Advance America to Refund California Customers After State Accuses Lender of Charging Illegally High Interest Rates

High-cost lender Advance America will pay refunds to hundreds of California customers after a state regulator accused the firm of charging illegally high interest rates topping 100%.

An Advance America office in Los Angeles is seen in this undated photo. (Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

An Advance America office in Los Angeles is seen in this undated photo. (Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

The action, announced Monday, comes a few months after the Department of Business Oversight took actions against two similar lenders, Check Into Cash and Quick Cash Funding. The state accused all three of duping consumers or taking other improper steps to avoid complying with state interest-rate caps.

The Department of Business Oversight, which regulates private finance companies, said Advance America improperly added fees to customers’ loans, which increased their size and pushed them into a category of loans without rate caps.

The Spartanburg, S.C., company will pay fines and refunds of $160,000 to settle the state’s allegations. As part of the settlement, Advance America did not admit wrongdoing.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.