Arkansas Cash Advance
Cash Advance Laws in Arkansas
In Arkansas, payday lending is not only legal, it's a common occurrence. Of course, for the borrower's protection, the state legislature heavily regulates the payday lending industry. Every cash advance business must clearly post a list of all check cashing fees, money order sales and insurance, and the first issue of any type of identification card. The business cashing the check must also clearly outline the different types of identification accepted. Arkansas also regulates the fees and interest that borrowers are charged for services that they provide. Identification cards cannot, by law, cost more than five dollars. Although there are many other rules in place, a basic one is that no payday lender or check casher may charge more than ten percent for either a money order, or cashing a personal check.
As of March 2006, there were 275 payday lenders in the state of Arkansas.
In 2001, a bill was passed in Arkansas that defined the cash advance laws for that state. This bill outlined what a cash advance business can and cannot do. They may, for instance, charge extra fees for confirming bank account information. They may also charge to copy documents that they require to process your cash advance. The cash advance business may levee additional charges against you for processing and closing transactions that have previously been opened. However, they cannot charge a fee of more than 25 dollars, or 10 percent of the value of the cash advance.
The state of Arkansas can also impose restrictions on the amount that can be charged to defer a loan by the cash advance business. The law of Arkansas states that a cash advance business may not charge a fee of more than 10 dollars for loan deferral.
Arkansas House Bill 2440 enforces the following rules:
- Only one loan per customer at any given time.
- The fees imposed by the lender for a deferred loan cannot exceed the original face value of the loan.
- Annual fees are capped at 400 dollars.
- Any loan that violates Bill 2440 will be considered null and void.
- No customer may receive two different advances within a 712-hour period from the same lender.
- A cash advance cannot be procured from one company in order to pay off another.
A recent court case in Arkansas says that a cash advance lender must keep their interest rates concurrent with current usury laws. Advance America, another cash advance business, was taken to court in a class action suit, which was appealed. Upon appeal, it was dismissed when a settlement was agreed. They agreed to make refunds to their customers and forgive all previous debt. In addition, they agreed to lower their interest rates.
The lawsuit was over the issuance of cash advance loans. These loans are typically smaller than standard bank loans, and have shorter payback schedules. Because of the shorter term of the loan, the interest rates are typically higher, since the lender has less time to recoup their fees with interest.
The case against Advance America was heard by the Supreme Court of the state of Arkansas. Their business practices, as well as those of many cash advance businesses were thoroughly examined. A detailed explanation was requested during the proceedings. Advance America described their lending practices, but the lawsuit specifically called into question the lenders disobedience to state law. The lawsuit argued that cash advance loans are subject to the same lending laws of the state, including a 17 percent cap on interest rates, found in the state constitution. At the conclusion of the lawsuit, all lending agreements were found to be null and void between the lender and the borrower. It was decided to settle any other disputes through binding arbitration.
Unemployment Statistics in Arkansas
As of January 2006, the unemployment rate in Arkansas was 5.1 percent. This means that 69,336 of the people of Arkansas were without work. This was down sharply from one year earlier, when the rate was 6.1 percent. In the last 10 years, the unemployment rate has not fluctuated more than 3 points.