17:11C-32 Consumer loans permitted by consumer lender, terms.
32. a. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.31:1-1 or any other law to the contrary, every consumer lender authorized to engage in the consumer loan business may loan any sum of money not exceeding $50,000, repayable in an installment or installments, and may charge, contract for, and receive thereon, interest at an annual percentage rate or rates agreed to by the licensee and the borrower.
b.A closed-end consumer loan contract may provide for a variation in the interest rate in which adjustments to the interest rate shall correspond directly to the movement of an interest rate index which is readily available to and verifiable by the borrower and is beyond the control of the lender. No increase during the entire loan term shall result in an interest rate of more than 6% per annum over the rate applicable initially, nor shall the rate be raised more than 3% per annum during any 12-month period. The lender shall not be obligated to decrease the interest rate more than 6% over the term of the loan, nor more than 3% per annum during any 12-month period. If a rate increase is applied to the loan, the lender shall also be obligated to adopt and implement uniform standards for decreasing the rate. If the contract provides for the possibility of an increase or decrease or both in the rate, that fact shall be clearly described in plain language, in at least 8-point bold face type on the face of the contract. No rate increase shall take effect unless (1) at least 90 days prior to the effective date of the first such increase, or 30 days prior to the effective date of any subsequent increase, a written notice has been mailed or delivered to the borrower that clearly and conspicuously describes such increase, and (2) unless at least 365 days have elapsed without any increase in the rate. Where the loan contract so provides for an increase or decrease in the rate of interest, the installments may vary in amount, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, except that if the rate increases, the borrower may request, and the lender shall provide for, either an increase in the amount of the installment payment or an extension of the term of the loan, or some combination of an increase in the amount of the installment payment and extension of the term.
c.An open-end loan agreement may provide that the lender may at any time, or from time to time, change the terms of the agreement, including the terms governing the periodic interest rate, calculation of interest or the method of computing the required amount of periodic installment payments, provided however, that:
(1)the periodic interest rate shall not be changed more than once in each billing cycle;
(2)any change in the periodic interest rate shall correspond to the movement of a market interest rate index specified in the agreement which is readily verifiable by the borrower and beyond the control of the lender;
(3)a change in any term of the agreement, including the periodic interest rate, may be permitted to apply to any then-outstanding unpaid indebtedness in the borrower's account, including any indebtedness which shall have arisen from advances obtained prior to the effective date of the change, so long as that fact is clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the agreement;
(4)if the agreement provides for the possibility of a change in any term of the agreement, including the rate, that fact shall be clearly described in plain language, in at least 8-point bold face type on the face of the written notice; and
(5)no change in any term of the agreement or of the index specified in the agreement shall be effective unless: (a) at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the change, a written notice has been mailed or delivered to the borrower that clearly and conspicuously describes the change and the indebtedness to which it applies, and states that the incurrence by the borrower or another person authorized by him of any further indebtedness under the law to which the agreement relates on or after the effective date of the change specified in the notice shall constitute acceptance of the change; and (b) either the borrower agrees in writing to the change or the borrower or another person authorized by him incurs further indebtedness on or after the effective date of the change stated in that notice, which indebtedness may include outstanding balances. Any borrower who fails to use the borrower's account or so to indicate agreement to the change shall be permitted to pay the outstanding unpaid indebtedness in the borrower's account in accordance with the terms governing the open-end consumer loan agreement without giving effect to the change.
d.The consumer lender shall notify each affected borrower in a consumer loan agreement of any change in the manner set forth in the closed-end and open-end agreement governing the plan and in compliance with the requirements of the federal "Truth in Lending Act," Pub.L.90-321 (15 U.S.C. s.1601 et seq.), and regulations promulgated thereunder, as in effect from time to time, if applicable.
e.The interest and periodic payments for consumer loans at these rates shall be computed from the standard tables based on the actuarial or annuity method which conforms to the so-called "United States Rule of Partial Payments," which provides that interest shall be calculated whenever a payment is made and the payment shall be first applied to the payment of interest and if it exceeds the interest due, the balance is to be applied to diminish principal. If the payment is insufficient to pay the entire amount of interest, the balance of interest due shall not be added to principal, so as to produce interest thereon.
f.No interest on a consumer loan shall be paid, deducted, or received in advance. Interest shall not be compounded and shall be computed only on unpaid principal balances. For the purpose of computing interest, all installment payments shall be applied on the date of receipt, and interest shall be charged for the actual number of days elapsed at the daily rate of 1/365 of the yearly rate.
g.No consumer lender shall induce or permit any person nor any husband and wife, jointly or severally, to become obligated, directly or contingently or both, under more than one contract of a consumer loan at the same time for the purpose of obtaining a higher rate of interest than would otherwise be permitted by this section. This prohibition shall not apply to any loan made pursuant to any other law of this State.
L.1996, c.157, s.32; amended 2001, c.294, s.2; 2009, c.53, s.53.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016