Former United States Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, is now in charge of a new ugly predatory lending company known as Mariner Finance. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discusses this issue.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Tim Geithner is in charge of a company called Mariner. They are predatory, ugly, predatory lenders. Tim Geithner, you might remember, was in charge of our money under the, under the Obama Administration. The predatory lending story has been outrageous. Fortunately, I’m here with Farron Cousins who has followed this story more than anybody I know. It’s an outrageous story.

Tell us how predatory lending works first of all, and then tell us how this DNC sweet heart, okay. DNC sweetheart, Tim Geithner, pals with Larry Summers who is also kind of a DNC sweetheart. How is he now one of the predatory, jackals I’ll call him, that’s really what he is. He’s a…

Farron Cousins: Not only has Geithner become one of the jackals, he has revolutionized these predatory payday lending scams because rather than set up these, you know, run down offices in the poorest parts of neighborhoods, like the Cash Advance, you know, things like that, that we’ve seen in the past with predatory lenders. He has tried to make it into more of an upscale venture. He gives out larger loans, higher interest rates, but larger loans for more money.

And now what he and Mariner are doing, which they now have 450 branches in 22 different states, they’re just, and I wish there was a more sophisticated way to say this, but there’s not. They’re just mailing checks to poor people hoping that the poor people cash the check so that they can catch them and now they’ve got them in this loan that this person may not have known. Plently of times…

Mike Papantonio: Now wait, Farron. That sounds so incredible, but it’s the truth.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Again, the poor person doesn’t ask for the check.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: They do background checks. They see sometimes that the person may have equity in their home. They’ll actually, they do all their homework, but the person is living subsistence existence, barely making payments, barely staying alive, and the Tim Geithner crew, Tim Geithner, Obama’s financial guy now says, well, I got a good idea. We’re gonna mail them a check and if they cash it, we got em. Isn’t that it?

Farron Cousins: And here’s what they do as well. This is part of the scheme. They go through, they look through hospital billing databases. They look through, you know, any kind of car repaired database. Anywhere where you’ve given your name and phone number, things like that, they can see who gets popped with a big bill. Say you just, you know, had a surgery, your insurance covered most of it, but now you have a hospital bill for $5,000. Couple of days later a $5,000 check shows up and you say, okay, well I could really use this right now to pay this and be done with it before that goes to collections.

They also work with collection agencies to find out who owes what. So it is very targeted. It is very sophisticated and these checks do not come with very much explanation.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: A little bit of fine print that nobody reads. They think, oh well, you know, this is a good thing. I’m probably 5 percent interest better than a credit card, reality, almost 40 percent interest on these things and they lock them in. And then…

Mike Papantonio: As a matter of fact, let me just tell you something. Finally, the king of predatory lending went to prison. One of the Kings. Now there’s so many out there right now. Now the new king is Tim Geithner, okay. This is the DNC golden boy, who is now running this pathetic, ugly scam. Let me back up just a second. Before they send the check, they have abilities to find out everything they want to about you.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: They can find out where do you shop, what do you buy, who do you owe money to? Are you behind on your rent? Are you behind on your house payment? They do all of that and they target, they have a matrix that targets. This is the right person, this person hits all of the matrix just right. It’s like throwing a dart and hitting bullseye. So you’re a bullseye. You owe the hospital $5,000, you can’t pay it, you get a $5,000 check and they’ve got you for the rest of your life.

Farron Cousins: Right, and these are people who would not ordinarily even consider doing one of these payday loan scams. But when you’re sitting there and you’ve got that check in your hand and you know, all you have to do is sign the back of it and it’s in the bank and in the other hand you’re looking at that bill and you’re getting the phone calls from the debt collectors.

This check is a lot more likely to get cashed, then if you had to get in your car, go find one of those lending places, handover your car title or whatever it is. This Tim Geithner should be in prison. Tim Geithner should be in prison. That’s the bottom line here.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, I saw a great article that basically said that what’s happened to the Democratic Party is the new face is Wall Street contrasted with a face of Maxine Waters, crazy woman. I mean that’s how they described, it was really well done. It was well thought out. It was well presented. And that’s really what it is. I mean, you’ve got these Wall Street Tim Geithner’s now in charge of the Democratic Party. And on the other side you’ve got, I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s gotten so crazy.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.