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Payday lender aims to settle NC consumer lawsuit

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) - A major payday lender wants to pay nearly $19 million to settle a North Carolina lawsuit accusing it of violating state consumer finance laws.

Attorneys who filed the lawsuit said Tuesday the deal would mean checks for about 144,000 consumers who got a payday loan at Advance America or National Cash Advance in North Carolina after March 2003.

After attorney fees and other expenses are paid, consumers would divide about $12 million, for about $83 per borrower.

Spartanburg, S.C.-based Advance America Cash Advance Centers Inc. isn't admitting fault in the settlement that needs approval by a New Hanover County judge.

The lawsuit claims Advance America's short-term loans carried annual percentage rates much higher than the state limit of 36 percent.

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