Less than 72 hours after a community group threatened to serve Associates First Capital Corp. with lawsuits charging predatory lending, the subprime lender announced a new low-rate loan and pledged $100 million toward the group's lending programs.

On May 7, Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, a high-profile community group in Boston, faxed press releases to the media promising to expose Associates' "greed and avarice" at the company's May 10 shareholder meeting by serving the company with lawsuits and bringing "loan victims" to speak to shareholders.

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