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Settlement reached in online payday loan class action

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More than 6,500 Hoosiers will share $1.35 million in a class-action settlement reached in long-running litigation against an online payday lender that in some cases charged finance fees that exceeded 1,000 percent annual percentage rates.

Average class members in the suit against LoanPoint USA should receive checks early next year of about $200, though payments to some class members will exceed $1,000.

The settlement approved by Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg Thursday entitles to relief anyone who received a payday loan from LoanPoint USA between March 23, 2008, and March 23, 2010. The settlement also voids more than $5 million in outstanding loans the lender made to Hoosiers during that period. Plaintiffs allege those loans violated Indiana’s payday-loan statutes, I.C. 24-4.5-7-101 through -414.

Cohen & Malad LLP if Indianapolis is class counsel and announced the settlement Thursday. LoanPoint USA sought to enforce arbitration with class members in appeals that the Indiana Supreme Court and Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear.

“We are glad that some of Indiana’s most financially distressed citizens will be getting meaningful checks to compensate them for the overcharges,” Cohen & Malad class counsel Vess Miller said in a statement.

“This case is a good example of why class actions are so important,” Miller said. “None of LoanPoint’s victims could reasonably afford to bring a lawsuit over their few hundred dollars, but because we were able to bring a class action we were able to make sure that thousands of people will get back the money they deserve and that LoanPoint is held accountable.”

The LoanPoint USA defendants, who include Mark Curry and affiliated companies Geneva-Roth Ventures Inc., and Geneva-Roth Capital Inc., also are barred from originating loans in Indiana until they register with the Department of Financial Institutions and comply with payday lending laws, according to the settlement.

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