North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. File photo.
GREENSBORO, NC -- The North Carolina Attorney General is going after a company you've probably seen advertised on TV.
Western sky is an on-line Payday Lender.
The company gives loans to people and has been known to charge interest of up to 343%.
Monday, NC AG Roy Cooper teamed up with AG's from Colorado, New Hampshire and Indiana. This group along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are filing suit against Western Sky and its partner company CashCall.
The CFPB believes the on-line pay day lenders collected more money than what people owed on their loans. They also say they debited consumer's checking accounts even after they paid their loan.
The AG's got together on a conference call. Cooper mentioned a Greensboro woman who he says was taken advantage of.
"For example, one Greensboro woman who took out a loan of $2,600 made monthly payments totaling more than $4,000 over 14 months only to discover that she still owed more than $2,500 on the principal balance."
Western Sky claims they are under different rules because they are part of a tribal entity on an Indian reservation.
And indeed, on the Western Sky website it says they are a tribal entity in South Dakota.
There is a statement on their website it says, "Unfortunately western sky is not currently accepting any loan applications.
Please periodically check back at our site to see if this status has changed."
Western Sky claims because business is done on an Indian Reservation and state's lack authority to regulate them.
But the CFPB claims Western Sky is really a for-profit company owned by an individual who happens to be a member of an Indian tribe and the company is not owned or operated by a tribe for its benefit.
Brick and mortar payday lending companies have been banned from NC since 2006.
Cooper Western Sky offer loans at interest rates in excess of what is allowed under state law. More than 100 people have complained to the AG's office about this company.