|For Immediate Release
|April 16, 2004
||Contact: Cheryl Weiss
Predatory Lending Bill Signed into Law
Governor Doyle signs bill increasing restrictions
on lenders who make high cost mortgage loans
(Madison) - Governor Doyle drew applause from industry representatives
and consumer advocates when he signed Assembly Bill 792, the predatory
lending bill. The Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions,
Lorrie Keating Heinemann, congratulated the Governor saying, "Assembly
Bill 792 is a great example of meaningful legislation combating an issue
that negatively impacts our communities," and added, "I am so
pleased that all the interested parties worked with the legislators to
deliver this bill to Governor Doyle."
Among other provisions, Assembly Bill 792:
- Increases the number of loans that fall under the new restrictions
by expanding the definition of a "high cost mortgage loan";
- Requires a lender to consider a borrower's ability to repay the high
cost loan, not merely the equity in their home;
- Limits prepayment penalties to within the first 36 months of the
loan and requires the option of a loan without a prepayment penalty;
- Prohibits balloon payments, the financing of single premium credit
insurance, the refinancing of zero interest loans, loan flipping and
the enforcement of security interests on household goods;
- Provides parity for state-chartered, federally insured depository
"Homeowners are the cornerstone of our economy and these new restrictions
help prevent them from being taken advantage of," Keating Heinemann
Governor Doyle also vetoed Assembly Bill 665, which made some changes
to the regulations of the payday lending industry. Secretary Keating Heinemann
stated, "We did not feel that AB 665 would be an effective piece
of legislation" and added, "many states have found a way to
protect consumers from getting trapped into long-term payday debt while
maintaining a profitable payday lending sector. We can achieve that type
of compromise in Wisconsin."
Wisconsin is one of only a few states that do not have stricter regulations
on the payday lending industry. For example, Assembly Bill 665 included
a maximum loan amount of $5,000 whereas the average maximum amount across
other states with payday lending laws is around $500. The bill included
a limit on loan rollovers but not an enforcement mechanism for that limit
or a limit on the number of loans a borrower may have out at one time.
Also enacted were:
-- Assembly Bill 793, which exempts all intangible property, such as
bank accounts, of a nonresident decedent from Wisconsin's estate tax.
-- Assembly Bill 890, which allows members of a nonprofit corporations
to meet and vote by electronic communications.
-- Assembly Bill 279, which sets competency exam and continuing education
requirements for loan originators.
-- Senate Bill 320, which puts in place safeguards in annuity transactions
involving senior citizens.
-- Senate Bill 326, which bans the deceptive or misleading use of logos
from a state bank, savings and loan or credit union in marketing materials.
-- Senate Bill 381, which allows state banking regulators to accept federal
regulatory examinations of state savings banks, as allowed in current
law for other state-chartered institutions.
-- Senate Bill 492, which the "Uniform Prudent Investor Act"
in Wisconsin giving personal representatives, trustees, conservators and
guardians of estates more investment flexibility.