COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Lawyers suing payday lenders on behalf of South Carolina customers have reached a $2.5 million settlement with several companies.
The lawsuit includes hundreds of thousands of customers who had a high-interest payday loan with the companies named in the lawsuit from Aug. 27, 2004 to Dec. 31, 2009. Those customers could get up to $100.
The original complainants could get $2,500. The attorneys could split $1 million.
A circuit court judge first must approve the terms. Payday lenders maintain they haven't broken any laws. Qualifying customers have until Sept. 1 to file an application to be part of the settlement.
The lawsuit dates to 2007. Advocates for the poor have long accused the industry of trapping the poor in a cycle of debt. The Legislature passed new regulations on the loans last year.
The lenders who are defendants in the lawsuit are:
- Advance America
- 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