the personal loan is guaranteed, but they first must pay a processing fee of several hundred dollars.
The FTC works hard to protect consumers in many areas including personal loans. It can be a tremendous help to you for education about the types of personal loan scams out there as well as when you need to file a complaint after falling victim to a personal loan scam.