Cash Converters Queensland class actions

Two class actions by Maurice Blackburn commenced in the Federal Court of Australia seeking compensation for Queensland borrowers who took out payday loans from Cash Converters stores or online.

SETTLEMENT UPDATE - REFUND PAYMENTS

The first instalment of refund payments was processed by EFT to eligible Group Members on Wednesday 27 May 2020. Please note that it may take up to 5 business days for the payment to appear in your bank account.

Within a fortnight of the payment, you will receive written communication from Maurice Blackburn by email, SMS or post confirming whether your refund payment was successful or unsuccessful, your total refund amount and the bank account that it was paid into.

Please wait until you have received this communication before contacting Maurice Blackburn with any questions as it contains important information about your refund.

What if I haven’t received my refund?

Maurice Blackburn is sending you written confirmation about the outcome of your refund. Please wait until you have received this communication before contacting Maurice Blackburn with any questions as it contains important information about your refund.

If you are an eligible Group Member who received a communication about a successful refund payment, please double check the transaction history of the bank account listed in the communication you will receive. We recommend you contact your bank if you require assistance.

If you are an eligible Group Member who received a communication about an unsuccessful refund payment, you will receive instructions on how to update your bank account details through the Online Portal. Please read these carefully as any error you make in updating your bank details will delay your payment.

When will the second installment be paid?

The second installment of refund payments will be made in December 2020, after the second portion of the Settlement Sum has been received from the Respondents.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

We are aware that many Group Members may be experiencing financial difficulties in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maurice Blackburn is working hard in this time to ensure that all Group Members receive their refund payments as soon as possible. At this time we do not anticipate any disruption to payments being made in late May 2020.

________________________________________________________

Notice of proposed settlement

CASH CONVERTERS QUEENSLAND "PERSONAL LOANS" CLASS ACTION

Sean Lynch v Cash Converters Personal Finance Pty Ltd (ACN 110 275 762) and Anor (NSD900/2015)

On 21 October 2019 an in-principle agreement to settle the Cash Converters Personal Loans Class Action was reached.

This means that Cash Converters has agreed to refund money to eligible Personal Loans customers.

The Federal Court approved the settlement at a hearing on 24 March 2020.

Summary of the Approved Settlement

The key terms of the settlement are:

  • Cash Converters agreed to pay a total of $42,500,000, including costs.
  • The settlement sum will be paid in two tranches: The first tranche of $32,500,000 in late 2019 the second tranche of $10,000,000 before 30 September 2020.
  • Refunds to group members will also be paid in two tranches. The first tranche of refunds will be paid in around May 2020.
  • The costs of running the class action and administering the settlement must be approved by the Court as reasonable before they are paid.
  • In agreeing to settle the Class Action, Cash Converters have not admitted any liability.
  • Group members will be deemed to have released Cash Converters from the time that the settlement becomes final and will not be able to bring any further claim in relation to these matters.

If you need more information, please contact our team: 

Email: ccqld@mauriceblackburn.com.au 

Phone: 1800 550 587 

Further Information

A Group Member is someone who took out a “Personal Loan” (typically between $600 and $2,000 paid off in about 6 months) from a Cash Converters store in Queensland (or online if they were a Queensland resident) between 30 July 2009 to 30 June 2013 and paid a fee styled as a ‘broker’s’ fee or ‘brokerage’ fee.

Pawn broking loans and other Cash Converters products, including Cash Advances, are not included in this class action settlement. Information about the Cash Advances Class Action, which has now concluded, can be found here.

This Class Action was started in 2015 in the Federal Court of Australia by Mr Sean Lynch, represented by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

Mr Lynch said customers paid too much for their Personal Loan products with Cash Converters in Queensland. He said this was because Cash Converters charged a ‘brokerage’ fee on Personal Loans which meant that customers were paying more than 175% per annum in interest. Mr Lynch alleged that this was in breach of consumer protection laws which provides that interest rates are not allowed to be more than 48% per annum. Mr Lynch also argued that Cash Converters acted unconscionably by charging the ‘brokerage’ fees and interest upon those fees.

Mr Lynch claimed refund money for himself and everyone who obtained a Cash Converters Personal Loan in a Queensland store (or online, and the borrower lived in Queensland) between 30 July 2009 and 30 June 2013, and paid a brokerage fee.

The allegations are denied by Cash Converters.

From 22 October 2018 to 9 November 2018 the Class Action went to a hearing at the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney. Before the judge handed down her decision, the parties agreed to settle the matter out of Court. In agreeing to settle the claims, Cash Converters did not admit liability. The effect of the settlement will ultimately be that the proceedings will be dismissed following payments to group members.

Documents relevant to the case and settlement can be found here. 

If there is anything you do not understand or if you have any questions, do not contact the Federal Court or Cash Converters. You may seek independent legal advice or contact Maurice Blackburn.

Our contact details are:

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Level 21, 380 La Trobe Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Email: ccqld@mauriceblackburn.com.au
Phone: 1800 550 587

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our offices are closed and many of our employees are working from home. It may take up to 5 business days for us to respond to your enquiry.

If you contact us using the hotline number, please leave a voicemail message with your contact details and the nature of your enquiry, and we will return your call as soon as possible


Supporting information