Mayday for Payday [Lenders in North Carolina]!
The battle continues….North Carolina consumers are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous payday lenders but the good guys and girls are fighting back. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has announced the filing of a lawsuit against a large national payday lender, Western Sky. The lawsuit alleges Western Sky, which provides online payday loans, charges interest and fees that exceed those allowed in North Carolina. Western Sky has frequently claimed sovereign immunity from lending and interest rate laws (and other consumer laws) across the United States based on the fact it is headquartered on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
The lawsuit alleges several North Carolina residents who contacted Western Sky for loans after seeing the Western Sky television commercials or other advertisements. These loans became abusive when the consumers repaid a large chunk of money and were told they still owed huge amounts on their loans. Western Sky and it’s affiliates proceeded to ramp up collection action and even place negative entries on the consumers’ credit reports.
The current lawsuit seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief clearly aimed at sending a message to Western Sky and all other payday lenders doing business in North Carolina. Interestingly enough, in early September  Western Sky laid off almost 100 employees and suspended operations due to “unwarranted regulator overreach”—whatever that means. I suppose charging interest rates and fees in excess of what is legal could be deemed “unwarranted lender overreach”.
Payday lenders transacting business in North Carolina should be on notice that they will be monitored and pursued if the need arises. Earlier this year the Attorney General’s Office reached a $18.75 million settlement with America’s largest payday lender, Advance America. Many North Carolina residents are affected by illegal and unethical practices of payday lenders and online lenders. The O’Neal Law Office represents individuals who have been the victim of abusive lending or harassing debt collection practices by payday lenders and other financial institutions. Contact the office for your free consultation.
- Posted in: Consumer Law/Consumer Protection ♦ Debt Collection Defense
- Tagged: Advance America settlement, Attorney General Roy Cooper, attorneys' fee, CashCall, Chapter 75, Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Consumer Finance Act, credit reporting, damages, injunction, lawsuit, online loan, payday lending, shutdown, unfair debt collection, usury, Western Sky