A California company that provided financing to Massachusetts residents who wanted to lease rather than buy dogs has agreed to stop that because it's illegal to rent pets here, according to a settlement agreement filed in Suffolk Superior Court today.
According to a settlement with the state Attorney General's office, Monterey Financial Services of Oceanside, CA, was financing 211 dog leases in Massachusetts as of Oct. 29, 2021, with a total loan value of $710,335.20.
In signing the agreement, the company admitted no violations of anything, ever, but said it will simply hand over ownership of the dogs to the current lessees. It also agreed to help a number of residents fix their credit reports, damaged when the company began doggedly pursuing them for payments not made.
The company also agreed to pay $175,000 to Massachusetts residents who wound up paying more on their loans than their "products" were initially worth and $50,000 to the Attorney General's office. The state will use its money to monitor the payments and credit aid to affected consumers and for general consumer education.
The state reached similar agreements with two other dog leasers last year.