Loan-shark charge shuts a Boston MailBoxes Etc.

The ""Etc."" in a downtown Boston Mailboxes Etc. store stood for shipping, packing services and, according to state banking officials, loan-sharking.

APBnews.com
April 21, 2000

Loan-shark charge shuts a Boston MailBoxes Etc.
Officials Say Store Made Loans Running to 467 Percent

BOSTON (AP) — The "Etc." in a downtown Boston Mailboxes Etc. store stood for shipping, packing services and, according to state banking officials, loan-sharking.

The Commissioner of Banks shut down the store Thursday, alleging that it charged interest rates as high as 467 percent on small, short-term loans.

The store illegally took applications and processed documents for loans up to $300, officials said. Some loans were repeatedly rolled over, resulting in additional finance charges to the customer, officials said.

The store offered what is known as "payday lending," electronically debiting loan and finance charges from borrowers' bank accounts on the payday after the loan was made, officials said.

Cease-and-desist order issued

"Payday lending is simply old-fashioned loan-sharking, despite its antiseptic new name," Jennifer Davis Carey, the state's consumer affairs director, said in a prepared statement.

State Banking Commissioner Thomas Curry issued a cease-and-desist order for the store and owners Jay Patel and Naranbhai Patel. The order prohibits them from directly or indirectly making small loans.

Curry also ordered them to provide the state Division of Banks with records of loans made at the business.

Telephone calls to the store after business hours Thursday were not answered. Home phone numbers for the Patels could not be confirmed, and they could not be reached for comment.


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