Ga. Commissioner Orders Hearing on Unlicensed Loan Shops

January 9, 2004

The Office of Georgia’s Insurance and Industrial Loan Commissioner has ordered the CEO of a chain of small loan companies to appear before Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine at a hearing to defend what the order alleges is an unlicensed lending operation.

Numerous businesses located throughout Georgia, and owned or operated by John Gill, are reportedly conducting business under the general names of Georgia Catalog Sales, Advance Long Distance, and Georgia Internet Cafe. These businesses are subject to closure by the office if they are found in violation of the state’s industrial loan law. Other names listed in the order include JAG GA, LLC; Operational Management, LLC; Corporate Services, Inc. NW (Washington); and “Advance Til Payday.”

Under Georgia law, the state Insurance Commissioner is also the Industrial Loan Commissioner. In his capacity as Industrial Loan Commissioner, Oxendine regulates the state’s approximately 1,000 industrial loan companies to ensure that all charges and fees meet state law. Most finance companies that make loans of $3,000 or less in Georgia are subject to industrial loan licensure requirements that are enforced by the Commissioner’s Office.

According to Oxendine’s office, the businesses subject to this order do not hold an industrial loan license as required by state law, and may be charging interest up to or in excess of 600 percent.

The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2004, at the Government Center Tower in Columbus.

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