The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General filed a proposed settlement with Andrew Gamber; Voyager Financial Group, LLC; BAIC, Inc., and SoBell Corp. The companies, owned and operated by Gamber, were brokers of contracts offering high-interest credit to veterans, many of whom are disabled, and to other consumers, the CFPB said.
Under the proposed settlement, Gamber and the companies will be banned from the industry and a judgment requiring redress, a civil money penalty, and a payment to the State of Arkansas.
Gamber and his companies allegedly misrepresented to consumers that the contracts the companies facilitate are valid and enforceable when, in fact, the contracts are void under federal and state law. They also misrepresented to consumers what the product was and when they would receive funds, the bureau said, as well as failing to inform them of applicable interest rates.
Under the proposed settlement, Gamber and the companies are permanently banned from brokering, offering, or arranging agreements between pension recipients and third parties under which the consumer purports to sell a future right to an income stream from the consumer’s pension.
It would also impose a judgment for redress of $2.7 million, a civil money penalty of $1 to the bureau, and a payment of $75,000 to the Arkansas Attorney General’s Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund in lieu of a civil money penalty to the State of Arkansas. Full payment of the judgment for redress would be suspended upon Gamber paying $200,000 for consumer redress, the civil money penalty to the bureau, and the $75,000 to the State of Arkansas.
The suspension of the full payment for redress, as well as the $1 civil penalty, is based on Gamber’s inability to pay more based on sworn financial statements. Harmed consumers may be eligible for additional relief from the bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund.
The bureau’s investigation was conducted in partnership with the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General.