Judge Approves $ 18.5 Million Settlement Ends Payday Loan Dispute



By Kelly Zegers (February 26, 2020, 6:09 p.m. EST) – A Virginia federal judge on Tuesday ordered preliminary approval of a $ 18.5 million settlement of claims that a former financial technology company Google leader and a tribal corporation have stranded consumers with payday loans bearing triple-digit interest rates.

Consumers in the proposed class action had accused former Google chief information officer Douglas Merrill and the company he founded, ZestFinance Inc., of hiding behind the sovereign immunity of a Dakota tribal company from North while issuing short term loans with interest rates of up to 460%.

Beyond the settlement payment, the deal wipes out $ 170 million in unpaid consumer debt.

Some 366,000 individuals who have entered into loan agreements …

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