The battle against predatory pay-day lenders is not a new issue in Georgia, but recently-appointed Attorney General Chris Carr may have just won the war. A settlement between the state and online lending companies Western Sky Financial, CashCall, and other affiliates has resulted in $40 million going back into the pockets of Georgians who fell victim to the schemes. \
Last Fall the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that out of state online lenders such as the defendants were subject to Georgia’s Payday Lending Act, which dictates that loans of $3,000 or less may not have interest rates above 10%. The ruling threw a wrench into the business of the California-based lending companies, which were charging nearly 20,000 Georgians with interest rates between 140% and 340%.
The settlement demanded the companies pay some $27 million in restitution to their ex-customers as well as offering $17 million in loan relief. An additional $1 million civil penalty to the State and $500,000 in legal fees capped off the deal, the largest monetary settlement with the lender in the nation to date.
A monumental victory for Chris Carr and his legal team, including Counsel for Legal Policy Timothy Butler and Assistant Attorneys General Charlene Swartz, Monica Sullivan and Andrew Chesser. More good press for the AG as he continues to make himself one of the state’s most popular politicians heading into his (re)election bid in 2018.