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Quinn signs law to protect service members from predatory lenders

Updated: August 17, 2011 10:14AM

Legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Pat Quinn will help protect men and women in uniform from predatory lenders by capping interest rates on certain types of loans for active-duty Illinois service members and their families.

The Illinois Payday Loan Reform Act “helps ensure that our service members and their families don’t fall victim to predatory lending practices,” Quinn said in a release.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore) and Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), increases penalties on creditors that loan money to service members or their dependents at an annual percentage rate greater than 36 percent, the release from Quinn’s office said.

Current federal law prohibits any creditor from loaning money to a service member or their dependents that carries an annual percentage rate of greater than 36 percent. The state law makes violations subject to review by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and punishable by fines of up to $10,000 fine. The rate cap applies to payday loans, vehicle title loans and tax refund anticipation loans.

Quinn also signed legislation to assure disabled veterans have the support they need when returning home. It requires the Illinois Discharged Service member Task Force to investigate the availability of prosthetics, the release said.

The task force is currently charged with reviewing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness, disabilities and other issues facing veterans to identify the most efficient way to assure support in the transition back to civilian life

Both laws take effect Jan. 1.

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