A small insurance contractor filed suit this month against Money Store, charging the finance company's beleagured auto lending unit with breach of contract.

Acccording to the suit, Money Store Auto Finance entered into a contract in November 1995 with Resolution Providers Inc. of Wall Township, N.J., to develop a private label vehicle service contract, credit life and health insurance, and road club programs.

Resolution Providers provides lending institutions with insurance- related products to sell to consumers. "Since the contract was signed, the Money Store has blatantly violated its provision," Resolution Providers president, Carol Scott Stevens said in a prepared statement.

The suit charges Money Store with changing commissions for Resolution Providers brokers, penalizing auto dealers by holding back profits when dealers sold Resolution Providers-related vehicle contracts, and ignoring the credit insurance program contracted with Resolution Providers.

Money Store had no comment on the suit, said Jeff Rogers, an investor relations officer.

Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Stephen Eisman cut Money Store's rating to "market perform" from "buy" on Sept. 25.

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