UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,

v.

BONLAR LOAN CO., INC., a corporation, and
LARRY METNICK, individually and as an officer of the corporation. Defendants.

Civil Action No.

CONSENT DECREE

WHEREAS: Plaintiff, the United States of America, has commenced this action by filing the Complaint herein; defendants have waived service of the Summons and Complaint; the parties have been represented by the attorneys whose names appear hereafter; and the parties have agreed to settlement of this action upon the following terms and conditions, without adjudication of any issue of fact or law and without defendants admitting liability for any of the matters alleged in the Complaint;

THEREFORE, on the joint motion of plaintiff and defendants, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED as follows:

  1. This Court has jurisdiction of the subject matter and of the parties.
  2. The Complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted against the defendants under Sections 5(a)(1), 5(m)(1)(A), 9, 13(b), and 16(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTC Act"), 15 U.S.C.   45(a)(1), 45(m)(1)(A), 49, 53(b) and 56(a), and under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA"), 15 U.S.C.   1691-1691(f), as amended, and under the Federal Reserve Board Regulation B ("Regulation B"), 12 C.F.R. Part 202, and under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C.  1681-1681t, as amended.

DEFINITIONS

  1. As used in this Consent Decree:
    1. the Equal Credit Opportunity Act or ECOA refers to 15 U.S.C.  1691-1691f, as amended;
    2. "Regulation B" refers to the Federal Reserve Board Regulation B, 12 C.F.R.  202, as amended;
    3. the terms "adverse action," "applicant," "application," and "credit" are defined as provided in Regulation B, 12 C.F.R.  202.2;
    4. The Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA refers to 15 U.S.C.  1681-1681t, as amended; and
    5. the terms "consumer," "consumer report," and "consumer reporting agency" are defined as provided in Sections 603(c), (d), and (f) respectively of the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. 1681a(c), (d), and (f).  

CIVIL PENALTY

  1. Defendants, Bonlar Loan Co., Inc. and Larry Metnick, their successors and assigns, shall pay to plaintiff a civil penalty, pursuant to Section 5(m)(1)(A) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C.  45(m)(1)(A), in the amount of $40,000. Defendants are jointly and severally responsible for paying the penalty.
  2. Defendants shall make the payment required by Paragraph 3 within five (5) days of the date of entry of this Consent Decree by electronic fund transfer in accordance with the instructions provided by the Office of Consumer Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington D.C. 20530.
  3. In the event of any default in payment, which default continues for ten days beyond the due date of payment, the entire unpaid penalty, together with interest, as computed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.  1961 from the date of default to the date of payment, shall immediately become due and payable.

INJUNCTION

  1. Defendants, their successors and assigns, and their officers, agents, servants and employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with any one or more of them who receive actual notice of this Consent Decree by personal service or otherwise, are hereby enjoined, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division or other device from:
    1. failing to notify each applicant in writing within 30 days of adverse action taken on such person's application, as provided by Section 701 of the ECOA, 15 U.S.C.  1691(d), as amended, and Sections 202.9(a) and (b) of Regulation B, 12 C.F.R.  202.9(a) and (b), as amended.
    2. failing to provide the applicant with the specific, principal reason(s) for adverse action or a disclosure of the applicant's right to a statement of such reason(s) within 30 days, if the statement is requested within 60 days of Bonlar's notification, as provided by Section 701 of the ECOA, 15 U.S.C.  1691(d), as amended, and Sections 202.9(a) and (b) of Regulation B, 12 C.F.R.  202.9(a) and (b), as amended.
    3. requesting information, if an applicant applies for individual unsecured credit, concerning the applicant's marital status in a situation where the following does not apply:
      1. the applicant resides in a community property state; or
      2. the applicant is relying on property located in a community property state as a basis for repayment of the credit requested,

as provided by Section 202.5(d)(1) of Regulation B, 12 C.F.R.  202.5(d)(1), as amended.

