Matco Tools & TD Bank worked together to scam Matco franchise owners, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and American taxpayers, according to a class action franchise lawsuit filed by Marks & Klein, LLP of Red Bank, N.J. yesterday.
The press release issued by Marks & Klein, LLP is included below.
UnhappyFranchisee.com intends to follow this case and other allegations against Matco as they unfold.
If you are familiar with the Matco Tools franchise or distributorship programs, please share your insights or opinions with a comment below.
Representatives of Matco Tools, TD Bank or others are invited to submit clarification, opposing opinions or rebuttals for publication. Contact the site ADMIN at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.
Also read: MATCO TOOLS Franchise Complaints.
* * * * *
Marks & Klein franchise lawsuit press release:
Father & Son File Lawsuit Against Matco Tools and TD Bank
Class Action Lawsuit Claims the Tool Company and Bank Engaged in Widespread SBA Loan Fraud
TRENTON – A father and son – David Villano, Jr. and David Villano III, through their attorneys, Marks & Klein, LLP of Red Bank, N.J., today filed a class action lawsuit against TD Bank and Matco Tools, Inc. alleging the tool company franchisor and the bank engaged in a loan fraud scheme to encourage unsophisticated borrowers to enter into risky business loans to buy Matco Tools franchises.
The scheme enabled Matco to sell more franchises and TD Bank to make risky loans without concern. The bank knew if the loans failed, the loans would ultimately be repaid by United States taxpayers through the SBA guaranteed loan program. Data from the SBA shows that from 2000 to 2010, Matco Tools’ SBA loans had a staggering 37.3 percent failure rate.
“It is most unfortunate that SBA loans, which are designed to assist aspiring entrepreneurs to finance a new business venture and benefit the economy could, as alleged in this case, be used for such deceitful purposes,” said Gerald A. (Jerry) Marks, Esq., lead plaintiff counsel.
“Many individuals like the Villanos have unknowingly been exploited,” Marks said. “We are seeking treble damages to discourage this sort of conduct from happening again in the future. United States taxpayers have unwittingly been `bailing out’ lenders like TD for years on defaulted loans that should never have been made in the first place.”
The lawsuit alleges that Matco and TD conspired to make loans using secret three-year income projections, in violation of FTC franchise disclosure regulations. Specifically, Matco would deliver the secret three-year income projections to TD Bank with a letter, instructing bank officials not to disclose the projections to loan applicants.
The bank would then use the income projections to qualify the loans for SBA financing. But Matco kept the projections secret because it knew of the high rate of failure among its franchisees and feared the lackluster projections would be used by failed franchisees filing suit.
The lawsuit further states that Matco, TD Bank and other unscrupulous SBA lenders preyed upon the Villanos and other unsophisticated borrowers because of their perception that the lender would not make the loan unless it believed the Matco franchise was an acceptable business opportunity.
According to the lawsuit, TD Bank profited through its collection of loan origination fees as well as interest on the loan principal, which it collected from borrowers while these improper loans were current. When the loans would ultimately fail, TD bank and other lenders would pass along the loss to the American taxpayer, as SBA loans are 90 percent guaranteed by taxpayers, according to the FDIC.
Matco, as the franchisor, would likewise profit from the sale of a new franchise and having its franchised distributors sell tool products for two to three years in a designated route, before ultimately failing and being replaced by a new franchisee.
“Matco and TD had the ability to perpetuate this scheme because of a self-serving lending culture that was more than happy to originate and collect fees and pass along the risk of loss to its customers and taxpayers, even if the law was being violated,” said Louis Tambaro, Esq., another member of Marks & Klein. “By bringing this lawsuit as a national class action, we look forward to exposing the dark underbelly of a destructive lending culture.”
* * * * *
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH MATCO TOOLS FRANCHISE OR DISTRIBUTORSHIP? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Contact the author or site admin at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.