ATLANTA (March 2, 2020) | Senate Bill 329, introduced by Senator Randy Robertson (R-Cataula), passed the Senate Finance Committee today. Also known as the Motor Vehicle Title Loan Act, this bill would close legal loopholes that currently allow car titles to be “pawned” at interest rates as high as 300 percent. The bill now advances to the Senate Rules Committee.
“We are excited that Georgia legislators recognized the urgent need to protect consumers from high-cost title loans. The passage of Senate Bill 329 is a step in the right direction and shows that our leaders are listening to the voices of Georgians, the majority of whom want greater protections from these harmful loans,” said Liz Coyle, Executive Director of Georgia Watch. “We appreciate Senator Robertson’s tireless efforts to protect Georgia consumers from title loan debt traps. We also are grateful to the members of the committee who voted to pass this important legislation.”
In addition to the bill’s sponsor Senator Robertson, we appreciate the following members of the committee who voted to pass the bill: Senator Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), Senator Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Senator Michael “Doc” Rhett (D-Marietta), and Senator Ellis Black (R-Valdosta), with Senator Chuck Payne (R-Dalton) making the “do pass” motion. The Motor Vehicle Title Loan Act would ensure that cash loaned in exchange for a car title is treated as a “loan” rather than a “pawn” and would bring title lending into compliance with current Georgia small-dollar lending industry standards. If the bill becomes law, it will level the playing field for Georgians by bringing uniformity to small-dollar loans across the state.
Founded in 2002, Georgia Watch is a statewide, non-profit consumer advocacy organization working to inform and protect Georgia consumers on matters that significantly impact their quality of life, including the effects of predatory business practices, the high cost of utilities and healthcare, and restricted access to the civil justice system.
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