100 CT consumers are paid as part of loan company settlement

The federal government says it sent checks to 100 Connecticut residents who lost money due to deceptive business practices by online lender Avant Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission sent approximately $3.7 million to 17,367 consumers nationwide. The average check is $216, according to a press release sent Tuesday.

The commission sued Avant in 2019 and alleged that the company advertised that it accepted payment by credit or debit card, when it did not.

“This often resulted in customers being charged additional interest on their loans as they tried to arrange a different payment method,” the press release read.


Avant also withdrew money from customers’ bank accounts, charged their credit cards without authorization, failed to credit check payments properly or in a timely manner, provided misleading payment quotes, and attempted to collect more money than the amounts indicated, according to the press release.

“We alleged that Avant made consumers dizzy when trying to repay their loans, due to systemic issues with the company’s loan management platform,” said Andrew Smith, director of the Office of Protection. of the FTC’s Consumers, in a 2019 statement. “Online lenders need to understand that servicing loans is just as important to consumers as marketing and originating loans, and we will not hesitate to hold responsible for unfair or deceptive service practices.”

The company agreed to settle in 2019.

In 2020, the commission’s actions led to approximately $483 in refunds for consumers nationwide. In 2021, that figure was about $469 million, according to a federal data dashboard.

The commission sent checks to 88,003 Connecticut consumers for a total of $16.13 million for all cases that have been distributed since July 2018. That includes some payments before July 2018, according to the data dashboard.

Avant consumers who receive checks must cash or deposit them within 90 days, officials said. Those with questions about payments can call the refunds administrator, Rust Consulting, at 877-625-9420.

Janet E. Fishburn