Attorney General Hector Balderas
ALBUQUERQUE ― Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas joined a bi-partisan effort of attorneys general urging U.S. Congressional leadership to vote against HR 3299 (“Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017”) and HR 4439 (“Modernizing Credit Opportunities Act”).
The coalition of 20 AG’s sent a letter to leadership in the U.S. Senate expressing their opposition to the proposed legislation, which would invalidate the States’ ability to limit interest rates on payday and other high interest loans, and undermine the State’s ability to enforce consumer protection laws.
“This proposed legislation would amount to nothing short of exploitation of hard-working New Mexicans by predatory payday lenders,” Balderas said. “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. 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.”
As the Attorneys General expressed in the letter, HR 3299 and HR 4439 would constitute a substantial expansion of the preemption of state usury laws, which have long been recognized as the purview of the individual States. Over decades, States have crafted laws that create a careful balance between the need for access to credit and the need to ensure that loans are offered on terms that do not create consumer harm.
Joining Attorney General Balderas are attorneys general from California, Colorado District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.