Changes to Idaho Credit Code made to combat predatory lending
BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho Department of Finance announced amendments to the Idaho Credit Code, effective July 1, that are designed to help the department fight predatory lending and provide greater protection for Idaho residents. Beginning July 1, most consumer lenders who solicit or advertise in the state must obtain an Idaho regulated lenders license, and the loans will be governed by Idaho law. Prior to July 1, the law only applied to loans if the contract was received by the lender in Idaho. Gavin Gee, director of the Idaho Department of Finance said this amendment will allow the department to better respond to and investigate consumer complaints against out-of-state lenders, whether they solicit Idaho consumers through the mail, on the telephone, or by use of the Internet." The amendments also give the Department of Finance greater enforcement authority against "unconscionable" lending practices. The department, for example, is now able to issue cease and desist orders, or bring an action in court against unlicensed lenders who engage in fraudulent or unconscionable conduct, and it may seek fines in court against any lender who participates in unscrupulous lending activities. Lastly, the state Credit Code now prohibits Idaho's cities and counties from enacting laws regarding the financial or lending activities of companies that are otherwise under the jurisdiction of the Department of Finance.