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High interest lending draws state attorney general into case

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(The Center Square) – An auto lender from South Carolina dealing in triple-digit interest rates has drawn the ire and litigation inclusion of North Carolina’s attorney general.

Auto Money North, with customers in the state but its stores in South Carolina, has exceeded state law, a release from Josh Stein’s office says. The cap is 18% for unlicensed lenders and 33% for licensed lenders on loans in exchange for a lien that can be used to repossess a borrower’s car if the loan is not repaid on time.

Predatory high interest loan lenders have been booted from North Carolina for some time.

“We’re not letting them back in,” Stein said in the release. “I will not let this lender or others levy illegal high interest loans against North Carolinians.”

One example cited in the release says Auto Money North loaned $18,186 to a couple and added interest and additional charges totaling $98,339.75.

Stein filed a brief in federal court defending state law. Auto Money North is challenging the constitutionality of the state law. Defendants are Darin Walters, Carla Walters, Timothy McQueen and Cecilia McQueen, with the state an intervenor in the lawsuit.

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