New York Warns Payday Loan Debt Collectors

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On February 22, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) sent letters to all debt collectors in the state to remind them that it is illegal to attempt to collect a debt on a payday loan made in New York, even if such loans were made on the Internet. Under New York law, nonbank lenders and state-charted banks are prohibited from making loans or forbearances under $250,000 at an interest rate of 16 percent or higher. Any loans made in violation of those limitations are void and cannot be collected by a debt collector. The DFS claims that “[l]enders attempt to skirt New York’s prohibition on payday lending by offering loans over the Internet, hoping to avoid prosecution.” The DS states that, regardless of the method used to make the loan, payday loans made in New York are not valid debts and cannot lawfully be collected.

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