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WASHINGTON-Senate Banking Committee Member Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) introduced legislation last week to provide members of the armed services extra protection against predatory lenders. The legislative language would provide additional consumer lending protections to credit extended to a service member or their dependent by capping interest rates and includes stiff penalties for violating the mandatory disclosure requirements and rate caps. The provisions were tacked onto the Department of Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2006. “Recent studies indicate that some lenders are blatantly targeting service men and women, and we must put a stop to this egregious practice,” Dole commented. “Not only can these practices lead to a cycle of financial and professional suffering for individual service members and their families, but it can also have serious ramifications for our military’s operational readiness. Military conduct codes stress financial solvency, and a member with bad credit and mounting debt can face potentially career-ending disciplinary measures.” Dole’s office claims that a number of military organizations support the amendment, including the Military Coalition, which represents 5.5 million service members and their families.

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