As Part of Consent Order with DFS, Future Income Payments is Repaying More Than $500,000 to Pensioners
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that refund checks totaling $541,835, as well as loan forgiveness information, were issued to 115 retirees deceived by pension advance company Future Income Payments LLC, as required by the Department of Financial Services’ consent order with FIP and its owner Scott Kohn.
"These refunds are paying back hard-working residents across the state, while sending a message to financial services companies that New York will not stand for negligent business practices," Governor Cuomo said. "By getting these payments back in the pockets of residents, New York is working toward putting an end to these predatory, illegal lending schemes and ensuring that justice is served."
FIP was not licensed to make loans in New York, nor was it licensed as a money transmitter. An investigation by DFS found that the company solicited and made loans to retired consumers at high interest rates in exchange for retirees assigning away several years of their pension benefits to pay for the unlawful loans. The consent order resolved the investigation by DFS, which found that FIP made loans in New York State without a lending license, charged a usurious rate of interest on loans to New York pensioners, transmitted money to and from New York State without a money transmitter license, misrepresented to New York pensioners the legal status of the transactions by characterizing the loans as sales of an asset, and omitted the annual percentage rate of the loans. The refunds were mailed Friday to 108 New York residents and seven former residents.
Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said, "The Department of Financial Services will not tolerate the financial exploitation of senior citizens, and will continue to ensure that companies that try to deceive them are held accountable."
In addition to mandating the refunds, the consent order required FIP to pay a $500,000 fine and stop engaging in all consumer-related transactions within New York State and with any New York resident. FIP was also required to reduce the total amount owed by pensioners to the actual value of the lump sum that was advanced and forgive amounts due above that amount, resulting in forgiveness of more than $6.3 million across 292 transactions.
New York pensioners who entered into agreements with FIP will receive a letter from the third-party administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc. Consumers who entered into an agreement with FIP and do not receive a letter or need more information should visit www.nyfipsettlement.com or contact Rust Consulting, Inc. at (866) 317-8866 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DFS urges anyone who suspects that they have been the victim of a pension advance scheme to contact the DFS Consumer Help Line at (800) 342-3736 or log onto www.dfs.ny.gov for assistance.