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Consumer loan at 700 percent?

When Melanie Tweedy rolled into Rollen Charlie’s Auto Mart in Rustburg in October 2007, she may have thought she was getting a good deal. Or she just may have been desperate. Lynchburg U.S. District Judge Norman Moon doesn’t tell us that part of the story.

Tweedy gave RCAM a security interest in her 1993 Ford Taurus for a loan of $300. Loan documents indicated the annual interest rate on that $300 was 300 percent but the actual interest rate in Tweedy’s monthly statements was nearly 700 percent, according to Moon. Tweedy paid nearly $700 on the loan between October 2007 and June 2008, but only $12 of her payments went toward principal.

Tweedy sued under the Truth in Lending Act and other consumer protection statutes, and Moon awarded her a default judgment on May 6. In Tweedy v. RCAM Title Loans LLC, Moon noted the defendant’s “blatant disregard of Tweedy’s claims and this Court’s commands,” but said she was limited to a “single recovery” of $1,000 for the several TILA violations, as well as the $693.50 she paid on the loan, which exceeded the 12 percent interest rate allowed under Va. Code §§ 6.1-249 and -330.55.

By Deborah Elkins

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