Nixon says consumers to receive $13 million in settlement

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri consumers are to receive more than $13 million in restitution as part of a national settlement with a lending company, Attorney General Jay Nixon said Monday.

Household Finance Corp. is to pay a total of $484 million nationwide, including nearly $13.2 million in Missouri, for allegedly unfair and deceptive lending practices, according to an agreement initially announced in October.

Each state was to finalize its portion of the agreement Monday. Missouri's consent degree was filed in Cole County Circuit Court, Nixon said.

States had alleged that Household violated state laws by misrepresenting loan terms and failing to disclose information to borrowers. The investigation focused on real estate loans.

Consumers had complained that Household charged far higher interest rates than promised, charged costly repayment penalties and deceived people about insurance policies.

Household is one of the nation's biggest lenders to people with bad credit. Under the settlement, Household did not admit to any wrongdoing, but apologized and agreed to new lending practices and better monitoring of real estate loans.

In Missouri, a settlement administrator is to organize a consumer restitution plan. Missourians will be informed of how the restitution process will work at a later date, Nixon said.

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