Payday loans still linger onlinePosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Payday loans were outlawed in Arizona two years ago, but the loans are still around these days, thanks to the Internet. As a result, some consumers are still getting lured into these high-interest loans that take forever to pay off.
Vincent and Candi Johnson had a wonderful time celebrating their seventh wedding anniversary. It was a romantic evening at a Scottsdale resort.
To have extra spending money for their anniversary, they applied for an online payday loan through a website called cashyes.com.
"It was nice and it wasn't like we didn't have the funds, it was just they made it sound so easy," Candi explained.
But the Johnsons say what they signed up for and what they got were completely different.
"It was definitely shocking," Candi said.
The Johnsons were approved for a $675 loan and according to their loan documents, they were supposed to pay back a total of $776, which would not only pay off the loan, but also interest and fees.
The couple requested that Cash Yes automatically withdraw the $776 from their checking account so the loan could be paid off in just one installment.
Instead, they say Cash Yes only took out a small payment, allowing their balance to multiply.
"Every payday they take a payment out, the loan's renewed for the balance and more interest is tacked on top so you just keep stacking, stacking, stacking," Candi explained.
That's because in paperwork they say they received after they got the loan, the interest rate was listed at 1,400 percent. Keep in mind, Arizona outlawed loans greater than 36 percent back in 2010.
"I was dumbfounded that they'd keep doing that and then I started reading other complaints from other people and I knew I wasn't alone," Candi said. "They do it to everybody."
3 On Your Side tried contacting Cash Yes, but no one ever returned our inquiries. However, we discovered that the state of Washington recently issued a consumer alert regarding cashyes.com's business practice.
Apparently, the company isn't licensed to do business there and they aren't licensed in Arizona either. So how are they getting away with it?
A spokesman with the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions tells us that online payday lenders are difficult to monitor and that the department comes across many, but can find little on them. That may be especially true with cashyes, which claims to have ties all over the world.
As for the Johnsons, they repaid $776, the amount initially listed in their paperwork and refused to pay any more.
"As far as I'm concerned the case is closed," Candi told 3 On Your Side.
Vincent and Candy hope the case remains closed and warn other consumers to think twice before taking out one of these loans.