The state of California is seeking a 12-month license suspension for CashCall, a high-cost lender that's come under fire in numerous other states.
The California Department of Business Oversight alleged Friday that the Orange, Calif., lender made misleading sales pitches in an effort to persuade consumers to borrow more money than they wanted.
In CashCall's TV and radio ads, the firm advertised personal loans of "up to" $2,600, according to the state's complaint. But when customers called or visited the company's website, they were told that CashCall doesn't make loans of less than $2,600, the complaint alleges.
Under California law, there's no cap on interest rates for loans that are greater than $2,500. So the larger loan sizes allowed CashCall to charge much higher annual percentage rates than it could have if the loan amounts were smaller, according to the state.
"CashCall's predatory marketing and personal lending practices will not be tolerated in California," Commissioner of Business Oversight Jan Lynn Owen said in a news release.
The complaint also alleges that CashCall filed false reports with the state of California.
CashCall did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
In December, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and four state attorneys general announced a series of lawsuits against CashCall over its affiliation with the defunct online lender Western Sky Financial.
The state of California's complaint described actions against CashCall in more than a dozen other states, including New York, which sued and later reached a settlement over loans made to Empire State residents.
CashCall was founded by J. Paul Reddam, who previously ran the subprime mortgage lender Ditech.