South Carolina borrowers have won a $2.5 million class action lawsuit settlement against the state’s payday lending industry. If approved, the class action settlement could result in claims of about $100 for anyone who took out a short-term, high-interest payday loan between 2004 and 2009 with such lenders as Advance America, Check Into Cash, and more than a dozen others.
The settlement will resolve a 2007 class action lawsuit against 17 South Carolina lenders that accused them of providing payday loans to individuals they knew could not afford to pay them back and spiraling them into debt. Until last year, lenders could extend payday loans for a period of two weeks by exchanging cash for a post-dated check to the lender that include the principal plus interest (for example, an original loan of $300 would then cost $345 with interest). If the borrower could not repay at the end of the period, the loans were often rolled over and the customer would be assessed an additional $45 interest fee. Some borrowers would even have to take out multiple loans to cover their outstanding loans. As a result, many borrowers were trapped in a spiraling cycle of debt.
Class members for this class action lawsuit include all South Carolina citizens who entered into a payday loan in South Carolina with any of the following Defendants from August 27, 2004 through December 31, 2009:
Cash Advance Centers of South Carolina, Inc.
Advance America, Cash Advance Centers, Inc.
Carolina Payday Loans, Inc.
Southern Fast Loans of South Carolina, Inc. d/b/a Quick Cash
Check Into Cash of South Carolina, Inc.
Check ’N Go of South Carolina, Inc.
Southern Specialty Finance, Inc.
QC Holdings Cos.
QC Financial Services, Inc.
Local Cash Advance of SC, LLC
Local Cash Advance of South Carolina III, LLC
Local Cash Advance of South Carolina II, LLC
Local Cash Advance of SC IV, LLC
Express Check Advance of South Carolina, LLC
Check Advance, Inc.
Crusader Cash Advance of South Carolina, LLC d/b/a Crusader Cash Advance
The class action lawsuit settlement provides the following benefits to four types of class members, which are outlined in the class action settlement notice. Depending on which class you fall in, you can have all of your delinquent debt you owe on the payday loans 100% forgiven, 75% forgiven, or given the opportunity to participate in an Extended Payment Plan. You may also submit a claim for up to $100.
All claim forms must be postmarked no later than September 1, 2010. You have until August 27, 2010 to opt out of the class action settlement. A fairness hearing will be held on September 15, 2010. For more information, including a downloadable claim form, visit scpaydayclaimsettlement.net.
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