Finance firm linked to Summit Contracting under fire from federal watchdog

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Viewers continue to ask questions about what they should do in the event of fraudulent loans being taken out in their name from a now-shuttered outsourcing business.

As we previously reported, the former owners and vendors of Summit Contracting Inc. – Chad Schampers, Gina Schampers, Nate Smith and Jeffrey O’Brien – have been indicted in federal court on nearly a dozen charges of electronic and bank fraud.

Federal prosecutors say they used “deceptive and misleading” tactics to trick clients into unknowingly taking out large loans for home improvement projects, but kept the money to themselves.

In the three years since we aired First Alert Investigations, customers continue to tell us that these third-party finance companies are still suing them for the money from these fraudulent loans.

We have now discovered that GreenSky, one of those companies named in the Summit Contracting federal indictment, is also in trouble with the government for similar practices across the country.

GreenSky calls itself “leading technology company, as written on their website. It’s not listed as a bank.

Instead, he writes that the company “offers frictionless promotional payment options to consumers,” which facilitates and accelerates the obtaining of a loan.

Government translation? What he calls “negligent practices” this “allow merchants to take advantage of vulnerable customers.

We found this statement in documents issued in the last seven months by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureauthe federal agency that is supposed to make sure that banks, lenders, and finance companies treat you fairly.

Instead, the consumer watchdog agency found that Atlanta, Georgia-headquartered GreenSky violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, according to a Bureau consent order.

Between 2014 and 2019, the Bureau found that GreenSky received at least 6,000 complaints from consumers who said they did not allow a loan application to be submitted.

The 57 page order says “Some consumers first became aware of the loan when they saw their credit report or received billing statements, collection letters and calls” by GreenSky.

How it happened ?

The Consumer Affairs Office says GreenSky used “a completely dematerialized application process”, which allows a contracting company or other trader to easily complete documents electronically, often while sitting in a person’s home, as long as they have information such as name, address and social security number.

Sound familiar?

That’s what Summit Contracting customers have been telling us since 2019.

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In federal indictments filed against the owners and principal vendor of Summit Contracting, GreenSky was again named, alleging that is what the former De Pere company was doing.

Several clients have told us that they have complained and disputed the payment of these fraudulent loans, but nothing has changed.

In July, the Bureau said enough, ordering GreenSky to refund and reverse up to $9 million for harmed consumers.

The agency also ordered GreenSky to pay a $2.5 million fine and put measures in place to ensure this does not happen again.

In short review on his siteGreenSky writes, “without admitting liability or wrongdoing,” (it) agreed to pay the civil penalty and compensate eligible customers, but the company said that would be capped at $3 million. He also agreed to cancel up to $6 million in loan(s).

This all happened at the end of last summer, but all the local victims who contact us, saying that they are still having problems with GreenSky, also say that they have not received a penny and that their credit rating has dropped significantly.

They hope for a victim-only meeting with local and federal officialsscheduled for Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, will help resolve these issues or at least give them a starting point.

We have contacted GreenSky for comment, but as of the date of this publication have not received a response.

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