Rome Finance Company to Provide $92 Million in Debt Relief for Military Service Members Under Federal-State Settlement
ATLANTA, GA – John Sours, Administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, today joined officials of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 12 other states to announce a total of approximately $92 million in debt relief obtained for over 17,800 US servicemembers and other consumers alleged to have been harmed by Colfax Capital Corporation and Culver Capital, LLC, also collectively known as "Rome Finance." Over 1,100 Georgia consumers will benefit directly from this settlement, with debt relief totaling over $5.98 million.
Rome Finance Company, based in Georgia and California, financed consumer debts primarily to military personnel, typically for computers, gaming systems, and other goods and services from retailers online or at malls near military bases. The states and federal government allege that servicemembers were induced to purchase goods in financing agreements that hid or insufficiently disclosed extremely high rates of interest and that as a result of these financing agreements, servicemembers ultimately paid Rome multiple times the retail price for the products they purchased.
The settlement liquidates Rome Finance and its successor corporations, provides $92 million in debt relief to United States military personnel worldwide, marks all outstanding debt paid with consumer finance reporting agencies, and permanently bans the company from doing business in the field of consumer lending. In addition, Rome Finance will no longer seek to collect approximately $60 million in contracts owed by about 12,000 consumers. A liquidating trust created as part of Colfax’s bankruptcy plan will stop collections on approximately $32 million owed by more than 5,000 consumers for Colfax and Culver financing agreements. Servicemembers may keep the merchandise they purchased.
“Those who stand in harm’s way make sacrifices every day in service to our country,” says John Sours. “They deserve the greatest level of protection possible from unscrupulous business practices. We hope this settlement sends a strong message that Georgia will not tolerate those who attempt to prey on the military community.”
Participating in this national effort along with the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection were the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the states Attorneys General of Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Tennessee and Vermont.
Last year the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection permanently banned a related retailer, TechSmart, from the sale of consumer goods and contracts to military personnel in the State of Georgia and required it to pay $171,335.57 in consumer restitution.