State Move Shuts Down Title Lender Fast Auto
``Once we went in for an examination, and they obfuscated our efforts to see the records, we moved in,'' said Deborah Guller, an attorney for the agency.
Those named in the cease and desist order are: Allied of West Palm Beach Inc., Fast Auto Loans, PAVVME Inc. of Miami, Vincent Gerardi, Salvatore Manfredonia, Vincent Gerardi Jr., Ana Scardina, Marion Applegate, Paul Scardina Jr., Edward Applegate and Victoria Gerardi.
While the comptroller's move means trouble for Fast Auto Loans, it won't affect the title lending industry generally, regulators said.
Because of a 1995 statute written by a lobbyist for the industry and introduced by Rep. Ed Healy, D-West Palm Beach, title lenders are regulated by no one and allowed to charge interest of 22 percent a month.
Milligan said he would continue to press for changes to the title lending statute in the 1998 legislative session.
``It allows them to operate completely within the law at extraordinary cost to the consumer,'' Milligan said. ``We'll keep beating on it.''