Lightford introduces the Fair Lending Act (VIDEO)

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Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined Representative Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago), the Heartland Alliance and consumer protection organizations in introducing legislation to protect Illinoisans from predatory lending rates that have trapped thousands in debt.

"With interest rates as high as 300 percent, car title loans are disastrous for families across this state," said Lightford. "It is beyond time that we ensure that car title lending is safe and affordable. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance the Fair Lending Act, which brings much-needed relief for consumers."

Car title loans prey on low-income communities by tying up consumers with crippling triple-digit interest rates and debt they cannot afford to repay. With annual interest rates averaging 188 percent and thousands of dollars in fees, a title loan for $1,000 can cost up to five times more.

The default rate on title loans was 41.3 percent in 2016, which shows that the loans are unaffordable. The outrageous rates on title loans put thousands of Illinoisans at risk of losing their car, a lifeline for many families to be able to work and go to school.

The Fair Lending Act will give consumers much-needed relief by capping car tittle loan interest rates at 36 percent. Senate Bill 2843 also establishes loan term limits and creates safeguards in the event of car repossession.

The legislation was filed in the Senate today and awaits a committee assignment.