  1. requesting information concerning the applicant's marital status using terms other than "married," "unmarried," and "separated." Notwithstanding, defendants may explain that the category "unmarried" includes single, divorced, and widowed persons, as provided by Section 202.5(d)(1) of Regulation B, 12 C.F.R.   202.5(d)(1), as amended.
  2. using an application form that contains terms that are not neutral as to sex, as provided by Section 202.5(d)(3) of Regulation B, 12 C.F.R.  202.5(d)(3), as amended.
  3. failing to comply in any other respect with the ECOA, 15 U.S.C.  1691-1691f or Regulation B, 12 C.F.R. Part 202, as amended.
  4. failing to advise the applicant, at the time that adverse action is taken on an application, that the adverse action has been taken, in whole or in part, because of information contained in a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency, and to supply the applicant with the name and address of the consumer reporting agency making said report, as provided by Section 615 of the FCRA, 15 U.S.C.  1681m(a), as amended.
  5. failing to comply in any other respect with the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. 1681-1681t, as amended.

Defendants, their successors and assigns, shall, within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Consent Decree, provide a copy of this Consent Decree, the ECOA and Regulation B and the FCRA to each of their officers, agents, servants and employees having responsibilities with respect to the subject matter of this Order, secure from each such person a signed statement acknowledging receipt of a copy of this Consent Decree, and shall, within ten (10) days of complying with this paragraph, file an affidavit with the Court and serve the Federal Trade Commission, by mailing a copy thereof to the Associate Director for Credit Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Washington D.C. 20580, setting forth the fact and manner of their compliance, including the name and title of each person to whom a copy of the Consent Decree has been provided.

For a period of five (5) years from the date of entry of this Consent Decree, defendants, their successors and assigns, shall maintain and make available to the Federal Trade Commission, within thirty (30) days of the receipt of a written request, business records demonstrating compliance with the terms and provisions of this Consent Decree.

Defendant Bonlar Loan Co., Inc., its successors and assigns, shall notify the Associate Director for Credit Practices at least thirty (30) days prior to any change in defendant's business, including, but not limited to, merger, incorporation, dissolution, assignment, sale which results in the emergence of a successor corporation, the creation or dissolution of a subsidiary or parent, or any other change which may affect defendant's obligations under this judgment.

Defendant Larry Metnick shall, for a period of ten years from the date of entry of this Consent Decree, notify the Associate Director for Credit Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580, within thirty days of each affiliation with a new business or employment whose activities include the offering credit to consumers or of his affiliation with a new business or employment in which his own duties and responsibilities involve offering credit to consumers.

This Court shall retain jurisdiction of this matter for the purposes of enabling any of the parties to this Consent Decree to apply to the Court at any time for such further order or directives as may be necessary or appropriate for the interpretation or modification of this Consent Decree, for the enforcement of compliance therewith, or for the punishment of violations thereof, or as justice may require.

JUDGMENT IS THEREFORE ENTERED in favor of plaintiff and against defendants, pursuant to all the terms and conditions recited above.

Dated this ______ day of ____________, 19__.

___________________________________
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

The parties, by their respective counsel, hereby consent to the terms and conditions of the Consent Decree as set forth above and consent to the entry thereof. Defendants waive any rights that may arise under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C.  2412.

SCOTT R. LASSER
United States Attorney
Northern District of Illinois

By:

JOAN LASER
Assistant United States Attorney
219 S. Dearborn St. 5th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 353-1857

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

By: _____________________________
DAVID MEDINE, Associate Director
for Credit Practices

________________________________
LUCY MORRIS, Assistant Director
for Credit Practices

_____________________________
LAUREN B. STEINFELD

_____________________________
SUSAN M. CAMP STOCKS

Attorneys
Division of Credit Practices
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Washington, D.C. 20580

BONLAR LOAN CO., INC.

By: ____________________________
LARRY METNICK, President
Bonlar Loan Co., Inc.

____________________________
LARRY METNICK, Individually

____________________________
HENRY T. KELLY
Counsel for Defendant
O'Keefe, Ashenden, Lyons & Ward
30 North LaSalle, Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60602

ISABELLE M. THABAULT
Deputy Chief

GAVIN C. DOWELL
Attorney

Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035
(202) 307-3803