Mariner Finance says lawsuit without merit


(The Center Square) – An East Coast lending company sued by 11 attorneys general says accusations of unlawful business practices are without merit.

John Morton, general counsel and executive vice president at Mariner, responded to The Center Square’s publication last week of the prosecutors’ lawsuit. The lending company disputes the accusations and says it has done nothing wrong.

Morton said, “Mariner has cooperated with the investigation and provided information that clearly demonstrates the legality of its products and the vital support they provide to consumers. The meritless allegations are based on minimal consumer interviews, the details of which were never shared with Mariner, and reflect a misunderstanding of the law, or simply a decision by the additional parties to disregard evidence which negates their claims.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry first filed a case in 2022, and last week an amended filing was made in the in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The first filing included the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

The amended complaint includes Illinois, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Mariner is accused in the lawsuit of predatory lending. The prosecutors say Mariner, headquartered in Baltimore with 55 locations in seven states, charged customers for “hidden add-on products that they either didn’t know about or didn’t agree to buy,” a release says.

Prosecutors say in 2019, Mariner charged consumers $121.7 million nationwide in premiums and fees for add-on products.

Morton said reviews and vetting by multiple agencies over the last six years has found not “a single finding of wrongdoing by any authoritative body.” He said the company will continue to defend itself.

“The Federal Trade Commission conducted a comprehensive follow-on two-year investigation of these allegations as did other state attorneys general,” Morton said. “All of these investigations have been closed with no action taken by any of these agencies. Even as additional parties have ignored the outcome of these investigations, a full and fair consideration of the facts at hand should lead to this matter being closed with no further action.”