Ruff Day for Dog Leasing Company in Massachusetts Settlement

  • Massachusetts AG Maura Healey reached a settlement with California-based Monterey Financial Services, LLC to resolve allegations that the company illegally purchased and serviced leases for dogs to Massachusetts customers in violation of Massachusetts consumer protection laws.
  • According to the AG’s Office, Monterey Financial allegedly purchased and collected on leases for dogs, which is illegal in the state, and engaged illegal collection practices to collect outstanding balances on the leases.
  • Under the terms of the Assurance of Discontinuance, Monterey Financial must terminate all Massachusetts leases effective since January 29, 2016 and transfer the dog ownership to the lessee and waive any early termination fees. The company is also prohibited from serving and/or collecting on leases, and must request that Transunion, Equifax and Experian remove negative information from lessee tradelines. In addition to paying a $50,000 penalty to the Commonwealth, Monterey Financial must also distribute $175,000 to affected lessees whose payments exceeded a dog’s initial fair market value. Finally, Monterey Financial will not originate, acquire or facilitate any new dog leases in Massachusetts, or make collection calls in violation of Massachusetts law.