Adding Internet Lending to Virginia’s Consumer Finance Act – SB 1126 & HB 1443

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

   SB 1126 and HB 1443 simply clarify existing Consumer Finance Act
applies to loans made over the Internet to Virginians

   HB 1443 (Patron: Delegate Peter Farell-R) and SB 1126 (Patron: Senator Scott Surovell-D ) make it clear that the Virginia Consumer Finance Act applies to loans over the internet to Virginians.

   The language in this Bill mirrors what is already part of the Virginia Payday Loan Act and the Motor Vehicle Title Loan Act.    However, this language was not part of the Consumer Finance Act because that Act was passed before the existence of the internet.

   This Bill will help the Virginia Attorney General put a stop to illegal internet lending. The Virginia Attorney General has successfully sued internet lenders for violations of the Payday Loan Act and the open-end credit statute and could use this additional authority to    make sure other internet lenders follow Virginia law when loaning to Virginians.

Many borrowers have called our office for help when they have been the victim of fraud and abuse at the hands of internet lenders. A recent story on WCVE illustrates the problems that occur with unregulated Internet lending.

SB 1126 passed the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee 8-5 and is now before the entire Virginia Senate.

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