California Payday Lender Refunds $800,000 to Settle Predatory Lending Allegations

A California payday lender has agreed to refund about $800,000 to consumers to settle allegations it steered borrowers into high-interest loans and engaged in other illegal practices, state officials said Monday.

California Check Cashing Stores also agreed to pay $105,000 in penalties and other costs in a consent order with the state’s Department of Business Oversight, which has been cracking down on payday and other high-cost consumer loans that critics allege are predatory.

The agency, which oversees financial service providers and products, has taken similar actions against four other companies since late 2017 as part of an effort to enforce the state’s limits on interest rates for payday and other small-dollar loans.

The settlement involves alleged violations regarding administration of payday loans, which are capped at $300, and the steering of borrowers into consumer loans of more than $2,500 to avoid rate caps.

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