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Calif. regulator fines point-of-sale lender Sezzle over illegal loans

The California Department of Business Oversight has reached a settlement with point-of-sale lender Sezzle Inc., wherein the company agreed to stop making illegal loans, refund $282,000 to California consumers and pay a penalty of $28,200.

The refunds represent all the fees Sezzle has collected from almost 17,000 California consumers in transactions the regulator concluded were illegal loans.

Under the settlement, Sezzle may only provide loans or extensions of credit to California residents under a California Financing Law license.

Separately, Sezzle said it has formally received approval from the department for a lending license in California. The company's license application was previously rejected because of its illegal unlicensed lending activities in the state.

Before receiving the lending license, Sezzle operated in California under a retail installment structure wherein retailers initiated an installment loan and transferred the loan to Sezzle to service. The lending license approval allows the company to transition its services from the prior structure to the direct lending structure it is operating under currently.