DENVER (Legal Newsline) — Led by Colorado's Cynthia Coffman and Massachusetts' Maura Healey, a bipartisan multi-state coalition of Attorney Generals recently sent a letter to U.S. Senate members urging them to reject legislation that would hamper efforts to fight abusive lending practices.
The consortium of leaders protested the potential impact of enacting HR 3299 (“Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017”) and HR 4439 (“Modernizing Credit Opportunities Act”).
“Colorado has long exercised its sovereign right to protect consumers from abuse by limiting the interest rates that lenders can charge on consumer loans,” Coffman said in a press release. “While state interest rate limits are preempted by federal law for some bank loans, the pending bills seek to improperly expand that preemption to include payday and other non-bank lenders.”
Both HR 3299 and HR 4439 would essentially pre-empt states’ rights regarding usury, the group said in the letter.
Attorney Generals from California, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington also signed the letter.
“I join my fellow State Attorneys General in urging Congress against the further restriction of the States’ ability to protect their citizens from lending abuses,” Coffman said.