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Hudson Valley

SmartBuy settles for $9.5 million

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Albany/HV: SmartBuy settles for $9.5 million
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NATIONWIDE -- A company that is accused of ruining the credit of thousands of soldiers, has settled a lawsuit with New York State for $9.5 million. The company in question is SmartBuy, based in North Carolina.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said it operated from a kiosk and small storefront at Salmon Run Mall in Watertown, near the Fort Drum Army post. Schneiderman said SmartBuy salesmen talked soldiers into payment contracts with hidden fees and unmanageable interest that ruined the credit of thousands of soldiers.

The settlement wipes out $12.9 million in debt for more than 4,000 soldiers nationwide. SmartBuy has since closed its local operations. The company's lawyer said they are satisfied with the settlement that protects soldiers' credit ratings.

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