We know you've seen the commercials: Gary Coleman, the former child star, promising that cheap loans are available for anyone. Turns out, those loans weren't so cheap.
Anaheim-based fast-money lender CashCall Inc. has agreed to pay the state $1 million in civil penalties and legal expenses to settle allegations that it ran deceptive ads and used loan shark tactics against its customers.
The state alleged that the company's advertisements -- yes, the ones with Gary Coleman -- falsely suggest cheap loans are available to all borrowers.
In fact, low interest rates are available only to active-duty military personnel and their families while other borrowers are charged more than a 139 percent annual interest rate, according to the state's complaint.
The company was also accused of making abusive phone calls at all hours of the day to harass customers who were not paying back their loans.
"We are happy to have reached agreement to resolve this matter. We worked closely with the attorney general's office to address this misunderstanding and to assure nothing arises in the future," CashCall attorney Dan Baren said in a written statement.
CashCall was launched by Paul Reddam, who also founded and later sold mortgage lender DiTech Funding Corp. The judgement in the case was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday.
The moral of the story: Next time Gary Coleman tries to sell you something, try a little skepticism. Say it with us: Watchu talking about, Gary?