Skip to comments.USA Discounters hooks some service members with credit before springing the debt trap
Posted on 07/25/2014 10:37:26 AM PDT by Second Amendment First
Army Spc. Angel Aguirre needed a washer and dryer.
Money was tight, and neither Aguirre, 21, nor his wife had much credit history as they settled into life at Fort Carson in Colorado in 2010.
Thats when he saw an ad for USA Discounters, guaranteeing loan approval for service members. In military newspapers and magazines, on the radio, and on TV, the Virginia-based companys ads shout, NO CREDIT? NEED CREDIT? NO PROBLEM! The store was only a few miles from Fort Carson.
We ended up getting a computer, a TV, a ring, and a washer and dryer, Aguirre said. The only thing I really wanted was a washer and dryer.
Aguirre later learned that USA Discounters easy lending has a flip side. Should customers fall behind, the company transforms into an efficient collection operation. And this part of its business takes place not where customers bought their appliances, but in two local courthouses just a short drive from the companys Virginia Beach headquarters.
From there, USA Discounters files lawsuits against service members based anywhere in the world, no matter how much inconvenience or expense they would incur to attend a Virginia court date. Since 2006, the company has filed more than 13,470 suits and almost always wins, records show.
Theyre basically ruthless, said Army Staff Sgt. David Ray, who was sued in Virginia while based in Germany over purchases he made at a store in Georgia.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Sounds like a combination of scummy predators and foolish military buyers.
I know some retailers charge high rates and play hardball to collect debts, but the bottom line is that any responsible adult should know that if you buy a number of big ticket items on credit, you are going to have to repay that credit plus interest. Our society has been so conditioned to get let off the hook that its destroying us. The consumers can talk all they want about being “tricked” or “hardball” tactics, but the bottom line is that they knowingly bought things they could not pay for and are now facing the consequences. I, for one, not willing to say that someone in the military has a right to not pay for things because they buy too much and get in over their heads.
This is how stupid women are. They’ll take an engagement ring from a guy who borrowed the money for it
From there, the story goes downhill
Girls, parents-A Visible Means Of Support AND A Plan
Or move on
Otherwise, I can say to the guy, read the agreement. We do the kids and I when these offers come in the mail. There was one with a 59% interest rate
On Long Island we used to call them ...well, you know
I look at them, these predatory scumbags who prey on our servicemen and women, as liberals (to put ‘scumbags,’ ‘***holes,’ etc., here, would be superfluous). They certainly have no love or affection for our men in uniform, which is an identifying trait of a liberal.
They’re like a bunch of greasy hypocritical Michael Moores lurking right outside the front gate. We all know about those little towns that spring up right outside the front gates of our big military bases... Depressing places! I used to go out the back gate just so I wouldn’t have to go through them.
Doing the same things with cars...”No credit?...No problem” is very popular on many TV commercials locally (near two major military onstallations).
I’ve got to agree with you. Over the years, I sat with many of our troops who had problems figuring out that they weren’t allowed to spend more than they made, and that they had to pay their bills. That isn’t a patriotism issue. It’s just a fact of life. If you buy that Shelby Mustang, then you have to pay for that Shelby Mustang.
First Sergeants were always on the lookout for crooked salesmen and they’d ban them. If there were crooked businesses outside the gates, they’d get them on the banned list.
But if you buy a washer, dryer, TV, ring, and whatever else, then it’s also on you.
The most important financial advice I ever got was: “Make a budget.” Income and Outgo. They’ve gotta balance, and a a budget is the best way to see that very quickly.
Predatory lending on service members? Wow. There’s a news flash.
I remember car dealers, literally outside the front gate, selling sports cars to non-rates. Of course they could not make the payment, would have the car repoed, it would be sold at a closed auction to a puppet dealer, a deficiency judgemnt would be had against the original purchaser, the car would be resold to another service member often with the same result.
I cannot begin to tell you how many sound systems were sold in a similar manner at Siagon Sam’s.
I completed the sentence for him.
If you don't have the money to pay for it, you can't afford it.
Agreed. These people indenture themselves when they sign up for credit and the fact that they can be literally made into sharecroppers is proof of that.
