State offices and all DLLR physical locations will be closed to the public December 24 & December 25, 2014. However, Unemployment Insurance telephone and Web operations WILL be available on Wednesday, December 24.

DLLR News

 

Maryland Scores High Marks for Protecting Consumers from Abusive Lending Practices

 

BALTIMORE (9-9-08) – Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez today announced that because of the work being done by the Division of Financial Regulation, Maryland was singled out as a leader in consumer protection against the abusive lending practices of excessive interest charges on certain small dollar loans.

A new joint report by the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, and the National Consumer Law Center evaluates various state statutory maximum annual percentage rate (APR) of interest for four typical small dollar loan products. The four loan products evaluated in the report are:

  • Payday loans;
  • Auto title loans;
  • Six-month, $500 unsecured installment loans; and
  • One-year, $1,000 unsecured installment loans

States received a “passing” grade if the loan product’s APR was 36 percent or less or if they prohibited payday or auto title loans. Maryland, Arkansas, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia and the District of Columbia all received a “passing” grade in this study.

“The drop in home equity values and mounting credit card and other debt are just some of the reasons why many consumers are increasingly turning to alternative forms of credit,” said Commissioner Sarah Bloom Raskin. “Many consumers are realizing they don’t have any other credit options except for the small dollar loan products, and the positive evaluation of Maryland’s regulatory practices should be a reminder to Maryland consumers that we are attempting to safeguard these consumers during these tough economic times.”

The full report (PDF document, 98KB, download Adobe Acrobat for free) released by the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, and the National Consumer Law Center is available for download.

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