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Cash Advance Industry to Be Strictly Regulated in Georgia.

Licensing and Oversight Will Ensure Consumer Protection

ATLANTA -- A bill being introduced in the Georgia Legislature this week establishes strict oversight and licensing procedures while enforcing strong consumer protections for the cash advance industry in Georgia.

The bill gives the state the authority to levy fines up to $1,000 a day per incident per location against cash advance licensees who violate the new law.

Georgia's new cash advance law is being called the toughest in the nation, featuring more consumer safeguards than any other state. Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia regulate the cash advance industry.

Importantly, Georgia's new law will:

* Prohibit cash advances to active duty military personnel and their dependents

* Allow consumers to set up a payment plan if they are unable to repay their advance when due

* Allow up to 45 days to repay a cash advance

* Allow consumers to rescind the transaction within 24 hours at no cost

* Prohibit cash advance businesses from taking criminal action against consumers

* Limit fees to only $15 per $100 advanced, with strict prohibitions on additional fees or charges

* Prohibit licensees from taking collateral on a cash advance

* Require a $500 licensing fee for each firm seeking to provide cash advances in Georgia, in addition to a surety bond ranging from $10,000 to $250,000

* Prohibit cash advance businesses from allowing consumers to renew or "roll over" their advances

* Require licensed cash advance businesses to post consumer financial education information prominently in their stores that promotes responsible use of their products

"This is strong, comprehensive consumer protection legislation," commented Willie Green, Executive Director of Georgians for Cash Advance. "This new law preserves the consumer's access to small emergency cash advances when they need that help, and it gives the state the teeth it needs to make sure the cash advance industry in Georgia is consumer friendly."

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 24, 2007
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