Recent Predatory Lending News
There have been a few interesting news items on usury, whether it's a new tactic to swindle consumers, or action being taken by governments to limit usurious activity. It's good to remain informed on these, you don't want to become a victim of a predatory lending practice and end up losing your home, and it's nice to see a city government taking action against criminal lending practices.
The first is from the New York Times. They've addressed a new borrowing technique targeting those who are having trouble making mortgage payments. In the scheme, the homeowner actually gives up the deed of the home, in hopes of receiving cash or free rent. The trouble begins when the greedy, or unlawful, lenders fix conditions so that the deeds are not returned. Read more about New York usury laws.
A nice move in the positive direction comes from the city of San Francisco, California, where the city attorney has filed a lawsuit against what they call "Storefront payday lenders" for deceptive marketing and illegal business practices. Specifically the companies Check n' Go and Money Mart. The city of San Francisco claims these companies are violating the short-term consumer loan laws of California. Also, neither company, apparently, is actually licensed to provide loans in the state. Read more about California usury laws.