LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News Release) – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that a lawsuit has been filed against Dennis Bailey and the businesses he controls: Bailey’s Superstore, Inc., Bailey’s Bottleshoppe, Brooks Bailey Enterprises, Inc., Bailey’s On Main, Bailey’s Pawn and Gun, Newsmart Liquor, The Executive, Inc., and Juke Box Saturday Night. The complaint was filed against Bailey and his businesses under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act for his illegal use of the criminal court system to collect debts.
“Bailey and his businesses illegally took advantage of vulnerable Arkansans who needed money to pay their bills or for emergencies,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “In one case, Bailey exploited an Arkansas mother who borrowed money from Bailey to pay for her son’s funeral expenses. These are unacceptable business practices, and I will continue to do the fighting for consumers.”
Bailey loaned large amounts of money to his customers, and as security for the loans Bailey accepted a signed blank check. When the debt was due, consumers could buy the blank check back for the cost of the original loan plus interest. If the consumer were unable to pay the debt on time, Bailey would add the principal and interest together, enter it as the amount to be paid on the check, and deposit it into one of his business bank accounts. If the check returned unpaid by the bank, Bailey turned those checks over to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for enforcement under Arkansas’s Hot Check Law despite the law’s clear prohibition against its use for collection of pre-existing debts. In Fordyce, when consumers do not repay Bailey’s loans on time, consumers can go to jail if convicted.
Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution, attorneys’ fees, costs and other injunctive relief against Bailey and companies.
Victims of these business practices should contact the Attorney General’s office to file a consumer complaint at (800) 482-8982 or go to ArkansasAG.gov.