On January 27, 2020, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (North Carolina AG) reached a settlement with an out-of-state payday lender for $825,000. The Attorney General obtained a consent temporary restraining order against the lender in May 2019 based on allegations that the lender was not licensed to operate in North Carolina, yet issued usurious consumer loans to consumers that exceeded the interest rate permitted under North Carolina law. According to the North Carolina AG, the lender contacted North Carolina consumers over the internet and issued more than 400 loans ranging in the amounts of $600 to $15,000 with interest rates between 78 to 252 percent, in violation of North Carolina’s Consumer Finance Act, usury laws, Debt Collection Act, and Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Under the consent order, the lender agreed to pay $481,403 in consumer restitution, $301,665 in loan forgiveness, and $30,000 in attorney’s fees. The lender is also permanently enjoined from soliciting, offering, arranging, making, or collecting payments on consumer loans in the state of North Carolina unless it obtains proper licensure.