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2010 Florida Statutes

F.S. 687.03
687.03 “Unlawful rates of interest” defined; proviso.
(1) Except as provided herein, it shall be usury and unlawful for any person, or for any agent, officer, or other representative of any person, to reserve, charge, or take for any loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance to enforce the collection of any sum of money, or other obligation a rate of interest greater than the equivalent of 18 percent per annum simple interest, either directly or indirectly, by way of commission for advances, discounts, or exchange, or by any contract, contrivance, or device whatever whereby the debtor is required or obligated to pay a sum of money greater than the actual principal sum received, together with interest at the rate of the equivalent of 18 percent per annum simple interest. However, if any loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance to enforce the collection of a debt, or obligation exceeds $500,000 in amount or value, it shall not be usury or unlawful to reserve, charge, or take interest thereon unless the rate of interest exceeds the rate prescribed in s. 687.071. The provisions of this section shall not apply to sales of bonds in excess of $100 and mortgages securing the same, or money loaned on bonds.
(2)(a) The provisions of this section and of s. 687.02 shall not apply to loans or other advances of credit made pursuant to:
1. A commitment to insure by the Federal Housing Administration.
2. A commitment to guarantee by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
3. A commitment to purchase a loan issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association; Government National Mortgage Association; Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation; any department, agency, or instrumentality of the Federal Government; or any successor of any of them, pursuant to any provision of the acts of Congress or federal regulations.
(b) This act shall apply only to loans or advances of credit made subsequent to the effective date of this act. All present laws shall remain in full force and effect as to loans or advances of credit made prior to the effective date of this act.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any lessor or merchant, or any person who lends money or extends any other form of credit, who is regularly engaged in the business of selling or leasing merchandise, goods, or services which are for other than personal, family, or household purposes, or any assignee of such lessor, merchant, or person who lends money or extends any other form of credit, who is the holder of a commercial installment contract, each of which persons or entities is subject to the laws of any jurisdiction of the United States, any state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or insular possession of the United States, may, if the contract so provides, charge a delinquency charge on each installment which is in default for a period of not less than 10 days in an amount not in excess of 5 percent of such installment. However, only one such delinquency charge may be collected on any installment, regardless of the period during which it remains in default. A delinquency charge imposed pursuant to this paragraph shall not be deemed interest or a finance charge made incident to or as a condition to the grant of the loan or other extension of credit and shall not be included in determining the limit on charges, as provided by this section, which may be made in connection with the loan or other extension of credit as provided by law of this state.
(3) For the purpose of this chapter, the rate of interest on any loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance to enforce the collection of a debt, or other obligation to pay interest shall be determined and computed upon the assumption that the debt will be paid according to the agreed terms, whether or not said loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance to enforce collection of a debt, or other obligation is paid or collected by court action prior to its term, and any payment or property charged, reserved, or taken as an advance or forbearance, which is in the nature of, and taken into account in the calculation of, interest shall be valued as of the date received and shall be spread over the stated term of the loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance to enforce collection of a debt, or other obligation for the purpose of determining the rate of interest. The spreading of any such advance or forbearance for the purpose of computing the rate of interest shall be calculated by first computing the advance or forbearance as a percentage of the total stated amount of such loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance to enforce collection of a debt, or other obligation. This percentage shall then be divided by the number of years, and fractions thereof, of the loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance to enforce collection of a debt, or other obligation according to its stated maturity date, without regard to early maturity in the event of default. The resulting annual percentage rate shall then be added to the stated annual percentage rate of interest to produce the effective rate of interest for purposes of this chapter. Moreover, for the purposes of this chapter, a loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance, or other obligation shall be deemed to exceed $500,000 in amount or value if:
(a) The outstanding principal indebtedness of such loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance, or other obligation initially exceeds $500,000; or
(b) The aggregate principal indebtedness of such loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance, or other obligation may reasonably be expected to exceed $500,000 during the term thereof, notwithstanding the fact that less than that amount in the aggregate is initially or at any time thereafter advanced in one transaction or a series of related transactions; or
(c) Such loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance, or other obligation exceeds $500,000 at any time, notwithstanding the fact that such indebtedness is or is not subsequently reduced to less than $500,000 and thereafter additional amounts are advanced in one transaction or a series of related transactions which in the aggregate do not exceed $500,000.
(4) If, as provided in subsection (3), a loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance, or other obligation exceeds $500,000, then, for the purposes of this chapter, interest on that loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance, or other obligation shall not include the value of property charged, reserved, or taken as an advance or forbearance, the value of which substantially depends on the success of the venture in which are used the proceeds of that loan, advance of money, line of credit, forbearance, or other obligation. Stock options and interests in profits, receipts, or residual values are examples of the type of property the value of which would be excluded from calculation of interest under the preceding sentence.
(5) As amended by chapter 79-592, Laws of Florida, chapter 79-274, Laws of Florida, which amended subsection (1):
(a) Shall apply only to loans, advances of credit, or lines of credit made on or subsequent to July 1, 1979, and to loans, advances of credit, or lines of credit made prior to that date if the lender has the legal right to require full payment or to adjust or modify the interest rate, by renewal, assumption, reaffirmation, contract, or otherwise; and
(b) Shall not be construed as diminishing the force and effect of any laws applying to loans, advances of credit, or lines of credit, other than to those mentioned in paragraph (a), completed prior to July 1, 1979.
History.s. 2, ch. 4022, 1891; GS 3105; s. 2, ch. 5960, 1909; RGS 4851; CGL 6938; s. 2, ch. 29705, 1955; s. 1, ch. 70-331; s. 2, ch. 73-298; s. 1, ch. 74-232; ss. 1, 2, ch. 76-124; s. 1, ch. 77-374; s. 1, ch. 78-211; ss. 13, 15, ch. 79-274; s. 258, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 79-592; s. 2, ch. 80-310; s. 34, ch. 93-268; s. 4, ch. 95-234.