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Mariner Finance, LLC is a consumer loan provider based in Maryland. Mariner has received many consumer complaints, some of which allege violations of consumer laws, including illegal communication tactics and failing to verify debts. If you have been contacted by Mariner, make sure you understand your rights before taking action.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Mariner Finance, LLC is a legitimate loan provider founded in 2002. The BBB established Mariner’s profile page in 2005. The BBB lists Mariner under several business categories, including loan and banking services, investment advisory services, mortgage brokerages, and financial services. Mariner uses the alternate business names Pioneer Credit Company and Sunbelt Credit Holdings. Buzzfile estimates Mariner’s annual revenue at $11.2 million.
According to its website, Mariner was founded “by a group of financial experts with a common goal: to apply their wealth of knowledge to serve the specific financial needs of each customer.” Mariner’s staff of financial professionals“work with [consumers] to create a solution that fits” their specific needs, rather than issuing loans only to borrowers who qualify according to established standards.
Mariner offers loans in three general areas—personal loans, auto loans, and home loans. Their personal loan division offers loans for debt consolidation, unexpected expenses, home improvement, vacations, and weddings. Mariner’s auto finance division offers loans to refinance existing loans, or for the purchase of new or used vehicles. Their home loan division accepts applications for first-time home purchases, home refinancing, reverse mortgages, and additional options for underwater mortgages and mobile homes.
Mariner issues loans for a minimum amount of $1,000 to a maximum amount of $25,000, depending on the state in which the loan is issued. Mariner describes itself as a consumer finance company that is not affiliated with Mariner Bank. Mariner reports directly to Equifax and Transunion credit reporting agencies. Mariner’s Resource page offers information about how to apply and how to make payments, but there are no references to consumer protection or financial regulatory laws or agencies.
The BBB has closed 162 complaints against Mariner Finance in the preceding three years, with 57 closed in the past 12 months. Complaints are fairly evenly split among those alleging problems with billing and collections; advertising and sales; and customer service. Since March 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 84 complaints against Mariner, and Justia lists at least 5 cases of civil litigation involving Mariner Finance.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases filed in Federal Court
In May 2016, in the Appellate Division of Superior Court of New Jersey, a plaintiff appealed a previous denial of her claim against Mariner in their attempt to recover the unpaid portion of a defaulted auto loan. Initially, in August 2010, the plaintiff issued a promissory note secured by her car and payable to Mariner Finace in return for a loan of $7,745.75. In March 2012, the plaintiff defaulted on the loan. The promissory note provided that if any installment was not paid when due, the remaining balance would become due immediately, with a penalty of 21% interest attached. On default, the plaintiff owed $2,378.50. Mariner filed suit to collect the defaulted amount. The plaintiff failed to answer the complaint, so a judgement in favor of Mariner was entered. Subsequently, the plaintiff entered a claim challenging the default judgement, but the judge rejected it, directing the plaintiff to refile the complaint as “an actual counterclaim in the Special Civil Part matter.” The judge provided additional instructions; specifically, that the plaintiff’s “‘counterclaim will only be filed by the court if her motion to vacate default is granted…[and] that ‘[i]n the event default is not vacated, [the plaintiff] may file a new complaint under a new docket number with the proper filing fee.’” Unfortunately, the plaintiff failed to file the counterclaim as instructed, and Mariner obtained a default judgement in the amount of $2,480.07.
Next, in February 2014, the plaintiff filed a new complaint asserting “that her car had broken down and that she wanted Mariner to repossess it in order to relieve her of future payments under the loan,” to which Mariner Finace replied with a complaint seeking summary judgement of sanctions for filing a frivolous complaint. The judge denied the plaintiff’s complaint, granted Mariner’s request for summary judgement but denied their request for sanctions, then dismissed the matter. The plaintiff filed for reconsideration, which was denied. The plaintiff again appealed this decision. The May 2016 hearing considered this appeal. Ultimately, all of the previous decisions were upheld, citing the plaintiff’s failure to have followed the directions of the judge with regard to filing her counterclaim and her subsequent demonstration of a “clear abuse of discretion.”
Mariner Finance, LLC
8211 Town Center Drive
Nottingham, MD 21236
Understanding your Debt Collection Rights
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are federal laws that regulate how collection agencies may conduct themselves.
The FDCPA prohibits actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt.
The FCRA regulates how collection agencies report information to credit reporting agencies.Additional consumer protection laws include the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The complaints above illustrate why it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities under these laws when attempting to communicate with collection agencies.
These laws also provide individuals with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs, in cases proving violations of the FDCPA. Seek legal assistance if you are having difficulty resolving a dispute with a collection agency.
Your debt harassment checklist:
- You are receiving multiple calls per week from third party collection agencies
- You are receiving early morning or late night calls from debt collectors
- You are receiving calls at work from a debt collection agency
- Debt collectors are calling your friends, neighbors, or coworkers
- Collectors are threatening you with violence, lawsuit, or arrest
- A debt collector attempts to collect more than you owe
- You are being threatened with negative credit reporting
- A debt collector attempts to intimidate you
- Criminal accusations are being made towards you
- Use of obscene language during an attempt to collect
- Automated robocalls are being made to your phone in an attempt to collect
If you’ve been harassed by debt collectors and even one of these has happened to you, we can help. We will fight for your rights.
We can make them STOP!✋
The Lemberg Law legal team is committed to holding debt collectors accountable, so complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 844-685-9200 NOW. ?
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