Missouri Increases Allowable Short-Term Loan Fees

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On September 11, the Missouri General Assembly voted to override the governor’s veto and enact HB 329, which, among other things, increases the allowable fees on short-term loans. The bill increases the maximum fee that a creditor can charge on a loan for 30 days or longer, other than open-end credit, from 5% to 10% of the principal amount of the loan, up to $75. Similarly, for open-end credit contracts tied to a transaction account in a depository institution with a contract that provides for loans of 31 days or longer, the bill increased maximum credit advance fee from the lesser of $25 or 5% of the credit advanced to the lesser of $75 or 10% of the credit advanced. The bill also (i) requires the Division of Finance and the Division of Credit Unions to report annually certain information about state financial institutions in each county or city with a population of more than 250,000, including the number and type of violations, a statement of enforcement actions taken, the names of institutions found to be in violation, the number and nature of complaints received, and the action taken on each complaint, and (ii) allows the division directors to conduct consumer hearings if the director has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, removing the requirement that the director’s decision be based on an examination, an investigation of a complaint that has not been resolved by negotiation, a report by the financial institution, or any public document or information. Governor Jay Nixon sought to halt the legislation in July, citing concerns of the substantial increased cost to consumers.