Florida-based lender will pay NC $825,000 to resolve illegal loan claims

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Florida-based lender will pay $825,000 while resolving a legal complaint that had accused the firm of making illegal small loans in North Carolina.

A Wake County judge agreed to the settlement between Approved Financial Inc. and Attorney General Josh Stein.

He had accused Approved Financial of unlicensed lending, unlawful debt collection, and unfair and deceptive activity.

The company doesn’t admit violating the law.

Stein alleged the company made over 400 online loans — typically from $1,000 to $2,500 — with high-interest rates secured by the titles on the borrowers’ vehicles, Stein’s office said in a news release.

Such loans — in which cars can be sold when payments are late or loans go into default — are illegal in North Carolina.

Stein alleged the company attempted to avoid the prohibition by asking many people to pick up money across the border.

Some settlement funds will go to consumers whose loans are being canceled and forgiven, Stein’s office said, while another portion will be fee and interest refunds.

About 75 customers whose vehicles were repossessed and sold also will benefit.

The settlement, finalized last Friday, also bars Approved Financial from making consumer loans in North Carolina.

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