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Joint Complaint Filed against SC Attorneys Allegedly Targeting Veteran Pension Funds

Thu, 02/20/2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) and the State of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge have filed a complaint in federal court against Candy Kern-Fuller, Howard Sutter III and Upstate Law Group, LLC (ULG). The complaint alleges that Kern-Fuller, Sutter and ULG underwrote, approved, processed payments and collected debt from high-interest credit contracts in violation of federal and South Carolina law. 

This action follows a connected complaint filed by the Bureau and SCDCA against Katherine Snyder, Performance Arbitrage Company, Inc. (PAC) and Life Funding Options, Inc. (LFO). The previous complaint can be found here. Today’s complaint alleges that Kern-Fuller, Sutter and ULG were heavily involved with Snyder, PAC and LFO, assisting in the process where consumers would receive a loan that must be paid using their monthly pension or disability payments. Most of the high-interest credit offers were marketed to veterans. 

Kern-Fuller, Sutter and ULG approved and collected debt on consumer credit contracts that are explicitly governed by South Carolina law. The agencies specifically allege that Kern-Fuller, Sutter and ULG engaged in deceptive acts and practices and knowingly and recklessly assisted Snyder, PAC and LFO in committing the same. Kern-Fuller and Sutter had a hand in all integral parts of entering into, and collecting payments under, the high cost credit contracts. Contracts Kern-Fuller, Sutter and ULG knew or should have known were illegal from inception.

SCDCA, the Bureau and the Arkansas Attorney General seek to prohibit Kern-Fuller, Sutter and ULG from further violating state and federal law, declare the contracts void and require payment of fines and refunds, among other requests. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that Kern-Fuller, Sutter and ULG have violated the law. A copy of the complaint filed in the Greenville division of federal district court is available here.

SCDCA urges consumers who may have signed up for a loan of this type to file a complaint by visiting their website or calling (800) 922-1594. Consumers who are looking for credit, visit DCA’s “Background a Business” page to view licenses, complaints and other helpful information.

About SCDCA
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free in SC: 1 (800) 922-1594. SCDCA is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code (SCCPC), which controls consumer credit transactions made in the state. DCA can seek an injunction against any person violating the SCCPC.