Screw the banks and screw the creditors; PAY CASH!!!!!
i suppose they had to have new, and didn’t consider used. whilst i tend to abhor those who take advantage of others, especially our service people, there comes a certain level of responsibility. go in for a washer/dryer, leave with all kinds of extras, is it really their faulty? entirely?
This has been a problem around military bases forever. It is quite a leadership challenge. The problem is that the slick merchants/lenders know full well how easy it is to get their money from a service member. Some of the slicksters are even former military themselves, which really makes me see red.
I literally sit down with new subordinates straight out of basic and walk them though how loans work, interest rates, investing, etc.
It’s an NCOs job to take care of his troops. That used to mean teaching him/her how to shoot, wear the uniform, etc. Now it involves teaching people how to put away money for the next time Congress cuts off our paycheck, how to not get scammed by the front gate vendors, even how to balance a budget.
When hubby and I got married we bought cheap gold wedding bands...because that is all we could afford.
10 years later he paid cash for a 1 carat loose diamond that I had set in something we could afford.
About 10 years after that the band it was set in fell apart and I took it to a jeweler and had it set in the band I wanted (along with a bunch of other diamonds lol). I also bought another ring to go with it. Now I have 5 carats on my finger in 2 gorgeous rings that is worth about $15k that we paid cash for along the line.
I don’t blame the companies I blame the people for being stupid.
That’s how it’s supposed to work.
Girls know nothing about providership. The boys learn real quick when it’s demanded of them, in terms of ‘get lost’.
Parents get the heck with it!
Where are the dads?
Yep...that’s the way it used to be...what always frosted me the most is when the PX would overcharge soldiers overseas who didn’t know they could get things they need downtown for half the price.
I use to teach a class for young soldiers, sailors, and airman that covered these types of traps. Unfortunately, most of them were already in deep trouble before they attended my class. The predators loved these young folks because they were gullible and the creditor knew that they could easily attach the young serviceman’s pay to get the money. Some of the predators charged as much as 6000% APR for things like payday loans.
“Some of the predators charged as much as 6000% APR for things like payday loans.”
Please tell me that’s a typo.
Nope. Not a typo.
I work with someone that used one of those payday advance places. He let me look over his paperwork.
APR was 579%
He made alot of bad choices.He later filed bankruptcy. DOH!
I got caught up by one of those places when I was fresh out of boot camp. But spent a lot of liberty time on the boat and paid it off on time and never set foot in one of those places again.
I know that’s how its supposed to work but apparently the younger generation doesn’t know it and wants instant gratification.
Cripes, my skin crawls at anything over 7%.
I had a patient who got a sofa and tv from one of those rent to buy/no credit check places. The value combined was probably 700 dollars. By the time she paid it off she paid over 3500 dollars.
Can we reconsider blaming children?
Where are the parents?
I mean really.
I teach Middle school English. WE go through Shakespeare. Taming of the Shrew and Romeo and Juliet, for instance, The first thing the girls want to know is why would they want their father involved in choosing a mate? That’s what Juliet said. Catherine obeyed.
I can deal with the boys. They ask the same question. I present it to them as a matter of their paternity, do they want their future daughter coming home with an idiot who can’t take care of her, and have the daughter back in the house at age 28 with kids? The light bulb goes on. The whole classroom tunes in. Now the boys are thinking like dads.
This is what they need in order to get them to tune in to what a nice girl expects and what her fearsome father expects.
silly girls are easy and they, unless mentally challenged, so not have fearsome fathers.
Girls have chosen cute, outlaw, idiots for centuries, from the beginning of time. they need guidance and direction.
That’s a parent’s tough job. Teaching her how to discern. And it starts in preschool, before even. When we go, as parents, to a friend’s house and the three year old girl does not like that creepy guy whom everyone says is so funny and great, let her not like him.
And find some nice friends.
Then she can, when she’s twenty, figure out that it’s ok to say, hey he’s creepy let
s get out of here.
Teach her how to spend money. And by example not by punishing her with a stupid job, unless that’s what she wants to do. Show her how to spend without going into savings and credit.
