Class Sues Online Medical Loaner

     CHICAGO (CN) – A couple who sought a loan for cosmetic surgery claim in a class action that an online financing service nearly doubled the amount of the loan request in the contract, and was not licensed to make such a loan at all.



     Juan and Tempestt Boyce sued SurgeryLoans.com dba MedicalFinancian.com, Highlands Financial Services, Oak Rock Financial, Shape Cosmetic Surgery and Dr. Bhanoo Sharma, in Cook County Court.
     The complaint states: “In December 2011-January 2012, Mrs. Boyce desired elective surgery procedures from Shape Cosmetic Surgery, LLC.
     “Shape Cosmetic Surgery, LLC offered to arrange financing.
     “SurgeryLoans.com, Inc. authorized the disbursement of $4,320.48 to Shape Cosmetic Surgery, LLC, on account of such procedure.”
     The Boyces say SurgeryLoans.com “assists patients seeking cosmetic or elective surgery with financing for their desired procedure.” It allegedly extends credit to more than 26 consumers per year.
     But the Boyces say their loan documents contained some peculiar language.
     “In the ‘retail installment contract,’ the ‘service provider’ was Dr. Sharma rather than Shape Cosmetic Surgery, LLC, even though the disbursement is to Shape Cosmetic Surgery,” the complaint states.
     It continues: “The ‘amount financed on the TILA disclosures was stated as $8,000, even though only $4,320.48 was disbursed to Shape Cosmetic Surgery, LLC.
     “The ‘retail installment contract’ did not contain a promise to pay Dr. Sharma or Shape Cosmetic Surgery, LLC, as is appropriate for a retail installment contract, but instead directed payment to Highlands Financial Services, LLC, 7921 Southpark Plaza, Suite 108, Littleton, CO 80120 ‘or to the current assignee holding your contract.”
     The assignment had Dr. Sharma assign his rights to SurgeryLoans.com Inc., and SurgeryLoans.com, Inc., assign its rights to Highlands Financial Services LLC.
     “The ‘retail installment contract’ also provided for ‘interest,’ although there is no ‘interest’ in a true retail installment contract. Only a loan has ‘interest.'”
     An addendum to the finance agreement “authorized SurgeryLoans.com, Inc., or its assignee, in the event of default, to charge a credit card or execute a ‘shadow check’ (also known as a telephone check) on the consumer’s bank account,” the Boyces say. (Parentheses in complaint.)
     The complaint continues: “Because of the ambiguous and inconsistent nature of the documents, it is unclear whether the ‘creditor’ is Dr. Sharma, Shape Cosmetic Surgery, LLC, or SurgeryLoans.com, Inc.”
     The Boyces add: “SurgeryLoans.com, Inc. has never been licensed to make loans at over 9 percent or purchase retail installment contracts by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.”
     Nor are Highlands Financial Services or Oak Rock Financial licensed to make loans at more than 9 percent, the Boyces say.
     They seek damages under the Truth in Lending Act, punitive damages under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, and injunctive relief under the Sale Finance Agency Act. They claim a lien upon defendants’ assets for at least one-third of damages sought.
     The Boyces are represented by Daniel Edelman, with Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin.

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