America has seen a boom in check-cashing service providers in recent years. One provider, Ace Cash Express, is described by Hoover's as a nationwide chain of financial service outlets that serves "the underbanked and bankless" populations. Its specialties are short-term "payday" loans and check-cashing services.
Ace Cash Express is a financial service chain with more than 1,800 locations nationwide, most in strip malls or free-standing locations on high-traffic streets.
For a fee, Ace Cash Express can cash checks of any kind, including personal, payroll and government checks. Ace also offers short-term "payday" loans, which can be approved in a short time, to those with a job, a bank account and cash-flow issues.
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Among other services, Ace offers home, auto and title loans, as well as prepaid cell phones and prepaid debit cards.
In 2002, Ace settled a lawsuit and agreed to restitution with the Colorado attorney general, who accused the company of charging excessive fees on "payday" loans in violation of state law. In a lawsuit filed by Consumer Action in 2003, lawyers accused Ace locations in California of charging $17 in fees for every $100 borrowed, which equates to an annual percentage rate of more than 443 percent.
Better Business Bureau Rating
The Better Business Bureau gives Ace Cash Express an "F" rating for its business practices. The BBB lists more than 60 complaints tied to billing and fees with the company.