American Cash Market, Inc.
Dear Federal Trade Commission: The following comments are submitted in response to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) proposed consent agreement and request for public comment as published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 regarding American Cash Market, File No. 072 3210. [FN01] American Cash Market, Inc. engaged in typical payday lender schemes in which ''very attractive'' loan terms are advertised to consumers as an inducement to enter into a loan contract. However, under the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation Z, the implementing regulation for the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA) [FN02], these loan terms trigger a myriad of consumer disclosures. The original intent of TILA was to provide a consistent method by which consumers could compare loan terms while shopping for credit. It also serves as a consumer's early warning system for guarding against, unfair, excessive or deceptive loan repayment terms, consider, such as an Annual Percentage Rate, or APR, of 460.00%, prior to obligating himself or herself to such terms of repayment. Knowing full well that no one in her or his right mind would respond to an advertisement selling loans at a repayment APR of 460.00%, American Cash Market, Inc. disabled TILA's early warning system by excluding the APR and other required disclosures from their internet advertising. I am very disappointed by the FTC's lack of punitive enforcement in their consent agreement because it is so obvious that American Cash Market, Inc. willfully and knowingly excluded the triggered disclosures in order to prevent consumers from observing up front that the loan would cost them an APR of 460.00% in order for it to be repaid. This consent order will do nothing to make other Pay Day Lenders and Money Services Businesses cease, desist and avoid such advertising practices because it's only punishment is to require the violator to do what they were supposed to do in the first place....which is comply with the disclosure regulations! Really now, what sort of punishment is this? I respectfully submit that this order resembles mollycoddling more so than it does punishment, and I'm afraid such leniency will be as effective as a toothless guard dog that simply tries to gum the hell of trespassers. Plus, all American Cash Market, Inc. will have to do to avoid the order is to shut it down and reopen it under a new name in a new location with a slightly different mix of principals. In addition, the American taxpayers have footed the bill for the FTC's investigation, the costs of publication in Federal Register, and will continue to foot the costs for future Federal Register publications as well as their monitoring of American Cash Market, Inc. activities over the next 20 years. However, the FTC has the power to assess civil money penalties against American Cash Market, Inc. to offset the costs expended by the American taxpayer to make them follow the law like they were supposed to in the first place. The FTC should also assess an annual civil money penalty in order to offset their ongoing monitoring expense. However, although I am disappointed by the FTC decision makers for being a bunch of old softies in this matter by mollycoddling American Cash Market, Inc., I remain proud of them as a whole for their continuous efforts and attempts in trying to protect the American public from all the charlatans, deceivers, cheaters, impostors, con-artists, scammers, tricksters, shysters, crooks, rascals, quacks, chiselers, rogues, fraudsters, double-crossers, politicians, democrats, republicans, connivers, thieves, and swindlers of the world. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Footnote 01 - 73FR11920?11921 Footnote 02 - 12 CFR Sec. 226.24(c)(2)(iii), 15 USC Sec. 1664(c)-(d)