WE expect kids to take the responsibility here, they are not responsible.
Most, by a vast margin, of adults live paycheck to paycheck in this country. Is that the fault of kids?
WE can’t even blame the government because the government is by the people and for the people.
they take taxes, but we are letting this happen.
Good. And parents don’t show them how to spend money or what they don’t need to spend their money one.
This story seems like one of a kid that goes to basic right after or before getting married. That’s stupid, and stupid for an impatient girl.
They should both get their stuff together before strapping this guy with a family.
With birth control as accepted as it is, they spend their money on all of this stuff and think it’s okay.
Wonder how much he spent on the ring.
Who buys a washer and dryer that young? I did laundrymats til I was 27 years old.
So they should be robbed just because they are stupid enough to think anyone cares who is willing to fight and die in their stead. Got it.
I am the first person in a room to bemoan stupid people breeding. I am also aware of the quality of recruits when I enlisted in the ‘80s, as well as my boy’s feedback on the pathetic level it’s degraded to.
That stated, the dichotomy between this thread and others supporting the troops is absolutely pathetic.
Yeah, in your example, it is the WOMAN that is stupid. /s
Three for Five was very common 50 years ago. On payday the poker games and crap shoot were plentiful and if you lost your months pay you were still fed and housed. Some of the wiser guys would hit the PX and buy a months supply of toiletries and cigarettes before the games started, others became beggars or slaves.
As a girl I am saying that
Look at the story. Look what he bought
Would you take an engagement ring from a guy who has no money, no sense, and borrowed money for the ring at a loan shark interest rate?
I Just re read the story.
All he wanted was a washer and dryer.
When I got married my husband said he wouldn’t buy furniture as he’d been ripped off before by some dame in sales dept
I set about purchasing furniture over the next yrs and never took out loans nor bought anything new x sofas and mattresses and chairs. I have a good upholsterer and many very old items and a few inherited pieces basic appliances repairable, dishes etc from German and French outlets and the like
Haven’t bought anything like that in ten years, not after setting up
Hub bought my engagement ring cash at a mall and replaced it seven yrs later after my snobby sister sneered at it. I didn’t care
He had a good job and a degree at the time with a future and a sense of providership Never got ripped off again by any boob endowed sales girl nor anyone else and certainly not me
This girl (her husband is 21 yrs old) had no business keeping that ring nor talking him into a computer for her to shop with whe he was out working and not caring about having a computer
His parents should have warned him about girls like this and her parents should have taught her how to manage money
There have been ripoff artists in society since the time Jesus got mad at them in the Temple
Parents are not teaching money matters
You didn’t know people in the 1980s who got into the military, got married in basic, moved into a house as a one or two striper, took out ridiculous loans?
I did. I remember their names, their spouses, their cars. They drove much better cars than I had as college grad, working my way up.
Several years ago I did a “Great American Teach-In” via my tax-prep employer and of the subjects I could choose from I talked about BUDGETING to High School Sophomores Honors Class. 20 per class for 6 classes and I hoped and prayed that I could get through to at least 1! No concept about money was the rule but some were awake.
Right now most of them are in College and are spending plastic money and student loans. I shudder!
FYI: The High School has stopped that program, the “Great American Teach-In”, because it is too expensive to validate the volunteer adults. Security and paranoia trump the chance to have someone give real-world advice. Sigh!
Well, no, but why say that the girl is the stupid one. The guy took out the loan.
Is it never the guys own fault for taking out loans he cant afford? I hate to sound like a feminist, but why is it always the womans fault.
The guy is at fault. Duh. That’s a given. It’s whom the article is about
I’m just trying to be instructive regarding the entire story
Is the girl golden? Or is she at fault?
They’re married. Is she going to dump him or help him out of debt and figure out that they bought too much
And btw why doesn’t the article headline say couple gets into too much debt?
“So they should be robbed just because they are stupid enough to think anyone cares who is willing to fight and die in their stead. Got it. “
I wasn’t clear enough:
The level of stupidity in recruits was APPALLING when I was in.
According to my boy, it’s increase today is proportional to the rate of breeding among the stupid.
