SB 1135 - This act creates new provisions relating to traditional installment loans. A traditional installment loan is a fixed-rate, fully-amortized extension of a direct consumer loan.
Lenders seeking to operate a supervised business for the purpose of issuing traditional installment loans are required to register with the Commissioner of Finance of the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions, and Professional Registration in order to receive a license to issue such loans. A license must be obtained for each place of business at which a lender wants to issue traditional installment loans.
The Commissioner has the power to investigate all books and records of the supervised business. The Commissioner may further examine persons under oath if the testimony of such person is relative to the business of the lender.
Interest and fees on traditional installment loans may only be charged, contracted for, or receive interest on an unpaid principal balance at a rate agreed to by the parties. A lender may also charge a fee of 10% of the principal amount loaned, but in no event greater than $100, whichever is greater. Late fees may be charged on each payment in default for a period of not less than 15 days. Such fee shall not exceed 5% of the payment due or $15, whichever is greater. Contracts entered into under this act may provide for a handling fee of $25 or less for instruments refused by any institution, in addition to charges assessed by such institution. Contracts may further provide for the assessment of attorney's fees and court costs.
The act provides for a refund of interest paid if a party prepays in full the amount of interest on a traditional installment loan one month or more before the final installment date.
The act further provides several courses of remedies for traditional installment loan lenders in the event of default by a borrower.
Lenders who do not comply with the provisions of this act, or commit any criminal act, may have their license suspended or revoked after a hearing before the Commissioner. The Commissioner may issue a cease and desist order enforceable by a civil penalty of no more than $1,000 per day of non-compliance, at the discretion of the Commissioner.