Attorney Van Smith was featured in the Chester Village News in September 2013, advocating for tightly regulating the expansion of car title lender companies in Chesterfield County, Virginia.
An excerpt is below:
Vehicle title lending LoanMax case continued for 30 days
LoanMax, a vehicle title lender that can charge 220 percent interest by state law, has applied to locate one of its businesses in a former 7-Eleven at the corner of Jefferson Davis Highway. The case has been deferred for 30 days until Oct. 23.
After a motion by Chairman Dorothy Jaeckle, which she explained as wanting to give the applicant a chance to work with its lease, motioned to defer the case until the second meeting in October. After a second she asked, as is required, if anyone wanted to speak to the referral.
The Chester Community Association’s attorney, Van Smith, argued that there were a number of items that should be addressed before a final vote by the Board was made. Muriel Phaup also spoke to the deferral asking that the case simply be denied.
In a conversation with Chairman Jaeckle, she said she doesn’t expect the case to be approved saying a stand-alone AFI (Alternative Lending Institute) is not appropriate, though Ms. Phaup says the public should be diligent, attend the meeting on Oct. 23 and voice their opinion. She also said that the more people who attend, whether they speak or not, will send a message to all the supervisors to ensure that the case does not pass.
The Planning Commission is currently reviewing a policy that would prevent AFIs from locating in a single building and would require them to locate in a shopping center of more than three businesses.
A TitleMax was approved three months ago for the shopping strip that extends behind Panera Bread on Jefferson Davis Highway in the Breckinridge Shopping Center.