When a lender “willfully” charges interest in excess of statutory limits, civil usury penalties may apply. However, Florida’s usury statutes provide for two exceptions to the application of civil usury penalties.
There are two “tiers” of penalties for violation of the Florida usury statutes, one civil and the other criminal, and both are severe. Civil penalties usually involve forfeiture of the entire interest charged (or contracted...more
Because intent is a key element of usury, a lender may be able to successfully defend against a claim of usury if it can demonstrate that the interest was demanded, or in some cases even collected, through inadvertent error....more
When borrowers default under the terms of their loans, lenders often, in accordance with the loan documents, can assess late fees against the borrower. When lenders assess late fees around the time of or after a loan matures...more
Many lending institutions use the 365/360 method of calculating interest on their loans. This method involves applying the ratio of the annual interest over a year of 360 days, multiplied by the outstanding principal balance,...more
A usury savings clause is a provision in a loan document that attempts to negate any other provisions therein that might result in the extraction of an illegal interest rate....more
Usury under Florida law is largely a matter of intent. It is not fully determined by the fact that the lender actually received more than law permits but by the existence of a corrupt purpose in the lender’s mind to charge...more
Under Florida law, usury is defined as the willful and knowing charge or receipt of interest in excess of 18% per year for credit transactions involving less than $500,000 or between 25% and 45% per year in a credit...more