July 15, 2021
Cliff Andrews obtained a copy of S. 2349, which was filed yesterday, July 14th, by Senators Durbin (Illinois), Merkley (Oregon), Blumenthal (Connecticut), and Whitehouse (Rhode Island). The bill amends TILA and imposes a cap on “fee and interest” of 36 per cent on closed-end transactions covered by TILA. It contains limited tolerances that do not appear to be helpful for pawn transactions.
The CFPB will receive new authority to regulate disclosure of the fees and interest rates established by this bill.
Consumers whose transactions violate the rate cap will be able to use private rights of action that are provided now in TILA’s Section 130(a). The transactions will be void and unenforceable by the credit providers, who will also be required to return the principal, interest, charges, fees, and “any security interest associated with such transaction.” The bill’s language is a bit awkward, but the message is clear: it will unwind the transaction.
State Attorneys General will have enforcement authority on their own, as well as the CFPB. These enforcement powers will come with stiff penalties.
As we again advised you earlier this week at Pawn Expo, the filing of federal rate cap legislation has been expected. We have not seen anything from the House of Representatives as of today, but feel it is just a matter of time. When we know, so will you.
We will continue to analyze S. 2349, prepare talking points, and issue a ‘call to action’ at the appropriate time. As the ink is not even dry on this bill it would be premature to start calling, emailing, texting, etc. your Senators now, but stay tuned.
This GRC Legislative Alert is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice to NPA members.
Members should consult their own lawyers for legal advice.
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