Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Protect Illinois Servicemembers from Predatory Lenders

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will help protect Illinois' men and women in uniform from predatory lenders. The new law caps interest rates on certain types of loans under the Illinois Payday Loan Reform Act (PLRA) for active-duty Illinois servicemembers and their families.

“We have a duty to do everything we can to support our men and women in uniform who sacrifice every day for our country,” Governor Quinn said. “This legislation helps ensure that our servicemembers and their families don’t fall victim to predatory lending practices.”

House Bill 3257, sponsored by Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore) and Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), increases penalties on creditors that loan money to servicemembers or their dependents at an annual percentage rate that is greater than 36 percent.

Current federal law prohibits any creditor from loaning money to a servicemember or their dependents that carries an annual percentage rate of greater than 36 percent. House Bill 3257 helps protect military families from predatory lending practices by making violations subject to review by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and punishable by fine of up to $10,000 fine. The rate cap applies to payday loans, vehicle title loans and tax refund anticipation loans.

Governor Quinn also today signed legislation to help ensure that disabled Illinois Veterans have the support they need when returning home from service. Sponsored by Rep. Rosemary Mulligan (R-Des Plaines) and Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), House Bill 3315 requires the Illinois Discharged Servicemember Task Force to investigate the availability of prosthetics offered to Illinois Veterans. The task force is currently charged with reviewing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness, disabilities and other issues facing Illinois veterans to identify the most efficient way to make sure servicemembers have the support they need to transition back into civilian life.

Both laws take effect Jan. 1.