THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued halt orders against Goodpocket and Easymoney Lending Corp. for engaging in unauthorized lending activities.

“The acts of these unregistered Online Lending Operators in illegally offering and providing loans to the public, charging high-interest rates, and subjecting its debtors to unfair treatment through abusive and even libelous language in collecting the loaned amount, have no place in a society that is governed by and faithfully adheres to positive laws,” the Commission En Banc said.

The regulator said it received complaints about the two entities’ unfair collection processes. This includes posting libelous statements against borrowers on social media pages on top of sending similar statements to their borrowers’ contacts.

Neither Goodpocket nor Easymoney Lending is registered with the commission as a corporation and neither has the required Certificates of Authority to operate as a lending or financing company.

The Commission En Banc said the activities of Goodpocket and Easymoney Lending “constitutes actual fraud which was intentionally employed to lead the public into the belief that they are legally authorized to engage in the lending business, which is not and has never been the case.”

Republic Act No. 9474 or the Lending Company Regulation Act of 2007 (LCRA) provides that persons or entities that operate as lending companies should register as corporations and get a certification from the SEC before conducting lending transactions.

The Commission En Banc ordered the two entities on Jan. 18 to cease and desist from their lending activities and transactions until required authorization from the commission is secured.

“The companies, their owners, operators, promoters, representatives, and agents were further enjoined to cease from offering and advertising their lending business through the internet or any other media, and to remove all materials involving such,” the regulator said.

The SEC has canceled the licenses of 36 financing and lending companies due to their violations of rules and regulations. It has also since revoked the registration of 2,081 lending companies for not securing a certificate of authority as prescribed by the LCRA.

There are 60 online lending applications that have been ordered to stop their operations for not having secured authority to operate as a lending or financing company. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte