In 2011, the Idaho Department of Finance fined Goodwill Finance LLC $50,000 for servicing consumer loans without a $300 license. Though a settlement reduced the fine to $5,000, the ordeal shook the company, which for three years believed it was operating in compliance with Idaho law.
Trevor Grigg, Goodwills office, delinquency and repossession manager, is still bitter. We need friendlier government, Grigg says. It should be there to help businesses.
Co-owners Gus Meyer and Morris Grigg Trevors father founded Goodwill in 2008. They developed relationships with dealerships that pay a $395 fee each time Goodwill services a subprime loan a dealer makes. Borrowers make payments to Goodwill and receive the titles for their automobiles upon repayment.
When the company was founded, the department told the founders they needed no license to service loans, Trevor Grigg says.
But Mike Larsen, bureau chief at the departments Consumer Finance Bureau, says that commercial lenders in Idaho require licensing. There were misunderstandings about what the law required, he says.
Despite its run-in, Goodwill says it has been profitable since its founding it wont disclose revenues and has paid a 10 percent dividend to investors. Goodwill, 4487 N. Dresden Place, Suite 102, says it services $6 million in loans to 1,300 customers.
Lending to people with high credit risks is rising again nationwide. One in four new-car loans and one in two used-car loans are subprime, according to Experian Automotive. Goodwill wont disclose its interest rates. Rates for riskiest customers nationwide average about 18 percent for used cars.
Trevor Grigg says business has been good because Goodwill provides an essential service. Theres always a need for people to buy a car and go to work.
Harrison Berry: firstname.lastname@example.org