On May 21, 2019, the North Carolina Attorney General’s office (AG) announced that it had obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) as a result of a consent agreement with a Florida-based online lender in a lawsuit it filed in North Carolina state court on May 15, 2019. The AG alleged that the online lender, which was not licensed in North Carolina, offered payday loans at interest rates in excess of what is allowed by North Carolina law. In some cases, interest rates on the loans it offered exceeded 200%. The TRO bars the online lender from offering or making any loans to North Carolina consumers, collecting payments from North Carolina borrowers, repossessing any vehicles in the state of North Carolina, and destroying any business records related to North Carolina borrowers, among other provisions. The online lender claimed that, as of January 5, 2019, it had stopped making loans to North Carolina borrowers, and as of January 28, 2019, it had reduced the interest rates of North Carolina borrowers to 15.99% and retroactively applied that rate to their loans. Despite agreeing to the entry of the TRO, the lender did not admit liability and continues to litigate the case.
Blog Enforcement Watch May 22, 2019