Dozens of payday-loan stores closing their doors

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PHOENIX -- With the law that allows extremely high-interest loan expiring in just a few days, dozens of payday-loan stores throughout the Valley are closing their doors.

One company -- Cincinnati-based Check 'n' Go -- is closing all 34 of its locations. Other similar companies say they'll keep their doors open, but will offer different products such as car loans. As of earlier this month, some 200 stores -- of the 600 in the state -- had already made requests to stay open.

The allowed annual interest rate for loans is 36 percent. A 10-year exception passed in 2000 allowed payday-loan companies to charges well above that cap. An extension to the exemption was on the last ballot, but voters did not approve it.

There is some concern that some payday loan businesses will continue to operate as they do now.

Earlier this month, the Arizona Attorney General Office announced Operation Sunset, which is designed to crackdown on illegal loans.

Starting July 1, a hotline will be up and running for people to report problems.

Attorney General Terry Goddard said his team will aggressively pursue payday lenders who continue operations.

The Operation Sunset hotline number is 1-866-879-5219.