Mariner Finance is a consumer finance company that offers personal loans to individuals who may not qualify for traditional bank loans. However, like many other finance companies, Mariner Finance has been accused of using aggressive debt collection tactics, including lawsuits, to recover debts from borrowers who have fallen behind on their payments.
If you owe money to Mariner Finance, you may experience persistent calls from debt collectors, intimidating letters, and even the threat of legal action. This can cause significant stress, but it’s important to know that you have rights and options available.
In this article, we will discuss the debt collection tactics used by Mariner Finance, the potential consequences of failing to repay your debts, and most importantly, strategies for defending yourself against a lawsuit and stopping collection calls.
Who is Mariner Finance
Mariner Finance is a Baltimore-based consumer finance company that offers personal loans and financing options for various purposes, such as home improvements, debt consolidation, and unexpected expenses.
The company is owned by Warburg Pincus, a Wall Street private equity firm with a total asset of $85 billion under its management. Currently, Mariner Finance LLC operates in over 20 states across the United States and has over 450 branches.
Mariner Finance prides itself on providing customized loan solutions to its customers with flexible terms and competitive rates. The company offers both secured and unsecured loans, depending on the customer’s creditworthiness and needs. With its vast network of branches and online application process, Mariner Finance has made it easy for people to access funds when they need them.
However, for some borrowers, Mariner Finance’s loan terms and collection practices have led to disputes and legal battles.
In August 2022, five states across the US filed a lawsuit against Mariner Finance accusing them of predatory and illegal lending practices. The allegations include charging exorbitant interest rates and failing to disclose loan terms.
Mariner Finance customer complaints on BBB/Cfpb
Mariner Finance has received numerous customer complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) websites. These complaints mostly center on issues such as aggressive debt collection tactics, harassing phone calls, and misrepresentation of loan terms.
On the BBB website, Mariner Finance has a rating of 1.2 out of 5 stars, based on over 300 customer reviews. Customers have reported issues such as high-interest rates, incorrect billing statements, and unresponsive customer service. Many of the complaints also mention the company’s aggressive debt collection tactics, including frequent phone calls and threats of legal action.
On the CFPB website, Mariner Finance has received over 500 consumer complaints as of the time of writing. Many of these complaints are similar to those on the BBB website, with customers reporting issues such as high-interest rates, unauthorized withdrawals, and harassing phone calls from debt collectors.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that protects consumers from abusive or harassing debt collection practices. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in a variety of tactics, including calling at unreasonable times, using threatening or obscene language, and misrepresenting the amount or nature of the debt.
If you are being contacted by Mariner Finance or any other debt collector, it is important to know your rights under the FDCPA. You have the right to request that the debt collector cease all communication with you, and they must comply with that request. You also have the right to dispute the debt and request verification of the debt in writing.
If you believe that Mariner Finance or any other debt collector has violated your rights under the FDCPA, you have the right to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or to seek legal representation to defend your rights in court.
How To Respond to Mariner finance debt collection attempt
If you’ve received a debt collection letter or call from Mariner Finance, it’s important to respond in a timely and appropriate manner. Here are the steps you can take:
1. Request validation of the debt:
Under the FDCPA, you have the right to request validation of the debt within 30 days of receiving the initial notice. This means that you can ask Mariner Finance to provide proof that the debt is valid and that they have the legal right to collect it from you. If they cannot provide this proof, they must stop all collection activity. It’s important to make this request in writing and send it via certified mail to ensure that you have proof of your request.
2. Keep detailed records:
Keep track of all communication with Mariner Finance, including phone calls, letters, and emails.
Make note of the date and time of each contact, the name of the representative you spoke with, and the details of the conversation. These records will help you to build a case if you need to defend yourself against a lawsuit.
3. Don’t ignore the debt:
When you receive a debt collection notice from Mariner Finance, ignoring it may seem like the easiest option, but it is not the best course of action. Ignoring the debt will not make it go away and will only lead to further consequences. Mariner Finance may decide to take legal action against you, which can result in a court judgment against you.
A judgment against you can have serious consequences, including wage garnishment, asset seizure, and damage to your credit score. Additionally, Mariner Finance may continue to pursue the debt, resulting in repeated collection attempts and harassment.
Ignoring the debt may also limit your options for resolving the issue. It’s important to address the situation as soon as possible, whether by contacting Mariner Finance directly to work out a payment plan or seeking assistance from a debt relief agency or attorney.
