AG Platkin Welcomes Court Decision Rebuffing Private Equity-Run Lending Company’s Attempt to Avoid Trial

National Lending Company Mariner Finance Allegedly Charged Consumers Millions of Dollars for Hidden Add-On Products

For Immediate Release: January 19, 2024

Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
– Cari Fais, Acting Director
Division of Law
– Michael T.G. Long, Director

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Allison Inserro,


TRENTON — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced significant progress in a multistate lawsuit against Mariner Finance, LLC (“Mariner Finance”)—a Wall Street private equity-owned lender that the Attorney General and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs allege charged borrowers millions of dollars in hidden add-on products and interest.

Mariner Finance had filed a motion to dismiss, asking a federal court to dismiss all 15 federal and state law claims in the multistate lawsuit, which is led by Pennsylvania and joined by New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. However, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied Mariner’s motion in its entirety, reaffirming the authority of state attorneys general to jointly bring federal Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) claims in one court, conserving states’ resources and potentially expediting the litigation.

The decision, outlined in a 35-page memorandum opinion, means the case now moves closer to trial.

“This ruling marks a substantial step forward in the states’ case against a company that sought to evade accountability for allegedly deceiving consumers out of millions of dollars,” said Attorney General Platkin.

“On behalf of the vulnerable consumers who were victimized in the scams detailed in our complaint, we are grateful that the court rejected Mariner’s efforts to get this case dismissed,” said Cari Fais, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.

The lawsuit, filed in 2022, alleges that Mariner routinely charged consumers for add-on loan products without permission or over consumers’ express rejection of such offers—leading to hundreds-to-thousands of dollars in additional debt. As the complaint alleges, Mariner took particular advantage of vulnerable consumers with limited access to credit who were already struggling with debt, and who had few or no other options available to obtain a badly needed personal loan. The complaint further alleges that Mariner incentivized employees to attach add-ons to consumer loans with bonuses, and that the company punished managing employees whose branch locations did not meet Mariner’s minimum sales goals for the add-ons.

In the decision, filed January 12:

  • The Court rejected Mariner’s core argument that venue was improper because the five plaintiff states chose to sue together in one court rather than in five separate courts.
  • The Court rejected Mariner’s argument that the plaintiff states had failed to comply with the CFPA’s provision that provides for states to notify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of a planned CFPA lawsuit.
  • The Court rejected Mariner’s argument that the states cannot enforce the CFPA’s prohibition on violating “a Federal consumer financial law,” which includes 18 “enumerated consumer laws.”
  • Finally, the Court also rejected Mariner’s argument that the CFPA’s grant of enforcement authority to the states violates the U.S. Constitution.

Mariner Finance has nine branches in New Jersey. Consumers who believe Mariner deceived them should file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs here.

The Mariner Finance matter is being handled by Deputy Attorneys General Yale Leber, Zeyad Assaf, Andrew Esoldi and Cathleen O’Donnell in the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group, under the supervision of Assistant Section Chief Chanel VanDyke and Assistant Attorney General Jennifer S. Schiefelbein, Division of Consumer Affairs Supervising Investigator Jennifer Micco and Investigator Renee Salikram also worked on the case.


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