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Wisconsin Supreme Court asked to rule on short term loan interest rates

Jul 05, 2011 Todd Milner

Wisconsin's 4th District Court of Appeals recently asked the state Supreme Court to determine the point at which interest rates on short term loans become too high, Forbes reports. The case resulted from a claim made against Onalaska resident Jesica Mount, who took out several loans from Short term Loan Stores of Wisconsin in 2008 with interest rates ranging from 446 percent to 1,338 percent. After being sued by the company when she failed to make her payments, Mount filed a counterclaim alleging that the rates were excessive and thus violated the Wisconsin Consumer Act. A circuit court judge granted her summary judgment. PLS appealed, contending that the legislature - not the judge - should decide when interest rates become too high in order to avoid variation between judges. State Representative Gordon Hintz, an Oshkosh Democrat, has spoken out in support of the appellate judges' request that the Supreme Court make the determination, as its ruling would have a statewide impact on consumer credit decisions, according to the Wisconsin Radio Network. Short term lending restrictions are to be loosened in the state as part of a $66 billion, two-year budget recently approved by Governor Scott Walker, the Post-Bulletin reports.