Have you ever heard the term “predatory lending?” It might make you think of big animals with big teeth. And maybe that $200 you need to make it until your next payday is in the mouth of the meanest looking gator you’ve ever seen. You really need the cash, and the money’s right there, but are you willing to risk a hand? You shouldn’t have to. There are laws in place to protect consumer rights and to guard against unfair credit practices. For example, the Georgia Industrial Loan Act is on your side.
Actual predatory lending may not be quite as dramatic, but it’s almost as scary. Companies that provide things like payday loans tend to prey on people in desperate situations. They’ll make it easy to get the cash you need right now, but this convenience comes at a price.
In states that don’t regulate payday loans, borrowers can be charged interest rates as high as 400 percent, which is CRAZY. And if you don’t pay these lenders back on time, debt collectors will start calling, and calling, and calling . . .
Luckily, in Georgia, there’s a law that protects consumers against predatory lending practices. And this is important because, while payday loans are technically illegal in the state, some of these types of lenders manage to wiggle through loopholes. For the ones that do, the Georgia Industrial Loan Act (GILA) puts restrictions on how certain loans are to be handled.
Big Trouble with Small Loans
All Americans are protected by the federally mandated Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), but Peach State residents get the added protection of the GILA. However, you need to know how this law works in order to understand your rights.
Basically, if you take out a cash loan of $3,000 or less for a term of three months and 15 days or less, your interest rate may not exceed 16 percent. That’s a lot less than 400 percent. Also, your lender is legally required to give you an itemized statement that contains the following information:
- The expected payment schedule
- The total amount of the loan
- An exact total of all interest charges and fees associated with the loan
Of course, even with strict rules about how much you can be charged to take out a small loan, it’s still easy enough for trouble to find you. After all, you were short on cash to begin with. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have needed the loan.
This is exactly the type of dilemma that so many people face. Something comes up, and you need money to cover a repair bill, a medical expense, or some other type of emergency. So, you take out a small loan. You don’t worry because you know you’ll just pay the loan right back when your next payday rolls around. But, of course, LIFE happens, and something else comes up.
Before you know it, you’re behind on payments, and those harassing phone calls start. They’re even bugging you at work. And if you’re forced to let the loan go to collections, there’s no end to the hassle to come. Debt collectors are calling you at all hours of the day, and they might even attempt to contact your family members. It’s a nightmare.
But it really doesn’t have to be. You see, the GILA also protects the rights of borrowers whose accounts have gone to collections. By law, debt collectors are not allowed to threaten you, lie to you about suing you or cause you undue embarrassment. In fact, if you send them a written letter, they HAVE to stop calling you.
Has a collector overstepped these boundaries with you? Well, guess what? YOU can sue THEM.
Are You a Victim of Predatory Lending? Get a Lawyer for FREE
If you’ve been charged WAY too much for a small loan, or if debt collectors are making your life miserable, the law is on your side. Your consumer rights are protected, and you don’t have to be the victim of unfair credit practices.
The team at Credit Repair Lawyers of America has been standing up for consumers since 2008 and we’ll be more than happy to help you next. Get a free, no obligation consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at 404-591-6680 or emailing him at [email protected].