Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. is investigating whether FirstCash, Inc. (“FirstCash” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: FCFS) violated federal securities laws or engaged in other unlawful business practices.
FirstCash investors with financial losses are encouraged to complete Kehoe Law Firm’s Securities Class Action Questionnaire.
On November 12, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas against FirstCash and Cash America West, Inc.
FirstCash owns and operates over 1,000 retail pawnshops in the United States, offering pawn loans through its wholly-owned corporate subsidiaries, including Cash America West. Cash America West operates pawn stores in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Washington. The CFPB alleged that FirstCash and Cash America West made pawn loans to active-duty service members and their dependents that violated the Military Lending Act (“MLA”).
The MLA, according to the CFPB, puts in place protections in connection with extensions of consumer credit for active-duty service members and their dependents, who are defined as “covered borrowers.” These protections include a maximum allowable annual percentage rate of 36%, known as a Military Annual Percentage Rate (“MAPR”), a prohibition against required arbitration, and certain mandatory loan disclosures.
The CFPB alleged that between June 2017 and May 2021, FirstCash and Cash America West made over 3,600 pawn loans out of four of its stores to more than 1,000 covered borrowers that violated prohibitions of the MLA by imposing a MAPR greater than the MLA’s 36% cap; using loan agreements requiring arbitration in the case of a dispute; and without making required loan disclosures. The CFPB further alleged that since October 3, 2016, FirstCash has, together with Cash America West and other wholly-owned subsidiaries, made additional pawn loans in violation of the MLA from stores in these and other states.
In 2013, the CFPB ordered Cash America International, Inc. to halt its misconduct against military families, prohibiting Cash America and its successors from violating the MLA. FirstCash is a successor to Cash America and, according to the CFPB, therefore subject to the 2013 order. The CFPB alleged that FirstCash’s violations of the MLA violated the prohibitions of the Bureau’s 2013 order and, consequently, the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. The CFPB’s complaint seeks redress for consumers, injunctive relief, and a civil money penalty.
On this news, shares of FirstCash stock fell 9% during intraday trading on November 12, 2021.