(WSVN) - When some people are short on money they get what’s called a payday loan. One South Florida man was told he didn’t pay back the loan. To prove he did he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Living paycheck to paycheck is common. Just as difficult, living social security check to social security check.

Lorenzo Robinson: “You say you get them up and down moments where you got pinch pennies.”

Lorenzo is retired and when he is short on money his go-to place is the check cashing store to get what people call a payday loan.

Lorenzo Robinson: “Something might come up with my car, I need $1,000. So I go and try and borrow so I can get my car fixed right away.”

A few times a year Lorenzo has to take out a loan at 10 percent every two weeks meaning it could be up to 260 percent interest per year. Lorenzo quickly pays it back as his social security checks come in.

Lorenzo Robinson: “I always borrow about a $1,000 and pay it off in two to three months.”

When he came to get his last loan, he was told no.

Lorenzo Robinson: “They said you can’t get a loan because you got a loan already existing.”

Lorenzo was told he didn’t pay back a $1,000 loan he got back in 2022.

Lorenzo Robinson: “And I laughed at him and told me ‘You gotta be crazy.'”

Lorenzo says it’s crazy because since 2022, he has had several loans from the store and in Florida, you can only have one payday loan at the same time.

Lorenzo Robinson: “If I owe them, I’ll pay them. But I don’t feel like I owe them.”

That old loan that Lorenzo says he paid off was for $1,000. If he doesn’t straighten it out, he has to pay that plus interest.

Lorenzo Robinson: ” I owe $2,200.”

The check cashing store doesn’t believe Lorenzo. They believe their computer that says he didn’t pay off an old loan.

Lorenzo Robinson: “If anybody can help me straighten this out, it will be Patrick and Mr. Finkelstein.”

Well Howard how can a person battle a big corporation?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “The interest on these payday loans is so outrageous, the legislature passed a law to protect customers by limiting borrowers to one payday loan at a time. The fact that Lorenzo got other loans is evidence he paid off the prior loan. And from a business standpoint, you don’t loan money to someone who didn’t pay off a prior loan. Clearly this an accounting error.”

We looked at a ledger of Lorenzo’s loan history. it shows he borrowed a $1,000 in December 2022. Then he said paid it off in Jan., Feb., and March the ledger then shows he had a zero balance. We contacted the check cashing store’s corporate office. They investigated and wrote we were “able to help resolve the issue and appreciate you bringing the situation to our attention.”

Lorenzo Robinson: “They called me and said that, I didn’t owe anything, and they apologize constantly over and over.”

Everything straightened out after his call to Help Me Howard.

Lorenzo Robinson: “I’m very happy I called Help Me Howard.”

And we are happy you called us Lorenzo. Now that 10 percent payday loan rate for two weeks sounds OK, but make sure you can pay it back in two weeks cause the rate soars after that. Also, remember if you can’t pay it back, they can garnish your wages. So don’t borrow more than you can quickly pay back.

A problem blocking you from a payday. Want someone to take interest in it? Loan it to us to so we can check into it for you for free.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

Copyright 2024 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox