When Advance America customer service fails

Here's How to File a Claim Against Advance America Payday Loans

When Advance America hits you with hidden fees, robocalls, bait-and-switch scams, and other harassment, these are your option to file an official legal complaint against them.

What is a Payday Loan?

Payday loans differ in terms of how they are defined state-by-state because they are not legal in every state. But no matter where you live payday loans are typically Short-term loans between $50 and $1,000 averaging $300 for most borrowers. They have extremely high interest rates that with all of the fees tend to amount to interest between 260% and 640%, with most payday loans requiring repayment within 30 days.

Common Issues with Advance America Payday Loans

There are some unsavory tactics that you should watch out for before using a Payday lender.

  1. Bait and switch tactics are very common where the lenders will misrepresent the actual cost of borrowing and mislead borrowers.
  2. Lenders also charge excessively high interest rates and use unfair lending practices.
  3. Payday lenders will also use aggressive collection practices, many times knowing that when a borrower writes a post-dated check, it will probably bounce.
  4. The payday lending industry has been accused of targeting low income communities and military communities with enlisted military personnel being threatened by their lenders that the debt will be reported to their commanding officers.

What’s more, there are consumer warnings against Advance America from the Better Business Bureau:

Consumer Alert: Scammers Claiming to Represent Advance America Target Consumers

Consumers have told BBB that they have been contacted by people who claim to represent Advance America.

Consumers should be aware that payday loans are illegal in New York State, and Advance America does not operate locations anywhere in that state.

These consumers claim they are told by the imposter representatives of Advance America that they have been pre-approved for a loan. The consumers are then reportedly asked to pay a fee or insurance for the loan. Some consumers say they received fraudulent loan documents from these alleged representatives using the Advance America logo. Others report the documents received also contain the BBB name and Accredited Business seal, which is an unauthorized use of the BBB name and logo.

Advance America, a national provider of payday loans and other financial services, is located in Spartanburg, SC. These scammers, posing as Advance America representatives, are in no way affiliated with the company.

So, what can you do to file a claim against Advance America Payday Loans for these and other issues?

File a Claim in Small Claims Court

What is it?

When you use a payday loan service the fine print of your user agreement usually says you can’t sue them in court. The one exception is small claims court where you can bring your situation before a judge and get compensation up to a certain limit. Small claims courts are for specific types of claims so you have to make sure your claim falls within the parameters.

When to try it:

If you have a lot of time and energy to dedicate to the process and you are able to go back and forth to your courthouse, this is a good opportunity to make your case against Advance America Payday Loans public.

What you need to do:

Locate your small claims court and follow the steps they have on their website for how to file a small claims court lawsuit. Every court has its own procedure. Thankfully the process for filing a small claims court is much simpler than filing a large lawsuit. Find your state court website here.

What to expect:

If you follow all of the steps as laid out by your small claims court, and you have a strong case against Advance America Payday Loans, there’s a good chance that you’ll get compensation. What’s more, Advance America Payday Loans might offer you a settlement in exchange for dropping the civil lawsuit that you have against them.

File a Complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Against Advance America Payday Loans

What is it?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is an organization that has a complaint database.  They are a federal agency with the authority to regulate the payday loan industry.

When to try it:

If you have a complaint about the following, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to know about it:

  • Unexpected fees or interest charges
  • Unauthorized or incorrect charges to their bank account
  • Payments that were not credited to their loan
  • Problems contacting the lender
  • Not receiving money after they applied for a loan

What you need to do:

You can submit a complaint online by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint. You can also call the toll free numbers 1-855-411-CFPB (2372) or TTY/TDD phone number at 1-855-729-CFPB (2372). If you want to send a fax, send it to the CFPB at 1-855-237-2392. You can mail a letter to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.

What to expect:

This won’t get you compensation necessarily but it will help you to seek justice and it will help the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to monitor what the company is doing.

File a Better Business Bureau Complaint against Advance America Payday Loans

What is it?

The Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) and its local chapters are private organizations. These private organizations collect complaints against companies like Advance America Payday Loans from customers just like you. They publish all of those complaints and use the data to give them an aggregate rating based on their service and operations. They also give these companies and opportunity to respond to the complaint to help him prove that rating.

When to try it:

The best time to try it is when the Better Business Bureau page shows that Advance America Payday Loans is actively responding. If they are actively responding they are more likely to respond to your complaint. Alternatively you can always post your complaint when the company isn’t responding just to get your dissatisfaction on the internet.

What you need to do:

Go to the Advance America Payday Loans BBB profile here and follow the instructions for submitting a complaint.

What to expect:

The outcome depends entirely on whether the company is responding. If they are responding they might reach out to you to ask for more information and try to settle the issue. If they aren’t responding then very little will happen other than your complaint gets published and other potential customers might be forewarned.

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