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CFPB, Arkansas State AG Settle with Brokers of High-Interest Credit Offers

Washington, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) and the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General yesterday filed a proposed settlement with Andrew Gamber; Voyager Financial Group, LLC; BAIC, Inc.; and SoBell Corp. The companies, owned and operated by Gamber, were brokers of contracts offering high-interest credit to veterans, many of whom are disabled, and to other consumers. Under the proposed settlement, Gamber and the companies will be banned from the industry and a judgment requiring redress, a civil money penalty, and a payment to the State of Arkansas will be entered against them.

The Bureau and the Arkansas Attorney General alleged that Gamber and his companies misrepresented to consumers that the contracts the companies facilitate are valid and enforceable when, in fact, the contracts are void under federal and state law; misrepresented to consumers that the product is a sale of payments and not a high-interest credit offer; misrepresented to consumers when they will receive their funds; and failed to inform consumers of the applicable interest rate on the credit offer.

Under the proposed settlement, Gamber and the companies are permanently banned from brokering, offering, or arranging agreements between pension recipients and third parties under which the consumer purports to sell a future right to an income stream from the consumer’s pension. The proposed settlement would also impose a judgment for redress of $2.7 million, a civil money penalty of $1 to the Bureau, and a payment of $75,000 to the Arkansas Attorney General’s Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund in lieu of a civil money penalty to the State of Arkansas. As explained in the proposed order, full payment of the judgment for redress would be suspended upon Gamber paying $200,000 for consumer redress, the civil money penalty to the Bureau, and the $75,000 to the State of Arkansas. The suspension of the full payment for redress, as well as the $1 civil penalty, is based on Gamber’s inability to pay more based on sworn financial statements. Harmed consumers may be eligible for additional relief from the Bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund.

The Bureau’s investigation was conducted in partnership with the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General.

The complaint is available at: https://content.consumerfinance.gov/documents/7891/cfpb_complaint_andrew-gamber-voyager-financial-group-baic-sobell_2019-08.pdf

The proposed stipulated final judgment and order is available at: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/documents/7895/cfpb_andrew-gamber-voyager-baic-sobell_proposed-final-judgement_2019-08.pdf

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations, by making rules more effective, by consistently enforcing federal consumer financial law, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.