Florida Senate - 2012                                     SB 438
       By Senator Bennett
       21-00422A-12                                           2012438__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to consumer finance charges; amending
    3         s. 516.031, F.S.; increasing the proportionate loan
    4         amounts that are subject to descending maximum rates
    5         of interest; increasing the maximum delinquency charge
    6         that may be imposed for each loan payment in default
    7         for not less than a specified time; revising the
    8         maximum amount that a lender may impose as a service
    9         charge on a borrower who gives the lender a bad check
   10         in full or partial payment of a loan; reenacting and
   11         amending s. 516.19, F.S., relating to penalties, for
   12         the purpose of incorporating the amendment made to s.
   13         516.031, F.S., in a reference thereto; providing
   14         penalties; providing an effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Subsections (1) and (3) of section 516.031,
   19  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   20         516.031 Finance charge; maximum rates.—
   21         (1) INTEREST RATES.—Every licensee may lend any sum of
   22  money not exceeding $25,000. A licensee may not take a security
   23  interest secured by land on any loan less than $1,000. The
   24  licensee may charge, contract for, and receive thereon interest
   25  charges as provided and authorized by this section. The maximum
   26  interest rate shall be 30 percent per annum, computed on the
   27  first $3,000 $2,000 of the principal amount as computed from
   28  time to time; 24 percent per annum on that part of the principal
   29  amount as computed from time to time exceeding $3,000 $2,000 and
   30  not exceeding $4,000 $3,000; and 18 percent per annum on that
   31  part of the principal amount as computed from time to time
   32  exceeding $4,000 $3,000 and not exceeding $25,000. The original
   33  principal amount as used in this section shall be the same
   34  amount as the amount financed as defined by the federal Truth in
   35  Lending Act and Regulation Z of the Board of Governors of the
   36  Federal Reserve System. In determining compliance with the
   37  statutory maximum interest and finance charges set forth herein,
   38  the computations utilized shall be simple interest and not add
   39  on interest or any other computations. When two or more interest
   40  rates are to be applied to the principal amount of a loan, the
   41  licensee may charge, contract for, and receive interest at that
   42  single annual percentage rate which if applied according to the
   43  actuarial method to each of the scheduled periodic balances of
   44  principal would produce at maturity the same total amount of
   45  interest as would result from the application of the two or more
   46  rates otherwise permitted, based upon the assumption that all
   47  payments are made as agreed.
   48         (3) OTHER CHARGES.—
   49         (a) In addition to the interest, delinquency, and insurance
   50  charges herein provided for, no further or other charges or
   51  amount whatsoever for any examination, service, commission, or
   52  other thing or otherwise shall be directly or indirectly
   53  charged, contracted for, or received as a condition to the grant
   54  of a loan, except:
   55         1. An amount not to exceed $25 to reimburse a portion of
   56  the costs for investigating the character and credit of the
   57  person applying for the loan;
   58         2. An annual fee of $25 on the anniversary date of each
   59  line-of-credit account;
   60         3. Charges paid for brokerage fee on a loan or line of
   61  credit of more than $10,000, title insurance, and the appraisal
   62  of real property offered as security when paid to a third party
   63  and supported by an actual expenditure;
   64         4. Intangible personal property tax on the loan note or
   65  obligation when secured by a lien on real property;
   66         5. The documentary excise tax and lawful fees, if any,
   67  actually and necessarily paid out by the licensee to any public
   68  officer for filing, recording, or releasing in any public office
   69  any instrument securing the loan, which fees may be collected
   70  when the loan is made or at any time thereafter;
   71         6. The premium payable for any insurance in lieu of
   72  perfecting any security interest otherwise required by the
   73  licensee in connection with the loan, if the premium does not
   74  exceed the fees which would otherwise be payable, which premium
   75  may be collected when the loan is made or at any time
   76  thereafter;
   77         7. Actual and reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs as
   78  determined by the court in which suit is filed;
   79         8. Actual and commercially reasonable expenses of
   80  repossession, storing, repairing and placing in condition for
   81  sale, and selling of any property pledged as security; or
   82         9. A delinquency charge not to exceed $15 $10 for each
   83  payment in default for a period of not less than 10 days, if the
   84  charge is agreed upon, in writing, between the parties before
   85  imposing the charge.
   87  Any charges, including interest, in excess of the combined total
   88  of all charges authorized and permitted by this chapter
   89  constitute a violation of chapter 687 governing interest and
   90  usury, and the penalties of that chapter apply. In the event of
   91  a bona fide error, the licensee shall refund or credit the
   92  borrower with the amount of the overcharge immediately but
   93  within 20 days from the discovery of such error.
   94         (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a), any
   95  lender of money who receives a check, draft, negotiable order of
   96  withdrawal, or like instrument drawn on a bank or other
   97  depository institution, which instrument is given by a borrower
   98  as full or partial repayment of a loan, may, if such instrument
   99  is not paid or is dishonored by such institution, make and
  100  collect from the borrower a bad check charge of not greater than
  101  the maximum worthless check service charge permissible under s.
  102  68.065 more than the greater of $20 or an amount equal to the
  103  actual charge made to the lender by the depository institution
  104  for the return of the unpaid or dishonored instrument.
  105         Section 2. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  106  made by this act to section 516.031, Florida Statutes, in a
  107  reference thereto, section 516.19, Florida Statutes, is
  108  reenacted and amended to read:
  109         516.19 Penalties.—Any person who violates any of the
  110  provisions of s. 516.02, s. 516.031, s. 516.05(3), s. 516.05(6),
  111  or s. 516.07(1)(e) commits is guilty of a misdemeanor of the
  112  first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
  113  775.083.
  114         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.