Ga. Commissioner Fines Loan Company $400,000

August 26, 2004

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine has fined a
Georgia industrial loan company $400,000 for reportedly overcharging customers in various financial transactions.

Covington Credit of Georgia Inc., which has 22 branch offices throughout the state, signed a consent order agreeing to the fine, and to probation for the remainder of the year. The company must also reimburse its customers for overcharges totaling $45,618.90.

“There’s simply no excuse for a company overcharging its clients like this,” Oxendine said. “I hope this fine gets the attention of those in the industry who would scheme to line their pockets at consumers’ expense.”

During a financial exam of the company by Oxendine’s office, examiners reportedly found numerous violations of the Georgia Industrial Loan Act, including:

— Charging more than the law allows for industrial loans.
— Overcharging for insurance policies sold in conjunction with the loans.
— Overcharging for insurance coverage of customers’ vehicles.
— Charging unauthorized fees for accidental death and dismemberment insurance and/or car club memberships.
— Charging late fees even when customers weren’t late with payments.

Covington Credit has branch offices in the following cities: Americus, Athens, Augusta (Southern Finance), Columbus, Commerce, Conyers, Covington, Decatur, Gainesville, LaGrange, Lawrenceville, Loganville, Macon (Southern Finance), Monroe, Newnan, Perry, Savannah, Stockbridge, Thomson, and Toccoa.

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