Victim gets pay day business shut down - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Victim gets pay day business shut down

November 5, 2004

Albany -- Now that an Albany payday loan office has been shut down, victims are relieved they don't have to pay back astronomical amounts of interest.

Kool Kash was sued and closed by prosecutors for charging more than 300 percent interest on some loans. Loans given to people like John and Helen Bardge.

John Bardge is blind and relied on the Kool Kash manager to read him the contract when he borrowed 500 dollars. The manager didn't mention the 365 percent interest rate. John Bardge said "Didn't have no idea it was going to be like this."

 Bardge's says it was impossible to pay off the loan. Bardge said "She said you are going to have pay another monthly fee. Man, that ticked me off, because I thought that I had everything up to date in interest."

Helen Bardge did business with Kool Kash for two years. Helen Bardge said "Sometime I ran in a tight, and I need a little change, and I trusted her."

But Helen's friend was charging her 276 and a half percent interest. Helen Bardge said "To borrow 250 dollars, you would pay back 312, plus you pay 60 dollar interest, if you didn't want to pay the loan out that particular month."

John Bardge got mad, and called the D.A.'s office. Bardge said "Using us to make them what they want to be, and leaving us with nothing."

Kool Kash is shut down, and John Bardge is glad he helped. Bardge said "I'm happy that she won't be taking nobody else's money like they was taking my money."

A court receiver in charge of Kool Kash's assets has forgiven all the loans outstanding. No one has to pay back what are being called illegal transactions.

John and Helen Bardge say that is fair.

Prosecutors are not sure how many victims there are in this case. They seized Kool Kash's records and computers, to find out.

posted at 4:25 PM by jimw@walb.com

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