4. Know your rights:
Knowing your rights as a consumer is crucial when dealing with debt collection attempts by Mariner Finance or any other creditor. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are not allowed to use abusive, deceptive, or unfair practices to collect a debt.
Some of your rights under the FDCPA include:
- The right to send a cease and desist letter: A cease and desist letter is a written request to Mariner Finance asking them to stop contacting you. They are legally required to comply with that request until they want to sue you for the debt. However, this does not mean that the debt goes away; it just means that Mariner Finance cannot contact you to try and collect it.
- The right to verify the debt: You have the right to request verification of the debt from Mariner Finance. They must provide you with proof that you owe the debt and that they are authorized to collect it.
- The right to dispute the debt: If you believe that the debt is not valid, you have the right to dispute it with Mariner Finance. They must investigate your dispute and provide you with a response. This can be helpful if you think the debt is not yours or if you believe there is an error in the amount owed.
- The right to sue: If Mariner Finance violates your rights under the FDCPA, you have the right to sue them for damages. This can include actual damages (such as lost wages or medical bills), statutory damages (up to $1,000), and attorney’s fees and costs.
5. Consider seeking legal assistance
If you’re facing a lawsuit or believe that Mariner Finance is violating your rights, consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in debt collection defense. They can help you understand your options and protect your rights.
What to do if mariner finance sues you
If you receive a notice of a lawsuit from Mariner Finance, it’s important not to panic. Carefully review the summons and complaint. Make sure that the debt being claimed is accurate, and check that the information on the summons and complaint is correct. If you notice any errors or inaccuracies, document them and bring them up with an attorney.
The next step is to respond to the lawsuit. Failure to respond within the specified time frame can result in a default judgment against you, which means that the court automatically rules in favor of Mariner Finance. Typically, you will have 20-30 days to respond to the lawsuit.
When responding, you have several options. You can either admit to the debt, deny it, or state that you don’t have enough information to admit or deny the debt. It’s important to consult with an attorney before responding to a lawsuit, as they can advise you on the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.
Can mariner finance garnish wages
If you admit to the debt or don’t respond at all, Mariner Finance will likely be granted a judgment against you, and they may start garnishing your wages or bank accounts to collect the debt. If you deny the debt or state that you don’t have enough information, Mariner Finance will have to provide proof of the debt, and you can challenge their evidence in court.
Regardless of how you respond, it’s important to keep copies of all communication with Mariner Finance and any legal documents. This can help protect you in case of any future disputes or legal action.
Why You Need to Respond to the Mariner Finance Lawsuit
If you have been served with a lawsuit from Mariner Finance, it is important that you respond to it promptly. Here are a few reasons why:
- Legal consequences: If you fail to respond to a lawsuit, the court may enter a default judgment against you. This means that Mariner Finance will win the case without you having the opportunity to present your side of the story. This could result in wage garnishment, seizure of assets, or other legal consequences.
- Financial consequences: A default judgment can have serious financial consequences, including increased debt and damage to your credit score. It can also make it difficult to obtain credit in the future.
- Opportunity to negotiate: By responding to the lawsuit, you have the opportunity to negotiate with Mariner Finance and potentially reach a settlement that is more favorable to you. This could include a payment plan or a reduction in the amount owed.
- Protection of your rights: Responding to the lawsuit ensures that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. You have the right to a fair trial and the opportunity to present evidence in your defense.
In summary, responding to a Mariner Finance lawsuit is important to protect your legal and financial interests, negotiate a favorable outcome, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay Mariner Finance?
Mariner Finance is a lending company that provides personal loans to consumers. If you fail to make payments on your Mariner Finance loan, several things could happen.
- Late Fees: Mariner Finance will charge you a late fee if your payment is not received by the due date. The amount of the late fee varies depending on the loan terms and the state where you live.
- Negative impact on your credit score: Missing a payment or defaulting on your loan will negatively affect your credit score. This can make it difficult for you to obtain credit in the future.
- Legal action: If you continue to miss payments, Mariner Finance may take legal action against you. This can include filing a lawsuit, obtaining a judgment against you, and garnishing your wages or bank account.
- Repossession: If you have a secured loan with Mariner Finance, such as a car loan, the company may repossess the collateral (e.g., your car) if you fail to make payments.
Debt collection agencies like Mariner Finance may come knocking on your doors, and it can be a challenging situation to navigate. But remember, you have rights and options available to you.
By understanding the debt collection process and the laws that protect you, you can take proactive steps to defend yourself against legal action and collection calls.