Loan fee changes given final North Carolina legislative OK

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NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 16: People walk past a Bank of America branch on April 16, 2014 in New York City. As the nation’s second-largest bank continues to struggle with fallout from the financial crisis, Bank of America reported a $276 million first-quarter loss Wednesday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation to allow North Carolina banks to charge higher loan origination and late fees for a class of consumer loans is heading to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.

The Senate measure received final General Assembly approval on Wednesday with a House vote. The new fee schedule applies to state-chartered banks issuing non-real estate loans up to $300,000.

Supporters of the changes have said current fees are substantially the same since the early 1990s, putting local banks at a disadvantage compared with banks chartered in other states issuing similar loans.

Similar legislation idled last year as consumer groups worried it could attract predatory lenders. Al Ripley with the North Carolina Justice Center says language in this year’s compromise addresses those concerns by capping annual percentage rates charged on the smallest loans.

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