Small Loan Company Takes Aim at Consumer Association – Trade Unions Set up Barriers

Illegal small loan operations are under attack and much has been gained in the fight against it in recent months  on behalf of the Consumer Association , VR, ASÍ and Efling. eCommerce 2020 ApS has ceased its lendging activitis in Iceland. Creditinfo has terminated its business with Almenna innhemta, which collects small loan debts, and stopped listing them on Creditinfos default register.eCommerce 2020, however, is still in the process of debiting the alleged debts directly from borrowers´ bank accounts and credit cards. They have no authority to do this and when borrowers tried to rectify this they were referred in circles to various organization as nobody seems to have any control or ability to stop this process. Further investigation revealed that the companies Quickpay and Clearhuase both enable eCommerce 2020 to access people‘s bank accounts.The Consumer Association sent an email to Quickpay informing them that they were doing business with eCommerce 2020, a company which had engaged in illegal lending and was now debiting amounts without a clear authorization or agreements with borrowers. The amounts debited in most cases were not justified.eCommerce 2020 has sued the Consumers´ Assiciation and its chairman, Breki Karlsson, because of this and demands that the email be declared null and void and be compensated damages. In doing this, eCommerce 2020 is making public the comments that were sent in a private email, which goes against the proceedings. MAGNA law firm defends Breki and the Consumer Association.It is interesting to note that the Icelandic lawyers for eCommerce 2020 have been instructed by the company that they may not accept a document instituting legal proceedings from an Icelandic consumer. This is yet another way to put up obstacles for consumers, as it is common for lawyers to receive lawsuits on behalf of their clients. As eCommerce refuses to do so, the consumer now has to have the summons translated into Danish and filed in Denmark at the company‘s offices where there are no operations.Ragnar Þór Ingólfsson, Chairman of VR: „It is clear now that the fight against these small loan companies is bearing fruit. This response confirms we are on the right track. There is every reason to escalate the fight against these criminal organizations and all associated with them. VR will support the Consumers‘ Association in the proceedings, both in words and actions. An attach against one is an attack against all.“Drífa Snædal, Chairman of ASÍ: „The fight against these small loan companies is a fight for the common good, many families have fared poorly with these businesses. ASÍ has worked in collaboration with the Consumers‘ Association against these companies. Large amounts of money are at stake for these small loan companies and they will stop at nothing, this litigation is part of that. The fight continues.“Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, Chairman of Eflingar: „These companies cause great damage to Icelandic society. They utilize both poverty and addiction in order to make a profit. Such conduct is unnacceptable. Efling‘s board has taken part in the fight against these companies along with the Consumer‘s Association and will continue to do so“.Breki Karlsson, Chairman of the Consumer‘s Association: „The company‘s case is ridiculous and goes against its cause. It is wonderful to find the strong support of the unions and the communities against these unwelcome guests.“The case is awaiting approval of Parliament, but the Consumer‘s Association has requested insurance for litigation expenses from the plaintiff.