That doesn’t excuse soldiers being taken advantage of or the tone of this thread, about which I’ve already commented.
This is a reflection of the state of government, education & family in this country (not to mention the pathetic state of leadership in the military) and shouldn’t besmirch those willing to, ironically, fight for others’ rights to screw them. Stupid or not.
I was at a PVA fundraiser this past weekend. Perhaps I’m a bit sensitive as a result...I think not.
Parents are checking out
Really? All that from my simple statement? Shaking my head........
Sorry, but these folks agreed to the deal.
Now, let’s talk about another organization that uses the same tactics: The IRS.
The people who do get taken advantage of dont think they can afford to spend $800 or so for a decent budget washing machine and dryer, nor will they consider buying 2nd hand for even less or economizing on non-essentials and saving up to pay cash and in truth, they cant afford $800 or even $400 for used because they dont save anything, spend money recklessly and on impulse items (and on cigarettes, beer and liquor and lottery tickets), and at the end of the week, they may only have $30 left in their pockets if that much. But they can afford $10 a week¸ or so they think because that would still leave them with $20. That is a very common rationale.
Army Spc. Angel Aguirre needed a washer and dryer ..We ended up getting a computer, a TV, a ring, and a washer and dryer, Aguirre said. The only thing I really wanted was a washer and dryer.
And once they go to one of those rent to own places they are told for only $10 more per week they can purchase even more stuff. What a bargain! I will still have $10 left at the end of the week so Im in the black right?
What they dont consider is that the washing machine and dryer that they might have needed and all that other stuff like a new flat screen TV, a computer and ring that they didnt really need, that they are paying only $20 a week for ends up costing many, many thousands of dollars over the course of the loan term and far over the actual retail value of the items in exorbitant interest and late fees if they are even one day late in making their weekly payment. And I bet most of them dont bother to read the terms or even attempt to do the math on what the loan terms actually cost them or what will happen if they default. They only think New, shiny, cool stuff today - Ill worry about paying for it tomorrow.
But if something unexpected happens, like their car breaks down, one of their kids gets sick, they have to not pay any bills that month or take out a payday loan to pay for the emergency repairs and they get behind a big ole 8-ball of getting further and further behind and they are hounded by creditors and or the stuff gets repossessed and or their wages get attached.
I am a payroll manager and Ive seen a fair share of wage attachments over the years and all too often these very same folks also have a child support order, sometimes more than one. Ive also seen that these same people wont contribute to their companys 401k and when they fall behind in their bills, they will submit a W-4 withholding form, claiming 20-99 exemptions so that little or no federal tax is taken out of their pay.
As long as the W-4 is properly filled out and signed and they dont personally tell me it is fraudulent, and it is not my job to determine its accuracy or give them personal tax advice, I will however council them in very general terms to make sure they understand that by claiming so many exemptions from withholding, not having tax withheld, that doesnt mean they wont owe taxes at the end of the year and what the possible consequences of a tax levy are, but I cant stop them from doing it. But more often than not, a year or so later I will receive an IRS tax levy order for them.
Until last year, the company I work for allowed employees to cash out their PTO. I had one employee who had both a child support order and an IRS levy and every pay he was cashing out all but an hour or so of his PTO balance, I presume just to make ends meet. Then one day he got very sick and missed over a week of work and having no PTO to cover it, had to take the time off without pay and was in an even bigger world of hurt. I felt bad for the guy, hes seems like a nice guy and is a good and reliable worker but he obviously cant handle money.
FWIW, my company is considering, as a part of our wellness initiative, bringing in representatives from a reputable local bank who will, free of charge offer financial wellness seminars and also offer free one on one financial counseling sessions including lessons on basic family budgeting to any employee who wants to take advantage of it. Sadly I think the people who need it most will probably not participate.
You are correct that the people who most need financial counselling are the least likely to take advantage of it. I’m conflicted about the payday and title loan companies business models because I think if they didn’t exist the financially desperate will go to loan sharks instead and end up with broken legs or worse; military members could compromise security.
My problem with this company is the specific way they target them when they can’t respond the the suits. But as many here have said don’t sign the contract if you can’t afford it.