Arkansas S.C. rules Check-Cashers Act unconstitutional

Drew Smith Nov. 7, 2008, 3:00pm

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) - The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled the state's Check-Cashers Act of 1999 was unconstitutional because of the triple-digit interest rates it allowed lenders to charge consumers.

The court, in a 6-0 decision handed down Thursday, ruled that the Check-Cashers Act "clearly and unmistakably conflicts with our constitution and is unconstitutional."

In its decision, the court claimed the fees charged by the check-cashers are the same as interest and the rates they charge are illegal. State law limits interest rates on any loans to 17 percent.

Those representing the check-cashing companies argued that the companies provide a service to Arkansas citizens that wouldn't otherwise be available. The justices rejected that argument claiming it was their duty to only to "carry into effect according to its true intent."

Justice Elana Wills, who was recently sworn into the court, did not participate in the case.

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Arkansas Supreme Court
625 Marshall St
Little Rock, AR 72201

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