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Attorney General Josh Stein Sues Predatory Lender

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, April 4, 2024

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein sued Mariner Finance for widespread violations of multiple consumer protection laws, including allegedly charging North Carolinians for hidden add-on products that they either didn’t know about or didn’t agree to buy. In 2019 alone, Mariner charged consumers $121.7 million nationwide in premiums and fees for add-on products, not including all of the additional interest Mariner earned on the add-on premiums and fees.

“We will not tolerate predatory lenders charging hidden fees to take advantage of North Carolinians,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I am taking Mariner Finance to court to stand up for North Carolinians and their hard-earned money.”

The bipartisan multistate lawsuit alleges that Mariner Finance employees did not mention add-on products or blatantly misrepresented them when talking to consumers. While consumers believed they had entered into an agreement to borrow and repay a certain amount over time, Mariner added hundreds to thousands of dollars to the total amount a consumer owed through these add-on products and fees.

The lawsuit also alleges that Mariner Finance engages in illegal, aggressive sales tactics to extend credit to new borrowers. Mariner’s marketing heavily features the fact that consumers can visit a Mariner Financial branch and leave with a check on the same day. Mariner mails hundreds of thousands of unsolicited “live checks” to consumers. Once consumers cash these checks, Mariner aggressively pushes them to visit a branch to refinance and take out additional debt, which typically comes with hidden add-on products, even if it’s not in the best interest of the consumer. These kinds of predatory sales practices can lead consumers into a cycle of debt that’s hard to overcome.

Mariner Financial has 39 branches in North Carolina. Borrowers who believe they have been deceived by Mariner’s harmful practices should file a complaint with our office’s Consumer Protection Division at

The lawsuit asks the court to order:

  • Full restitution to all borrowers affected by Mariner’s unlawful practices.
  • Repayment by Mariner of any unlawfully gained profits.
  • Civil penalties.
  • Rescission or reformation of all contracts or loan agreements between Mariner and consumers affected by the company’s unlawful practices.
  • Mariner to stop charging consumers for add-on products and cease other harmful practices.

Attorney General Stein is joined in taking this action by the Attorneys General of Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.

A copy of the complaint is available here.