News & Notes from IACC
Rubio, Brown Introduce Bill to Reinstate Small Businesses' Right to Notice
On December 6th, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced (S.3717) the Small Business Fair Lending Act, legislation that seeks to protect small businesses by closing a loophole used by nefarious lenders, and allowing the ability for them to be heard in a court of law. The bill codifies the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) 1985 ban on confessions of judgement, and extends it to include small business borrowers. Confessions of judgment require a borrower to give up his or her rights in court before obtaining a loan, and allows the lender to seize the borrower’s assets, without warning, in order to satisfy the debt. Although many states have banned this practice for small business loans and for individuals, borrowers remain exposed due to the current FTC loophole. The Small Business Lending Fairness Act provides small businesses with the same protections consumers already have. Last month, Bloomberg published an in-depth investigative report on this unscrupulous lending tactic, which has allowed creditors to destroy the lives of tens of thousands of borrowers without notice or opportunity for defense.
“With this new bill, we are taking another step toward protecting America’s small businesses—the foundation of our economy—by preserving the right of a business to be heard in a court of law before a potential credit default,” Rubio said. “I remain committed to protecting our small businesses, and I hope my colleagues will join me in this effort by passing this bill.”
“When we let financial predators harm hardworking Americans through scams like confessions of judgment, we undermine the dignity of work that makes this country great,” said Brown. “This bipartisan bill ensures that consumers and small business owners benefit from protections that prevent predatory lenders from stripping away their hard earned money under cover of night.”
The Small Business Lending Fairness Act:
- Codifies the FTC’s 1985 ban on confessions of judgment in law in consumer loan contracts, and
- Expands the ban to provide these protections to business borrowers as well.
More information on the bill can be found here.