The New Hampshire House of Representatives recently voted 180-171 to authorize a hike on the maximum interest rate on car title loans, from 36 percent per year to 26 percent per month, according to the Boston Globe.
Title loans are high-interest loans that are secured by the ownership titles for motor vehicles, and are illegal in many states including Wisconsin and West Virginia. If a title loan is defaulted on by a consumer, the lender repossesses the vehicle regardless. The bill - which is now headed to New Hampshire Governor John Lynch - would relax a cap that drove small loan and short term lenders from the state, which Lynch signed into law in 2009. A spokesman for Lynch's office said that the governor supports the new bill, but remains opposed to what he termed "predatory lending." Budget and finance committee members in Texas recently passed new rules restricting the number of short term and title loan stores in Dallas, according to NBC. The stores' proximity to each other and to residential areas will also be regulated.