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AG Mark Herring Asks Gov. Northam to Accelerate Effective Date of Consumer Lending Reforms

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From AG Mark Herring’s office:

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING ASKS GOVERNOR NORTHAM TO ACCELERATE EFFECTIVE DATE OF CONSUMER LENDING REFORMS

~ Citing the need better protect Virginians during these difficult financial times, AG Herring has asked Gov. Northam to move up the effective date of reforms aimed at curbing predatory lending practices ~

RICHMOND (April 3, 2020) – Citing the need to better protect Virginians during these difficult financial times, Attorney General Mark R. Herring has asked Governor Ralph Northam to move up the effective date of important comprehensive reforms that are aimed at curbing predatory lending practices. In a letter sent to Governor Northam, Attorney General Herring asks that the effective dates for House Bill 789 (Delegate Lamont Bagby) and Senate Bill 421 (Senator Mamie Locke) be moved up from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2020.

“Virginians who find themselves in difficult financial situations because of the coronavirus pandemic may be forced to turn to high interest loans in order to make ends meet during this time,” said Attorney General Herring. “This comprehensive legislation will close easily abused loopholes and tighten the rules on exploitative lenders so that Virginians are more protected from falling into a vicious cycle of debt and high interest rates. I am asking the Governor to amend the effective date for these bills so they can go into effect sooner and protect those Virginians who may need to take out short term loans during this difficult time.”

The legislation tightens the rules on exploitative predatory lenders and closes easily abused loopholes so that Virginia borrowers are afforded protections regardless of the type of loan they seek. It will also give Attorney General Herring’s Predatory Lending Unit more tools to enforce these new protections and better combat predatory lenders operating in the Commonwealth.

Attorney General Herring has made it a priority to protect Virginians from predatory lenders. He created the OAG’s first Predatory Lending Unit to investigate and prosecute suspected violations of state and federal consumer lending statutes, including laws concerning payday loans, car title loans, consumer finance loans, mortgage loans, mortgage servicing, and foreclosure rescue services. The Unit also focuses on consumer education so Virginians are aware of the potential risks of these loans, as well as alternatives.