California Excessive Interest Rate (Usury) Laws
Protection With Exceptions
Usury is the charging of interest rates in excess of what the law allows. Laws setting maximum interest rates have been around a very long time in California and are very complex. There are different maximum interest rates for different types of borrowing and each law has exceptions. If a violation is established, the penalties on the lender are severe. At Evans Law Firm our bank fraud and financial elder abuse lawyers have years of experience combatting financial exploitation, abuse, and fraud. If you or a loved one has been the victim of bank and/or lender fraud, financial elder abuse (if you or your loved one is a senior), or other financial exploitation, call us today at (415)441-8669, and we may be able to help. We only take cases in California.
The California Constitution allows interest on loans primarily for personal, family or household purposes at a rate not exceeding 10% per year. There are many exceptions, however. Most importantly, the limitation does not apply to lenders such as banks, credit unions, finance companies, pawn brokers, etc. Nor does the rule apply to credit cards or revolving charge accounts at retail stores. There are also exceptions for home improvement loans, mortgages, and credit lines secured by real estate.
In short, usury laws do not cover a vast amount of borrowing. That does not mean you may not have a case against a lender charging you excessive interest, however. Every time you borrow, there’s very likely a written contract. The terms of the contract are often complex and in consumer borrowing you rarely have the opportunity to negotiate those terms. But the lender can be held to those terms in every detail. Always read everything before you sign any contract, especially when borrowing money, and always keep what you signed. Lenders may violate the terms of their own agreements and your recourse against them may very well be based on their obligations under the contract they wrote. Your obligations and rights are set down there as well, and the lender cannot infringe those rights. Evans Law Firm can review your contract and advise you on your rights and the lender’s obligations to you.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of bank or other financial fraud or financial elder abuse and are looking for help in San Francisco or any California county, contact the Evans Law Firm elder attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with bank fraud and financial elder abuse cases, securities fraud, complex qui tam or whistleblower cases, complex financial contract cases and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.