Georgia Watch opposes predatory lending practices that trap consumers in debt. Some installment lenders in Georgia take advantage of vulnerable consumers by sending them “live checks” in the mail. Consumers who deposit these checks may unknowingly enter into a loan contract with a lender who charges exorbitant, unaffordable interest rates and fees. Senate Bill 198, introduced by Senator Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) with bipartisan support, prohibits lenders from sending these deposit-able checks or money orders to Georgians without an existing contract. We support SB 198 because it protects Georgia consumers from unknowingly taking out high-cost loans.
Georgia Watch testified on February 22, 2017 in support of SB 198. This bill did not come up for a vote in the Senate before Crossover Day and did not move forward during the 2017 Legislative Session. We will continue to support banning unsolicited checks that amount to predatory lending in the 2018 Legislative Session.
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