Ohio-based auto lender facing millions in fines after being caught scamming servicemembers, again

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An Ohio-based lending company is in trouble again.

Security National Automotive Acceptance Co., an auto lender specializing in loans to servicemembers, engaged in illegal debt collection tactics and that they’ll be fined an additional $1.25 million, on top of previous fines, for failing to repay servicemembers, reports Stars & Stripes.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made the announcement Wednesday reporting Security National Automotive Acceptance Company had already been fined in 2015 to the tune of $2.8 million for engaging in illegal debt-collection practices. They have also been assessed a $1 million civil penalty.

Stars & Stripes reports an additional $1.25 million fine was imposed this week after the lender failed to provide more than $1 million in refunds and credits, affecting more than 1,000 consumers.

According to Stars & Stripes, a spokesman for SNAAC was not immediately available for comment

Illegal tactics employed by SNAAC included exaggerating potential disciplinary action that servicemembers could face for not paying on time, contacting servicemembers’ commanders, threatening to garnish wages and misleading servicemembers about the legal consequences of not paying, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said in its release.

In an effort to skirt its responsibilities, Stars & Stripes reports SNAAC also tried to offer account credits instead of repaying customers, even if those customers no longer had accounts.

According to the bureau’s director, it’s time for the company to make things right.

“This company violated a Bureau order when it failed to get money back to servicemembers it had hounded with illegal debt collection tactics,” bureau director Richard Cordray said in the statement. “We are making sure this company finally rights its wrongs.”

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