Florida Statutes Title XXXIII. Regulation of Trade, Commerce, Investments, and Solicitations § 516.031. Finance charge;  maximum rates




(1) Interest rates.--A licensee may lend any sum of money up to $25,000.  A licensee may not take a security interest secured by land on any loan less than $1,000.  The licensee may charge, contract for, and receive thereon interest charges as provided and authorized by this section.  The maximum interest rate shall be 30 percent per annum, computed on the first $3,000 of the principal amount;  24 percent per annum on that part of the principal amount exceeding $3,000 and up to $4,000;  and 18 percent per annum on that part of the principal amount exceeding $4,000 and up to $25,000.  The original principal amount as used in this section is the same as the amount financed as defined by the federal Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.  In determining compliance with the statutory maximum interest and finance charges set forth herein, the computations used shall be simple interest and not add-on interest or any other computations.  If two or more interest rates are applied to the principal amount of a loan, the licensee may charge, contract for, and receive interest at that single annual percentage rate which, if applied according to the actuarial method to each of the scheduled periodic balances of principal, would produce at maturity the same total amount of interest as would result from the application of the two or more rates otherwise permitted, based upon the assumption that all payments are made as agreed.

(2) Annual percentage rate under federal truth in lending act.--The annual percentage rate of finance charge which may be contracted for and received under any loan contract made by a licensee under this chapter may equal, but not exceed, the annual percentage rate which must be computed and disclosed as required by the federal Truth in Lending Act 1 and Regulation Z of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.  The maximum annual percentage rate of finance charge which may be contracted for and received is 12 times the maximum monthly rate, and the maximum monthly rate shall be computed on the basis of one-twelfth of the annual rate for each full month.  The commission shall by rule establish the rate for each day in a fraction of a month when the period for which the charge is computed is more or less than 1 month.

(3) Other charges.--

(a) In addition to the interest, delinquency, and insurance charges provided in this section, further or other charges or amount for any examination, service, commission, or other thing or otherwise may not be directly or indirectly charged, contracted for, or received as a condition to the grant of a loan, except:

1. An amount of up to $25 to reimburse a portion of the costs for investigating the character and credit of the person applying for the loan;

2. An annual fee of $25 on the anniversary date of each line-of-credit account;

3. Charges paid for the brokerage fee on a loan or line of credit of more than $10,000, title insurance, and the appraisal of real property offered as security if paid to a third party and supported by an actual expenditure;

4. Intangible personal property tax on the loan note or obligation if secured by a lien on real property;

5. The documentary excise tax and lawful fees, if any, actually and necessarily paid out by the licensee to any public officer for filing, recording, or releasing in any public office any instrument securing the loan, which may be collected when the loan is made or at any time thereafter;

6. The premium payable for any insurance in lieu of perfecting any security interest otherwise required by the licensee in connection with the loan if the premium does not exceed the fees which would otherwise be payable, which may be collected when the loan is made or at any time thereafter;

7. Actual and reasonable attorney fees and court costs as determined by the court in which suit is filed;

8. Actual and commercially reasonable expenses for repossession, storing, repairing and placing in condition for sale, and selling of any property pledged as security;  or

9. A delinquency charge of up to $15 for each payment in default for at least 10 days if the charge is agreed upon, in writing, between the parties before imposing the charge.

Any charges, including interest, in excess of the combined total of all charges authorized and permitted by this chapter constitute a violation of chapter 687 governing interest and usury, and the penalties of that chapter apply.  In the event of a bona fide error, the licensee shall refund or credit the borrower with the amount of the overcharge immediately but within 20 days after the discovery of such error.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a), any lender of money who receives a check, draft, negotiable order of withdrawal, or like instrument drawn on a bank or other depository institution, which instrument is given by a borrower as full or partial repayment of a loan, may, if such instrument is not paid or is dishonored by such institution, make and collect from the borrower a bad check charge of not more than the greater of $20 or an amount equal to the actual charge made to the lender by the depository institution for the return of the unpaid or dishonored instrument.

(4) Divided loans.--No licensee shall induce or permit any borrower to split up or divide any loan.  No licensee shall induce or permit any person, or any husband and wife, jointly or severally, to become obligated to the licensee, directly or contingently or both, under more than one contract of loan at the same time, for the purpose, or with the result, of obtaining a greater finance charge than would otherwise be permitted by this section.

(5) Unpaid interest upon refinancing.--If all or part of the consideration for a new loan contract is the unpaid principal balance of a prior loan with the licensee, the principal amount payable under the new loan contract may include not more than 60 days' unpaid interest accrued on the prior loan.

1  15 U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq.




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