How to File a Formal Complaint About Your Abusive MCA Lender

How to File a Formal Complaint About Your Abusive MCA LenderIf you feel like you‘ve been taken advantage of by your merchant cash advance (MCA) lender, you may want to file a formal complaint. This can help hold them accountable for unethical business practices. Here‘s how to get the ball rolling.Know Your RightsFirst things first – educate yourself on your rights when it comes to MCA agreements. There are both federal and state laws that protect small business owners like yourself.

For example, the FTC requires lenders to disclose the following upfront:

  • Total cost of the financing
  • Payment amounts and frequency
  • Potential penalties or fees

If your agreement didn‘t include this info, that’s strike one.You also have a right to fair collection practices. MCA lenders can’t:

  • Harass you
  • Make false statements
  • Collect more than legally allowed

Now let‘s talk about how to take action if you believe your rights have been violated.Document EverythingBefore filing a complaint, you need to get your ducks in a row. Thoroughly document any interactions with the lender that seemed sketchy, misleading, or abusive.

Examples include:

  • Verbal promises that weren’t included in the contract
  • Threats to damage your credit or business
  • Attempts to collect above legal limits

For phone calls, write down:

  • Time and date
  • Name of representative
  • What was discussed
  • Any concerning statements

For written communications, save copies with the full headers showing date/time stamps.The more precise your documentation, the better.Identify Violations

Next, review your records and identify specific laws or regulations you believe were violated.

For example:

  • The Truth in Lending Act governs disclosure of credit terms
  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act covers collection activities
  • State laws may also apply

Be as detailed as possible in calling out noncompliance. Rather than saying “they broke the law,” explain exactly which terms or actions were unlawful.Submit Complaint to AuthoritiesOnce you‘ve gathered documentation and identified potential legal violations, it‘s time to start filing complaints. Here are some options:Federal Trade Commission (FTC)The FTC protects consumers from unfair business practices.

File a complaint if your lender:

  • Misled you about costs or terms
  • Harassed you or made threats while collecting

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)The CFPB oversees financial products and services.

File with them for:

  • Issues with loan terms or conditions
  • Problems with payments or collections

State Attorney GeneralYour state AG enforces laws against fraud and abuse. Reach out if you experienced:

  • Deception about costs or qualifications
  • Violations of state lending or collection laws

Better Business Bureau (BBB)The BBB allows consumers to submit complaints about mistreatment. They‘ll notify the business and monitor their response. This creates a public paper trail regarding their conduct.Consult an AttorneyFor legal guidance tailored to your situation, consult an attorney. They can review your case and options for recourse.

Depending on the violations, potential claims could include:

  • Breach of contract
  • Fraud or misrepresentation
  • Harassment/abuse

A lawyer can also represent you in filing complaints and any resulting legal action.What to Include in Your ComplaintTo give your grievance the best chance of being addressed, your complaint should include:OverviewBriefly summarize the core issue – i.e. deception about costs, harassment over payments due.TimelineProvide a timeline of key events from first contact to the present day.DocumentationAttach documentation of any concerning statements or transactions.


  • Emails/letters
  • Contract documents
  • Records of payments
  • Call logs

Make sure to explain the significance of each piece of evidence.Desired ResolutionBe clear about the outcome you seek.

Possibilities include:

  • Terminating the agreement
  • Refunding unlawful amounts paid
  • Fixing issues with credit reports


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